Fun fact; I learned how to make pie crust in my grade 10 culinary class (yes, my school had one of those). We did a LOT of baking in that class – it required patience and technique to know exactly when to move onto the next step of the recipe and my teacher was all about precision back then. Pie dough was the one recipe I practiced consistently and over the years, it’s become less daunting of a task.
This pie dough is buttery and is a good ol’ faithful recipe to use for either sweet or savoury preparations. I know some people swear by making pie dough in a food processor since it’s less work, but I personally love making pie dough by hand because it helps to understand the texture and the reaction of what is happening to your dough and overall, gives you better control over the final product.
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 tsp table salt
1 1/4 cup of chilled unsalted butter, cubed
About 1/2 cup of ice water
Start by cubing your unsalted butter on a piece of parchment paper with a pairing knife. I find this to be easier, plus it leaves you with one less surface to clean after. Stick the butter back into the fridge until ready to use – the colder and more firm the butter is, the better your dough will turn out!
Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. At this time, I like to pop a few ice cubes into my ice water and let it come to the right temperature. I also like to set up a bit of a workstation beside me and have a small bowl with flour to help when kneading the dough together. Since it is important to keep your butter as chilled as possible during these next few steps, a little planning beforehand helps make this go smoothly.
To your box, scatter the butter into your flour in two batches. Using your hands, squish the butter and do your best to create different size chunks of butter while incorporating it into the flour. Do this with the mixture until it starts to break down and form coarse crumbs that are pale yellow in colour.
Next, sprinkle about 6 tablespoons over your flower mixture until it is evenly moistened and start to press the dough together in your hands gently until the beginnings of a dough start to form. Add the remaining ice water into your dough a tablespoon at a time until there are less smaller crumbs in the bowl. The ice water helps keep the butter from melting instantly, and also will be the essential ingredients that helps create flaky, crispy layers in your dough.
Next, disperse about a tablespoon of flour onto your worksurface if you find that your dough is still slightly wet or sticky to the touch. Dump your mixture into the middle and begin to knead the dough until it comes together and has a malleable, soft consistency. Split it in two and form two small disks as best as you can.
Saran wrap the dough tightly and place in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling out. It will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days at most, but I recommend freezing it if the recipe you are making only requires one crust (e.g. a quiche, open faced pie) as this recipe will make two crusts.
If you’re looking for the next recipe to try this pie dough recipe out, take a look at my take on the classic pumpkin pie with this recipe:
Mini Pumpkin Spice Tarts
Peace and good eats, friends!