Flaky Pie Crust

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This posting shows the current way I have been making pie crusts, most recently for blueberry and pecan pies.  It is an adaptation of the Easy Pie Dough recipe from Serious Eats, and includes some useful tricks to get a flaky crust.  This is the first pie dough I made where I felt that the crust itself was worth eating, and was not just a vehicle for the filling.  The quantities below are for a double-crusted pie (like blueberry), and should be halved for a single crust pie (like pecan).  I have included below the standard amount of water for the crust, although I always seem to find myself adding a bit more.  The dough needs enough water not to be crumbly, but it should not be wet, which would make it difficult to roll out.

12.5 oz. (2-1/2) cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

2-1/2 sticks (10 oz.) unsalted butter, cold and cut into ¼ inch pats

6 Tbs. (3 oz.) cold water

The secrets of this approach are using a quick mix in a food processor and mixing with a spatula to leave little discrete bits of butter (for a flaky crust) and to minimize handling (which prevents gluten development and keeps the crust tender).

Combine 2/3rds of flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse twice to incorporate. Spread butter chunks evenly over surface. Pulse until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 short pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.

Sprinkle with water then using a rubber spatula, fold and press dough until it comes together into a ball. (The last time I made it I needed 8 Tbs. of ice water and it was still a little on the crumbly side.)  Form into two 4-inch disks, one slightly larger for the bottom crust. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.

Roll out the pie dough on a floured pasty cloth and place in a pie pan.  The photo here is to emphasize that there are little blobs of butter visible in the dough.  These little blobs will separate out the dough into flaky layers as the pie bakes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *