pie crust (gasp!)

In recipe on July 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm

the idea of homemade pie crust scares the begeezus out of most people. but in fact, it’s very impressive and low-effort if you remember two simple rules: KEEP IT COLD and BE GENTLE.

COLD: everything should be cold – your kitchen, your tools, your hands, your heart (j/k!), your ingredients… the idea is not to let the butter melt one tiny little bit. that way, when it does melt in the oven, it makes the crust super flaky and delicious.

GENTLE: you want to work the dough as little as possible. if you overwork it, it will become tough. in fact, the less you do to it, the better.

there are many recipes for pie crust, but this particular one is the simplest i’ve found and turns out a great result. i generally use it as a “rustic” crust, which means that instead of putting it in a pie plate, i lay it out on a baking sheet (lined with parchment), pile the fruit in the middle, and fold the sides up a little. perfect for sliced-fruit pies (like pluot!), probably not your blueberry or strawberry-rhubarbs.

rustic pie crust
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
10 Tbsp COLD butter, cut into smallish chunks
1 cup ice water

mix your flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. then add the cold butter chunks and “cut in” using a pastry cutter (you’ve seen this tool… handle on one side, parallel cutting blades on the other. don’t be scared!) or a large fork.


working quickly, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is throughout the mixture and about the size of small peas.

now add your water SLOWLY by the tablespoonful, mixing gently with a fork each time until the dough is just wet enough to stick together. (you won’t use the full cup of water.) this is where you need to be especially careful about overworking your dough.

using your hands, pat the dough into a flat round, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to several days. you should be able to see chunks of butter throughout.

when you’re ready to use it, make sure everything’s cold again and roll it out. fill as desired. bake at 400 degrees until the crust is brown and oh so tasty looking!


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