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Butter Pie Crust

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Yields two 12-inch rounds, enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie.

An all-butter dough and a light touch give you the flakiest crust that's perfectly balanced with its filling.

Want more pie? Watch video demonstrations of how to crimp pie crusthow to make a decorative crust, and how to make three classic Thanksgiving pies: single-crust pumpkin and pecan pies, and a double-crust apple pie.

Browse our Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner for hundreds more recipes for turkey, sides, and pies.

  • 8 oz. (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
  • 9 oz. (2 cups) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Dump the flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, if mixing the dough by hand). Mix for a second or two to blend the dry ingredients. Add the butter and then, running the mixer on low (or by hand with two knives or a pastry cutter), work the mixture until it's crumbly and the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than a pea (about 1/4 inch).

The butter should remain cold and firm. To test it, pick up some butter and pinch it between the thumbs and forefingers of both hands to form a little cube. If the butter holds together as a cube and your fingers are not greasy, then the butter is still cold enough. If your fingers look greasy, put the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the butter before adding the water.

As the mixer turns on low (or tossing with a fork if mixing by hand), sprinkle the cold water evenly over the flour and butter. Work the dough until it just pulls together as a shaggy mass.

To roll out the dough for a double-crust pie

Cut the dough in half and pat each piece into a thick flattened ball (see photos). Lightly flour your work surface and tap one of the dough balls down with four or five taps of the rolling pan. Begin rolling from the center of your dough outward. Stop the pressure 1/4 inch from the edge of the dough. Lift the dough and turn by a quarter and repeat the rolling until the dough is at least 12 inches in diameter. Be sure to re-flour the work surface if your dough is sticking.

Butter Pie Crust Recipe
It may feel strange not to, but don't chill the dough yet. Shape it into two disks and start rolling; you can chill the dough once the pie is assembled. This method is unconventional, but author Carolyn Weil says that ultimately you get the most tender result because you don't have to struggle with a disk of chilled, hard dough.
Butter Pie Crust Recipe
Feel free to flour the surface, and slide that dough around. Having your dough stick is worse than using too much flour, most of which can be brushed off after rolling anyway. After every few strokes of the rolling pin, free the dough from the surface by sliding and turning it.

Using a pot lid or a circle of cardboard as a template, trim the dough to form a 12-inch round (this should give you a 1-1/2-inch margin all around your 9-inch pie pan). Fold the dough in half, slide the outspread fingers of both hands under the dough, and gently lift it and transfer it to the pie pan. Unfold and ease the dough round into the bottom of the pie pan without stretching it.

Roll out the other dough ball and cut a second 12-inch round to be used as the top crust.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings double crust; Calories (kcal): 340; Fat (g): fat g 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 14; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 30; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 75; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 60; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Martha Holmberg

My Mr is super picky about pie crusts and he pronounced this one was exceptional! I'll be using this one from here on out. Thanks so much!

this crust is amazingly flaky...just awesome...

WORST! Crust ever! This was WAY TO MUCH Butter! A bubbling mess! Thanks 4 NOTHING!

I really do not leave reviews, but I absolutely love this crust! It is quick and so tasty. It is perfect for desert pies, but also wonderful for pot pies. I substitute chicken broth for the water when we make chicken pot pie. It helps take just enough sweetness out (and be sure not to use too many peas, or it will be too sweet, as well). The reason I am reviewing this is because while my husband was in culinary school, this was his go-to crust. His class had a pot pie bake-off. They do a practice pie first, and my husband used this crust (with the stock). It was so perfect, the ENTIRE class asked for the recipe. On the day of the bake off, every pot pie was made with this crust. That has to say something about how wonderful it is.

This has become my go-to pie crust. Perfect!!

Perfection!! I have used this exclusively for years for fruit pies. The compliments and requests for the recipe are never ending. I soak it all in and then send them to Fine Cooking.

Perfection!! I have used this exclusively for years for fruit pies. The compliments and requests for the recipe are never ending. I soak it all in and then send them to Fine Cooking.

This is absolutely the best pie crust recipe I have made. Very easy...I did use my cuisinart and just pulsed lightly. Came out beautifully! Everyone agreed the crust was superb. Note: I did not have unsalted butter so used salted and omitted the salt called for in the recipe.

I never use a floured surface to roll my pie crusts. I think it adds too much extra flour to the crust and may be the reason some are finding their crusts to be tough and bland. Try rolling the crust out between wax paper, periodically gently pull wax paper away from dough and flip as you roll. Remove one side of paper and guide crust into pie plate with remaining wax paper side up. Remove paper once in plate. Do not over handle dough with your hands. This will toughen your crust, too.

I never use a floured surface to roll my pie crusts. I think it adds too much extra flour to the crust and may be the reason some are finding their crusts to be tough and bland. Try rolling the crust out between wax paper, periodically gently pull wax paper away from dough and flip as you roll. Remove one side of paper and guide crust into pie plate with remaining wax paper side up. Remove paper once in plate. Do not over handle dough with your hands. This will toughen your crust, too. For a double crust I use 2 sticks of butter cubed and then placed in freezer before pulsing in with dry ingriedients. Also, I use 2 1/2 Cups of unbleached all purpose flour.

For ease of execution, this recipe is tops. But I find the flavor to be quite bland and once cooked, the crust is a bit too doughy for my tastes. I agree with the other reviewer that you should taste the dough before you bake it.

best pie crust and very easy to make, i made my first cherry pie with it and it was delicious

This is the best pie crust recipie I have ever tried. However, I felt it wasn't salty enough and added more salt. I recomend you taste the dough and decide for yourself before putting it into a pie pan.

This is a recipe I have been using for over ten years, but as a crumb crust rather than a rolled out crust. Rather than mixing with an electric mixer, I mix with my hands (not a spoon). If the dough is mixed thoroughly and it still sticks to your hands, add a little more flour until it just barely crumbles. At this point, crumble half of the mixture into a pie pan and lightly tap into place, making sure there are no spaces. Add the filling of your choice and crumble the remaining dough on top. Bake on 450 F until a light golden brown on the edges.

perfection

This is my go-to pie crust recipe that I have been using since the issue first came out six years ago. I use it for all my pie baking, including single-crust pies (freeze the extra or just make a half-batch) and tarts. It has more sugar and butter than other recipes I've tried and that is its charm. Delicious. And you really can roll it out right after mixing.

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