Pie seem to be that elusive dessert you reserve for making around the holidays, Thanksgiving to be exact. Even then, it seems like most people rely on store bought pies or at the very least, store bought pie crusts. Now while it takes a little skill and experience to create those photo worthy pie crusts you see at your local bakery, it’s not outside of anyone’s skills-set to make one.
Even if it turns out lopsided or a little shrunken in, at the end of the day it still usually tastes pretty darn good. When I started out my “year of pie” my first pies were not the prettiest thing you’d ever seen, but you know what? Everyone still gobbled them right up! The more you practice at this, the better you’ll get!
My secret, well not really secret, but more like “key” to making pie crust is using a standing mixer. I know most people use a food processor, but it’s sooo much easier for me to use my mixer, which I always keep on the counter. When I saw this method used on Annie’s Eats (whose site is awesome, btw) I’ve never looked back!
Here’s how you do it! Start by freezing the diced butter and water (in a measuring cup) in the freezer for a good 10-15 minutes. Then simply put the flour, sugar and salt to the mixer with the paddle attachment, add in the diced butter and mix until crumbly and then add in a little water (3-4 Tbs to be exact) until the crust comes together. Dump out the crust onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and mold it into a disc form. Give it a rest in the refrigerator for about an hour.
After an hour, I let the dough sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes and then give my work area and rolling pin a good dusting of flour. Lay the dough in the middle and carefully roll it into about a 12″ circle. I move the crust around and flip it over a time or two so I make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter. After it’s about 12″ in diameter, I fold the crust over itself and then carefully transfer it to the pie plate. Trim the excess crust around the plate so there’s only about an inch overhanging. Tuck the overhanging crust under itself and crimp the edges using your fingers. There are lots of methods of doing this too, I just happen to usually crimp mine. Put the crust back into the freezer and then continue as your specific recipe states. Sometimes you have to blind-bake a crust or you can just add your filling and bake it all at once. Each recipe for pie should state how to prep your crust.
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick) diced and very cold
- 3-4 Tbs. cold water
- Dice the butter and place in the freezer. Then fill a measuring cup with ½ cup water and place in the freezer while prepping the rest of the crust - water should get super cold before using in the recipe, but not turn to ice.
- In the bowl of a standing mixture with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar and salt and give a few spins of the paddle to combine.
- Add the diced butter from the freezer and mix with paddle attachment until mixture is crumbly - takes about 2 minutes.
- Add three tablespoons of the water from the freezer and mix until crust starts to come together If still too crumbly to hold together after 3 tablespoons, add one more slowly until mixture comes together when you squeeze a handful together.
- Dump the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Mold it into a disc form and refrigerate for one hour.
- After an hour, set the dough on the counter and dust your work place and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap the dough, put it on your floured counter-top and carefully roll it into about a 12" circle. Move the crust around and flip it over a time or two so I make sure it doesn't stick to the counter.
- After it's about 12" in diameter, fold the crust over itself and carefully transfer it to the pie plate. Trim the excess crust around the plate so there's only about an inch overhanging. Tuck the overhanging crust under itself and crimp the edges using your fingers. Put the crust back into the freezer and then continue as your specific recipe states.