I don’t eat a lot of desserts, so when I get an urge to make a pie, I always make this crust from scratch. This is an incredibly flaky pie crust. It takes a little bit of patience and a lot of butter. Makes a large enough crust to fit any pie pan and have some left over, because the last thing you want is for your crust not to fit.
I used to use 1 stick of butter in my pie crusts, but I’ve found that they don’t rollout quite large enough. Plus it’s better to have it be bigger than you need and you can always trim off the leftover. So for this recipe, I start with 1.5 sticks of butter.
I use Challenge butter, which I buy and leave in the freezer just for pies. Precision normally isn’t necessary, but in baking it is. I use a digital kitchen scale to get my weights precise. You can get one for about $10 on amazon.
Weight your ingredients. Take the frozen butter and shred through the shredder attachment on the food processor. It should come out looking something like shredded mozzarella. By hand, combine the flour and shredded frozen butter. Put back in food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add a pinch of salt. Pour in water and pulse until mixture slightly tightens up. Words only do so much, so check out a youtube video to get a better picture. I like this one.
Transfer mixture to a ziplock bag and start working it with your hands until it turns solid with very little crumbling. You’ll feel like it’s too dry, but keep going. It will come together. If you need to, add a bit of water. It’s better for it to come together than be too dry, but a key to a flaky crust is to keep the water to the minimum.
Get the dough shaped into a flat disc. That will make it easiest when you eventually roll it out.
Pop the dough (which should still be in the ziplock bag, otherwise wrapped in plastic) in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This allows the gluten to develop, which holds the crust together. I generally shoot for around 4 hours.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator. At this point it should be very stiff, and that’s not always easy to work with. Let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes and come closer to room temp. At that point, flour your surface and roll it out with a rolling pin, flipping it as necessary. You’re goal is to get a big circle that will more than fit your pie pan. Again, youtube is your friend with regards to technique.
Once dough is rolled out, use your rolling pin to lift dough off your surface. Imagine you’ve unrolled some wrapping paper and now you want to roll it back up. Take rolling pin with dough to your pie pan and unroll it. Press dough down along inner circumference. As for the overhanging dough, either fold it back in or trim it off, depending on the look and feel you’re ultimately going for.
Whether you’re going to blind bake or not, chilling the dough after you’ve rolled it out prevents shrinkage. Put it back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
To blind bake, poke holes with a fork in the bottom of your crust. Cut a piece of foil or parchment paper and lay it on the crust. Pour something heavy in - I use dried beans but pennies also work (or fancy pie weights, but that’s not necessary).
Bake at 425 for about 12 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment/tin foil, lower the oven to 375 and continue baking another 10-15 minutes until crust turns golden brown. It will puff up a bit, but don’t worry. It will deflate as it cools.