Pie crust recipe – just so delicious
A step-by-step guide that shows you exactly how to make homemade pie crust. This recipe consists of both butter and shortening for a pie recipe that is flaky, buttery and perfect for sweet or savory pies.
The production of pies by hand can be very intimidating. Personally, I was afraid to bake cakes for years. But I'm ready to show you exactly how to make a buttery, flaky pie crust. I promise it's easier than you might think.
Pie Crust Ingredients
In the pie crust there are only a few main ingredients: fat (butter, shortening or a combination thereof), flour, salt, some sugar and cold water.
Butter. Traditional pie crust is made with 100% butter. Butter adds incredible flavor and contributes to the flaky texture.
Shortening. Although shortening has much less taste than butter, it is much more forgiving in making pie crust. It makes the crust delicate, flaky and easier to work with.
Flour. Flour is the structure of the crust. I use all-purpose flour (also known as "regular flour") because I think most people usually have it on hand. Be very careful when measuring the flour – too much and your crust will be dry, tough and tasteless. On a kitchen scale it measures 312.5 g.
Salt. Salt is an important ingredient in the flavor of the cake crust. I recommend using unsalted butter and adding salt as different butter brands use different amounts of butter. By using unsalted butter and salt you have more control.
Sugar. Just a hint of sugar for the taste. If you make a savory cake, you can skip it.
Ice cold water. This brings the dough together. Too much water and the pie dough become sticky and can not be rolled out, but not enough water and it does not hold together anymore.
The meaning of cold ingredients
When making cakes, the fats (butter and shortening) must be cold. When the cake is baking, the butter melts and releases steam. This release of vapor creates small trapped air, creating scaly layers. If the fats get too warm before baking, they start to melt before they get into the oven. This means that you lose the flaky consistency that you get when the butter melts in the oven.
How to make pie crust
First the dry ingredients – flour, salt and sugar – whisk. Then cut in the butter and cut it with a cookie cutter. You want to stir butter and shortening until they are in small pieces that are smaller than the size of a pea. They do not all have to be the same size. Below are 2 photos that show you what I mean. The photo on the left shows the process in the middle and the photo on the right shows what the dough should look like when you finish cutting the fats.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon at a time with cold water and fold carefully with a wooden spatula. They use a total of 6-8 tablespoons. When done, the dough should stick together when you squeeze it in your hand (just make sure that you do not do this too often, otherwise you will overheat the dough).
Empty the entire contents of the bowl onto a floured work surface and form the dough into a ball. Then cut the dough in half – you should see scaly layers when looking at the slice mark. Make each half into a round disk about 1 to 2 cm thick, then wrap in plastic and cool. Your pie dough should contain small butter spots and a little bit of fat.
It is essential that you refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours before rolling it out. If you try to roll out the dough without cooling it, it is way too sticky.
Roll out the pie dough
Once your dough has cooled, it's time to roll it out.
A few tears on the edges are ok. If the cracks penetrate deep into the pie dough, it means that your dough needs slightly more water or is too cold. Warm the dough a little before rolling out, or spray a little water over it.
Put the dough on a cake plate
This is actually quite simple – as long as your pie dough and rolling pin are well floured.
- Carefully roll the pie dough over your rolling pin – it does not have to be firm. You can see this in the first photo below.
- Then roll out the pie dough over the cake plate.
Do not stretch the dough when placing it on the plate. When you stretch it, it is pulled back while baking the cake, causing the cake to shrink.
Note: This recipe is enough for a double-crust 9-inch pie or two single-crust pie (low crust only). If you only need one cake with a crust, you can freeze the other half. I do not recommend doubling the recipe as this can lead to a reworked, tough, dry pie crust.
This recipe for pie crust is deliciously flaky, perfectly buttery and with all these tips and tricks you are an expert on pie crusts!
Why not use this pie crust to make: