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Butter Piecrust

Yield: one 9-inch pie crust

This classic all-butter crust makes a flaky but sturdy base for cream pies.


  • 8 Tbs. (4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. very cold water
  • 1-1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 6 oz. (1-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt


Make the dough

  • Cut the butter in quarters lengthwise and then cut each strip into 8 pieces. Pile the butter pieces onto a plate and slide into the freezer until ready to use. Combine the water and vinegar, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and stir on low speed until well blended. Add the butter, and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the largest butter pieces are no bigger than pea size, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Drizzle the water-vinegar mixture over the flour and mix on low speed until a shaggy, moist dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a work surface. Using unfloured hands, gather and press the dough into a 6-inch disk, smoothing any cracks that appear around the edges. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate, about 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Line the pan and bake the crust

  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and set it out at room temperature until it’s just pliable enough to roll, 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange a large piece of parchment on a work surface, put the unwrapped dough in the center, and cover with another piece of parchment. Roll the dough between the parchment sheets into a 13-inch round, lifting, turning, and repositioning the parchment and lightly flouring throughout the rolling process.
  • Peel away the top parchment, and carefully roll the dough around the pin, leaving the bottom parchment behind. Unroll the dough over a 9-inch pie plate (I prefer Pyrex). Gently but firmly press the dough against the bottom and sides, being careful not to stretch or tear the dough. Trim the excess dough hanging over the pan to 3/4 inch from the edge. Roll the overhang under itself to shape a high edge that rests on top of the rim. Crimp the edge, then cover the crust with plastic wrap and freeze while the oven heats.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375°F.
  • Line the pie plate with foil or parchment and pie weights, then bake until the edges are light brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, and continue baking until the crust is dry looking and golden brown, another 3 to 5 minutes. Move the pan to a rack and let cool completely while you make the filling.


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