The Best, Flakiest Pie Crust
Makes two 8- to 10-inch crusts
1 cup unsalted butter (about 2 sticks), plus more for pie plate
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
First and foremost, EVERYTHING must be COLD! The bowls, the butter, the flour, the utensils!I gather up everything beforehand and set them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before beginning… You can use a food processor: Place the flour, salt and sugar into the processor and pulse a few times to combine, then pulse in the butter, a few pieces at a time, for 8 to 10 seconds. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water through the feed tube with the machine running, but just tiny amounts of water at a time. Pulse sparringly until the mixture forms a ball. Skip the following handmade instructions and go straignt to the *** below.
I really prefer to make mine by hand so that I still have small lumps of butter in the crust.It just seems to work better for me. The handmade method is:
Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces, and refrigerate until needed.
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and mix to combine. Add the chilled butter. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture; the mixture should resemble coarse meal with small pieces of butter, the size of small peas, remaining visible.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over the flour-butter mixture, and blend. Repeat with an additional 2 tablespoons water. At this point, you may have to add more water: When a handful of dough squeezed together just holds its shape, you’ve added enough; if the dough crumbles, continue incorporating water, 1 tablespoon at a time, checking the consistency after each additional tablespoon.
***Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide into two equal pieces, and place on two separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Place the chilled dough in the center of the work surface, and dust the dough as well as the rolling pin with flour. Position the rolling pin on the center of the disk, and begin rolling the dough away from you. Give the disk a quarter turn, and roll again. Continue turning and rolling until you have an even 1/8-inch thickness. Turning the dough as you roll will prevent it from sticking to the work surface. A dry pastry brush is handy to remove any excess flour during and after the rolling process.
Lightly butter the pie plate. To minimize stretching when moving the dough, roll it around the pin, lift up, and unroll over the buttered pie plate. Using your fingers, gently pat the dough into place. Trim any excess dough with a paring knife or kitchen shears, leaving a 1-inch overhang; then fold dough under to reinforce the edge.