Pie Crust

Here you go. You asked. You begged. You pleaded. I’m giving you several to work with. When making pie crust it is best to use a food processor fitted with a pastry blade. Your butter must be cold, use it straight from the fridge. Also, your water must me freezing cold. I usually fill a 2-cup glass measuring cup with water and set it in the freezer for about 30 minutes; just till thin chips of ice form on the surface. The friction of a food processor with break the cold ingredients into the dry ingredients properly. If they aren’t cold enough, they won’t blend properly.

Here’s a great stand-by classic pie crust. From the AMAZING and melt of your chair good restaurant Mrs. Rowe’s in Staunton, Virginia.

Mrs. Rowe’s Pie Crust

Yield: 2 – 9-inch or 10-inch Crusts

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cups vegetable shortening

5 to 7 tablespoons cold milk

Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it’s the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of milk over part of the flour mixture. Gently toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Sprinkle another tablespoon of milk over a dry part, toss with fork and push to side of bowl. Repeat with the remaining milk until all of the flour is moistened.

Press the dough together and form 2 equal balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a light touch and handle the dough as little as possible. Use at once or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

To pre-bake an empty crust, preheat the oven to 400 F. Press 1 piece of the dough into a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 10 minutes, until firm and lightly browned.


Here’s a great one from Ken Haedrich’s PIE (pg 28-9).

All-Butter Pie Pastry

Yield: Single or Double crust for a 9-inch or 9 1/2-inch pie pan

For Single Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold water

For Double Pie Crust:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
About 1/2 cup cold water

1. To make in a food processor (fitted with a pastry blade): Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor. Pulse several times to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and pulse 7 or 8 times to cut the butter in well. Remove the lid and fluff the mixture with a fork, lifting it up from the bottom of the bowl. Drizzle half of the water over the dry ingredients. Pulse 5 to 6 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Fluff the pastry and sprinkle on the remaining water. Pulse 5 or 6 times more, until the pastry starts to form clumps. Overall, it will look like coarse crumbs. Dump the contents of the processor bowl into a large bowl.

1. To mix by hand: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Toss well, by hand, to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and toss to mix. Using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter into the flour until it is broken into pieces the size of splint peas. Sprinkle half of the water over the dry mixture. Toss well with a fork to dampen the mixture. Add the remaining water in 2 stages and continue to toss and mix, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl.

2. Test the dough by squeezing some of it between your fingers; if it seems a little dry and not quite packable, drizzle a teaspoon or so of cold water over the dough and work it in with your fingertips. Using your hands, pack the dough into a ball (or 2 balls if you are making a double crust) as you would pack a snowball. If you’re using this to make a double-crust pie, make one ball slightly larger than the other; this will be your bottom crust. Knead each ball once or twice, then flatten the balls into 3/4-inch-thick disks on a floured work surface. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before rolling.


This is a classic recipe for Pâte Brisée from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook (pg 224). This is a standard pie/pastry dough for pies, tarts, even cheesecakes.

Pâte Brisée

Yield: 1 double crust or 2 single crust 9-inch pie crusts

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)

With the machine running, add the water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.



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3 responses to “Pie Crust

  1. Pingback: Coconut Cream Pie | mashrabiyya

  2. Pingback: Pecan Pie | mashrabiyya

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