Making pie crust is as easy as, well, pie!
Now I know not everyone agrees with that, but it REALLY can be. When I mentioned to my friend Carolyn recently that another friend, Monica, wanted me to show her how to make pie crust, Carolyn said she could use a lesson in pie crust making, too. Well, the three of us, along with several others, were going to be at a luncheon at my mom’s house, so I suggested we have a little pie making lesson before lunch. I recently posted about my grandmother’s pie curst recipe, but her recipe makes enough curst for nine two-crust pies! This easy recipe makes enough for one two-crust pie. So, if you’re up to a lesson in pie crust, follow along!
Rule #1 – Wait–there are no rules.
Tip #1 – Make it cold, bake it hot. Be sure your ingredients (all four of them) are cold.
2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
7 – 12 tablespoons ice cold water
Step 1. Put the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the steel blade inside. The big, cheesy grin is not required!
Step 2. Cut the very cold butter into little cubes. Nothing fancy.
Step 3. Before you add the water, put the butter into the bowl. Pulse several times until the butter is cut up into small pieces, about the size of a pea–no smaller.
Step 4. This is the only tricky part. Because the moisture content of flour varies, you can never know just how much water you’re going to need to add. Turn the food processor on and start dribbling a little stream of water through the tube on the top. Keep dribbling until the flour in the bowl becomes a dough and starts to pull away from the sides. You can stop and check your progress. You don’t want it to get too wet.
Step 5. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured board or Silpat. Knead a couple of times–just a couple of times. All you are doing here is making a nice ball. You don’t want to overwork the dough or it will become tough.
Step 6. Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a little disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is okay! (During this demo, I didn’t have 30 minutes to wait, and my kitchen staff hadn’t made me any swap outs, like the kitchen staff at Martha Stewart does. I must have words with them about this. Of course, first I’ll have to find them.) photo here Step 7. Roll one disk out for the bottom of your pie. Just take it easy and roll a little bit in each direction until you have a fairly round piece.
Step 8. My sister, who was pressed into doing the photography on the spur of the moment, didn’t get a photo of me wrapping the dough over the rolling pin, but that’s what I do to lift it into the pan. Just drape it over the pin, then lay it into the pan. Lightly press it into the bottom of the pan and trim the edges if necessary, leaving some crust hanging over. Note: This recipe makes enough pie crust for a deep dish pie, but this was the pan my mom grabbed.
I thought the demo was going to end here, but no one wanted to see good pie crust go to waste, so we raided my mom’s refrigerator and came up with two apples and plenty of cranberries (thanks to her son-in-law, the Cranman). We added some sugar, cinnamon and a little flour and had a filling for our pie. I rolled out the other disk and put it over the top.
I crimped the edges, made a couple of slits in the top, and we put it in the oven. Remember the Tip from the beginning of this post–Make it cold, Bake it hot. That’s the trick. Everything we used to make the pie crust was cold. Now, it needs to go into a hot over. 425 degrees hot. Bake it at this temperature for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 350 degrees and finish baking.
We were having such a great luncheon, I almost forgot to take it out! But, I think it turned out great. And I hope you’re ready to try making pie crust! Let me know how it turns out, and tell all your friends how easy it is–or not. You could let them think that you know magical things that they don’t!
I’m Karen Snyder and I approve this message!