Bake this pie shell and eat it plain, with your hands, in front of the TV… or fill it with pie and share it with the people who deserve it.

you can use this dough for pie, or just bake and eat it—really.

Pie crust is one of my all-time favorite foods, and though I’m a marginal baker at best, I love making pie dough. It’s hard to make, until it’s easy… which just means that practice makes sort of perfect.

Some notes… This recipe makes enough pastry for two 9″ shells. Don’t skip the salt—it adds flavor to savory pies and a nice contrast to sweet pies. You can easily leave out the sugar though, even in sweet pies. Add any dried herb you like to complement the filling you use, or don’t. For pot pies, I like black pepper and dried sage. Add rosemary leaves, dried lavender flowers, or rose petals to fruit pies. Sky’s the limit. I use salted butter and flour is spooned into the measuring cup and shaken flat to measure.

And one more important note… Sticky dough is difficult to work, requires you to add a lot of flour in the rolling process, and results in a tough, disappointing pie… so add the water with a careful hand and pulse completely after each spoon is added. If you accidentally add too much water and end up with a sticky dough, add a tablespoon of flour and pulse quickly before refrigerating. “A little bit” of flour means about a tablespoon.

Let me know in the comments how yours came out.

Yields1 Serving

ingredients
 1 stick butter, ice cold and cut into cubes
 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
 ½ tsp fine sea salt
 ½ tsp black pepper (optional)
 1 tsp sugar (optional)
 1 tbsp dried sage or other dried herbs (optional)
 3 to 5 tbsp ice-cold water, divided

1

In a food processor, pulse everything except the water until the combination looks somewhat grainy, like coarse cornmeal, but not so much that the dough starts to stick together (if it does, add in a spoon of flour at a time, and pulse until you have a mostly dry, grainy mixture—a few small clumps are just fine).

2

With the motor running, drip in one spoon at a time of the icy water. Give the dough 30-40 seconds to come together after each spoonful while the motor runs—you want just enough water to bring the dry ingredients together, and not one drop more. The dough should be mostly dry and a bit grainy, but will stick together in a rough ball. This is the part that takes practice!

3

Shape the dough blob into two rough discs and wrap loosely in parchment or film wrap. Refrigerate about 30 minutes to re-harden the butter.

4

When you’re ready to roll, take out one disc at a time, dust your rolling pin and a silicone mat or parchment with a little bit of flour, flip the disc over once in the flour to get a little on both sides, and roll from the center out, trying to maintain a circular shape, until it will cover your dish.

5

Lift the dough on its mat or paper and flip into the dish. Fit the dough evenly into the corners of the dish, leaving the edges of the pie crust to hang over the dish.

6

Trim the crust about a half-inch larger than the pie plate, fill the pie, add the top crust, and then fold the edges of the crusts under (together) and press the edges with the tines of a fork or your fingertips to seal together. If your pie plate is glass or ceramic, you might want to beat an egg and brush just a thin film of egg wash around the edge of the plate and lightly press the pastry into it as you finish the edges. This will keep the pastry from shrinking into a weird shape as it bakes.

7

You can brush your pie with beaten egg for a shiny brown glaze, or with butter for a softer brown finish. I leave mine unglazed, which means it ends up only very lightly browned, because I like the texture of a shaggy, unglazed pie crust. Choose your own ending! Bake according to your recipe, or at 350°F for 25 minutes, for an unfilled crust, until golden.

Ingredients

ingredients
 1 stick butter, ice cold and cut into cubes
 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
 ½ tsp fine sea salt
 ½ tsp black pepper (optional)
 1 tsp sugar (optional)
 1 tbsp dried sage or other dried herbs (optional)
 3 to 5 tbsp ice-cold water, divided

Directions

1

In a food processor, pulse everything except the water until the combination looks somewhat grainy, like coarse cornmeal, but not so much that the dough starts to stick together (if it does, add in a spoon of flour at a time, and pulse until you have a mostly dry, grainy mixture—a few small clumps are just fine).

2

With the motor running, drip in one spoon at a time of the icy water. Give the dough 30-40 seconds to come together after each spoonful while the motor runs—you want just enough water to bring the dry ingredients together, and not one drop more. The dough should be mostly dry and a bit grainy, but will stick together in a rough ball. This is the part that takes practice!

3

Shape the dough blob into two rough discs and wrap loosely in parchment or film wrap. Refrigerate about 30 minutes to re-harden the butter.

4

When you’re ready to roll, take out one disc at a time, dust your rolling pin and a silicone mat or parchment with a little bit of flour, flip the disc over once in the flour to get a little on both sides, and roll from the center out, trying to maintain a circular shape, until it will cover your dish.

5

Lift the dough on its mat or paper and flip into the dish. Fit the dough evenly into the corners of the dish, leaving the edges of the pie crust to hang over the dish.

6

Trim the crust about a half-inch larger than the pie plate, fill the pie, add the top crust, and then fold the edges of the crusts under (together) and press the edges with the tines of a fork or your fingertips to seal together. If your pie plate is glass or ceramic, you might want to beat an egg and brush just a thin film of egg wash around the edge of the plate and lightly press the pastry into it as you finish the edges. This will keep the pastry from shrinking into a weird shape as it bakes.

7

You can brush your pie with beaten egg for a shiny brown glaze, or with butter for a softer brown finish. I leave mine unglazed, which means it ends up only very lightly browned, because I like the texture of a shaggy, unglazed pie crust. Choose your own ending! Bake according to your recipe, or at 350°F for 25 minutes, for an unfilled crust, until golden.

pie crust

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