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Flaky Pie Crust

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Flaky Pie Crust

Active Time:   |   Total Time:   |   Serves makes a 9-inch pie crust

  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Cut the butter into small pieces and freeze for 5 minutes.

Measure and add the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse once to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse several times in short, quick pulses until the butter pieces are pea-size (they don’t have to be the same size).

Add 3 tablespoons of the ice water. Pulse a few times just to incorporate the water (you don’t want to over mix). The dough should hold together when pinched but still look crumbly. If it’s a bit dry and doesn’t hold together, add another tablespoon of water and pulse once.

Pour the crumbly mixture into a ziptop plastic bag. Use the bag to, first, gather it into a ball then to shape it into a 1-inch thick round disk. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. You can also make this a day ahead and refrigerate (or even weeks ahead and keep in the freezer).

Now it’s time to roll out the chilled dough. Tear off a large piece of parchment paper and place it on a flat work surface. Sprinkle it with a little flour and place the dough in the middle- sprinkle it with flour, too. Now lay a large piece of plastic wrap over the dough.

Before you start rolling, first press the rolling pin across the entire surface of the dough, making shallow indentations as you go- this will make it a little easier and quicker to roll out (see photo #10). Now, pressing evenly, roll out into a large ¼-inch thick circle, occasionally rotating it to help keep its round shape as you roll (you may have to sprinkle with a little more flour, both on top and underneath, if the dough starts to stick). You can pinch the edges together if they start to crack.

Hold the pie plate over the dough and eyeball it to make sure the circle of dough is large enough to cover the bottom and go up the sides and just over the edge (about 1 inch) of the pie plate. If it’s a little small, then roll out a bit more.

Fold the dough in half then lift and place on one half of the pie plate. Flip the dough over to cover the plate. Gently lift and press the dough into the corners. Now fold the overhanging dough underneath itself so it fits neatly in the pie plate.

We give you 2 ways to crimp the edges here: The first (and easiest) way is to use the tines of a fork to press down on the rim of the dough to make a pattern at the edge. The second (and most traditional) way is to use the thumb and forefinger of one hand and the thumb or knuckle of the other hand to crimp around the edges.
Now you have a perfect pie crust. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

**If you need to pre-bake the crust (blind bake), first line the crust with one large piece of parchment, leaving a 3-inch overhang. Then fill with pie weights or regular ol’ rice. Bake on the middle rack at 350°F until the sides are dry and set, 10 to 15 minutes. Lift out the parchment and weights, then bake the crust until it is completely dry and set (both the bottom and the sides) and starting to turn golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more. Cool completely.

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