Welp, I am going to delcare it officially pie season.
I have no problem with storebought piecrust (the kind from Marie Callender's is actually pretty great), but it cannot be overstated that there is just nothing like a homemade piecrust.
Whether you're making pot pie, empanadas, quiche, sweet fruit pie, tomato pie, or a custard-filled cream pie, it's cheaper and frankly more delicious to make piecrust at home. And if you have a food processor, it's actually pretty darn easy.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you make piecrust:
1. Have your ingredients totally measured and ready before you start mixing. There are only 4 ingredients in this recipe including the ice water, so this shouldn't be hard. The recipe moves quickly, so you'll want to have everything right there.
2. The colder the better. The cardinal rule of piecrust making colder your butter and ice water, the flakier your crust will be when it bakes. I always keep the butter in the refrigerator until the moment I'm ready to use it, and I start icing down the water well in advance so it has a chance to get really chilly.
3. A food processor is helpful but not required. Home cooks made flaky, buttery pie crusts for centuries before Cuisinart came to town. That said, if you can get your hands on a food processor, it sure makes piecrust making easy.
4. Handle your pie crust gently and quickly. Warm hands warm up the butter, and that is bad. Work fast and use a tender touch to keep this from happening.
I start by combining flour, a pinch of salt and (super cold) butter.
I get the ingredients mixing until they look like buttery sand.
Next the cold water goes streaming in, a little at a time.
Until the dough starts to stick together.
Then onto a floured surface it goes, to be tamed.
At this point, I wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour. Once that's done, it may be rolled out.
This recipe makes enough for two open pies or one pie with a top.
Just trim the excess and re-roll.
Make pretty, decorative pleats if you wish. Then pre-bake (if necessary for your pie recipe) or simply fill, bake, and serve.
If you're as corny as I am, you might say it's easy as pie.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolliing Pantry
- 2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes $3
- 1 large pinch salt Pantry
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
Recipe Serves 6-8
- Put the flour, butter, and salt in a bowl of a food processor (or in a mixing bowl).
- Pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. If you're working by hand, use your hands to work the ingredients together until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Stream in the water with the machine running, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the mixture comes together. For me, this usually means 3 to 4 tablespoons. Again, if you're doing this by hand, work in the water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture starts to stick together.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface.
- With floured hands, pat it into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour. You may also freeze it for up to 2 months. When you're ready to use it, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
- Once the dough has been refrigerated for at least an hour, it's ready to be rolled, filled, and baked.