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all-butter pie crust
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Servings: 8


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Step 1

1 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt

Step 2

2 Add the butter, tossing the cubes through the flour until each individual piece is well coated

Step 3

3 “Cut” the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers, flattening the cubes into big shards

Step 4

4 As you work, continue to toss the butter through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces

Step 5

5 For a flaky crust: Continue to cut the butter into the flour just until the pieces of butter are about the size of walnut halves

Step 6

6 For a mealy crust: Continue to work the mixture together until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas

Step 7

7 Make a well in the center of the flour mixture

Step 8

8 Add the ice water to the well and, using a tossing motion with your hands, start to mix the two together (this begins to combine the ingredients without creating too much gluten)

Step 9

9 As the flour begins to become hydrated, you can start to use more of a kneading motion — but don’t overdo it, as this will make the dough tough

Step 10

10 Add more water as needed, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is properly hydrated

Step 11

11 The dough should be uniformly combined and hold together easily, but it won’t look totally smooth

Step 12

12 (Pie dough that is too dry may have sort of a “dusty” appearance, or pockets of un-hydrated flour

Step 13

13 It will not hold together and will appear crumbly

Step 14

14 Pie dough that is too wet will feel sticky or tacky to the touch, and is often smoother and/or lighter in color

Step 15

15 )

Step 16

16 Form the dough into an even disk (or into another shape if directed by the recipe; if you are scaling the recipe to make multiple crusts, divide the dough appropriately)

Step 17

17 Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days

Step 18

18 Roll out the dough: Lightly dust a work surface with flour, and lightly dust a rolling pin, if desired

Step 19

19 Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness, about 12 inches in diameter, rotating it as you work to prevent it from sticking

Step 20

20 To transfer the dough to the pan, gently roll it up around the pin, then unfurl it into a 9-inch pie plate

Step 21

21 Prepare the edge for crimping: For a single-crust pie, using scissors, trim away the excess dough, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang around the outside edge of the pie plate

Step 22

22 Tuck the overhang under, pressing gently to make it flush with the edge of the pie plate and crimp as you like

Step 23

23 The crust is now ready to be filled and baked or par-/blind-baked before being filled

Step 24

24 Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees

Step 25

25 For a double-crust pie, fill the prepared crust, then roll the top crust out over it and gently press the top and bottom crusts together where they meet at the edge to flatten the dough slightly, then trim the excess and tuck the overhang under as directed for a single-crust pie

Step 26

26 You can use a paring knife to cut vents into the top crust

Step 27

27 Note: Double crust pies typically don't require par baking due to the longer bake time required to properly bake the thicker pie

Step 28

28 To par-bake the dough: Using a fork, dock the crimped single-crust pie and chill well, at least 30 minutes

Step 29

29 Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the diameter of a pie plate, and press it into the base of the pie plate

Step 30

30 Fill with pie weights to the top inner rim of the pie plate

Step 31

31 Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the edges begin to lightly brown

Step 32

32 Remove the parchment paper and pie weights, and bake for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the bottom of the crust appears dry and set

Step 33

33 Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling

Step 34

34 To blind-bake the dough: Follow the instructions for par-baking, but after removing the pie weights, bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until the crust is fully golden brown

Step 35

35 Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling

Step 36

36 To use with fruit filling(s): Par-bake the pie crust following the instructions above

Step 37

37 Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees

Step 38

38 Pour the cooled fruit filling into the cooled par-baked crust and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the filling appears a bit matte on the surface

Step 39

39 If needed, cover the crust edges with foil to prevent over-browning

Step 40

40 To use with pudding filling(s): Blind-bake the crust before filling

Step 41

41 Cool completely before adding the pudding to the crust

Step 42

42 Variation: For Chocolate Pie Dough, replace 1/4 cup (30 grams) of the all-purpose flour with 1/3 cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (any kind, but dark or black cocoa powder makes particularly intense crusts)

Step 43

43 Take care not to overbake this crust – look for a dry, matte appearance all over as an indicator