Here is a perfectly simple, perfectly delicious pie crust. Be intimidated no longer. This is easy. Know this and get to work on the important stuff. Like what to put inside. (Right now, the last of the peaches!)
Amy's Perfect Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached white flour (or a combination of both)
- 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter straight from the refrigerator, cut into approximate tablespoon chunks
- 4 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening straight from the refrigerator as well
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 glass ice water you will use 6 - 8 tablespoons, as needed
Makes enough for a 9" double crust pie. If you only need a single crust, make the whole recipe and toss half in your freezer for later. (You'll be glad you did!)
Measure flour and salt into work bowl of your food processor. Add the butter and shortening chunks and pulse until mixture is fairly uniformly coarse and crumbly looking.
From glass of ice water, measure out 4 tablespoons and sprinkle over the crumbly dough. Pulse a few times to incorporate. If mixture seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse. Your mixture will still look crumbly, but when you pinch a small amount, it will clump together.
Pour crumbly mixture onto your work surface and push together making streaks of fat through the flour. When all has come together, gather the dough into a thick round disk. If the dough isn't coming together, sprinkle on a tiny bit more ice water (like 1 tablespoon) and try again.
Cut the disk into approximate halves, one side a bit larger than the other, and flatten and round each into a disk approximately one inch thick. Wrap each in plastic and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then it is ready for rolling. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes / Tips
- The most important tip is to not overwork the pie dough. The less you handle it, the better. You want to preserve little chunks of fat, rather than beat the fat into the flour, like you do for most cookies. These little chunks of fat will melt and release steam during baking, creating little air pockets that make you taste "flaky" when you're eating the pie dough.
- Make ahead note: you can store the dough rounds in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Any longer and the flour will start to discolor. You can freeze the dough rounds, well wrapped in a freezer bag, for up to 2 months. When you want to use it, set the frozen round in the refrigerator overnight or until it is pliable.
- The 1 hour rest after forming the dough into rounds is essential. Skip it and your dough will shrink from the sides of your pan when you bake the pie.