Basic Pie Crust

Chilling the dough and working it as little as possible will yield a flakier crust; substituting 1/2 cup vegetable shortening or lard for 1/2 cup of the butter in this recipe will also make the crust flakier.

Yields: Enough for two 9-inch Pie Crusts

  • 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water

In a 4-quart mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Using a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture and add water a little at a time until dough just holds together.

Turn dough out onto piece of waxed paper on a flat work surface. Form dough into flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Remove plastic wrap from one of the dough discs and place disc onto well-floured work surface (or wax paper). Using a rolling pin, use short, even strokes to roll dough out until it overlaps pie plate by one inch all the way around. Fold dough over rolling pin and center over pie plate. Gently slide dough off rolling pin and into pie plate. Using your fingers, gently smooth dough out into bottom and up sides of pie pan. Repeat for other dough disc.

If crust is for a single crust pie, use a dinner fork to press the edges of the dough onto the lip of the pie plate, sealing the dough to the pie plate. If dough is for double crust pie, fill pie shell and top with upper crust before sealing. If pie recipe calls for pre-baking crust, return to refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes before pre-baking.

Food processor method:
Place all ingredients into processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 8 to 10 pulses.
Add ice water in a slow steady stream through feed tube of food processor with machine running, until the dough holds together for no longer than 30 seconds. Follow directions above for chilling and rolling out.

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