Using only butter makes your pie crust flavorful and delicious. Making it in the food processor means your dough will come together in as little as 10 minutes!
Cliff Notes: Add flour, salt, and cold butter into the food processor. Pulse briefly, then slowly add ice-cold water until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.
Make It Your Own: – If using the dough for a savory pie, such as chicken pot pie, omit the sugar – For a delicious twist, check out my Bourbon-Crust Hand Pie recipe
If I was asked to point to one recipe that really motivated me to start trusting my own cooking instincts instead of completely relying on cookbooks, it would be pie crust. I have never liked the taste of store bought pie dough, but had inconsistent results when I made my own. So fifteen years ago I spent three weekends in a row trying different recipes, proportions, ingredients, and methods until I came up with this all-butter pie crust that I make in my food processor. It’s never let me down, and now I’m sharing it with everyone, in my effort to convince people that they too can make a pie crust and not have to use those yucky ones from the grocery store!
This recipe makes two crusts, enough for an apple pie. If you’re only making a single-crust pie (like lemon meringue), just cut it in half … or don’t, and cut it into pieces, bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, and enjoy your “pie crust cookies.” Sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar is optional.
16 Tablespoons cold, Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
8-10 Tablespoons Ice-Cold Water
In a food processor: Add the flour and salt (and sugar if using) and briefly whiz to combine. Add 1/3 of the pieces of cold butter and pulse once; then add another 1/3 and pulse a 3-4 times until the largest piece is approximately the size of a pea. Add the remainder of the butter and pulse 3-4 times.
Add 4 Tablespoons of water and pulse a few times. Continue adding water a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture just starts to hold together when squeezed in your hand. Add 1 final tablespoon of water and pulse the food processor twice.
Lay out two large pieces of plastic wrap. Dump the pie dough out onto one of the pieces, and using the wrap, quickly push the dough until it comes together, then divide it in half. Wrap each half in one sheet of plastic wrap, forming them into a rough round, disc shape. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. The dough can be kept in the fridge at this point for up to 3 days.
When ready to bake, remove one disc of dough from the fridge. Unwrap the dough and place it on a well-floured, large surface. Sprinkle additional flour on top of the dough and begin rolling it out with a rolling pin, turning the dough a quarter of a turn as you are rolling so it forms a nice circle. Lightly sprinkle additional flour as needed to prevent the dough sticking to the counter and rolling pin. Roll to approximately 1/8″ thickness.
To transfer the dough to the pie dish, loosely roll it over the rolling pin, and then unroll it into the pie dish. With your fingers, lightly push the dough down into the corners so it lays flat against the pan, taking care to not stretch the dough, which may cause it to shrink during baking.
If making a single pre-baked (or blind baked) pie crust (such as for lemon meringue pie), preheat the oven to 400°. Dock the dough with the tips of a fork, making little holes all over the dough, including both the bottom and sides. This will help prevent it from bubbling up when baked. Crimp the edges of the pie dough, and trim of any excess.
Gently press a sheet of aluminum foil into the pie crust, and fill it with pie weights, beans, rice, or sugar. Bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and foil, and return the crust to the oven for 5-8 minutes until it’s golden brown.
If making a double crusted pie, add the filling to the uncooked pie crust, then brush the edge of the dough with a beaten egg. Roll out the second piece of dough as you did the first, and lay it on top of the filling. Gently press the edges down to help seal the two pieces together. Trim the extra dough, leaving approximately 1/2″ overhang. Fold the edges under, and pinch or crimp them decoratively to help seal. Use a knife to cut holes in the top of the crust to let steam escape, then bake according to the recipe instructions.