Pie connoisseurs will tell you that the crust is the single most important element of a pie. It's what elevates a pie from so-so to out-of-this-world. Flaky is good; soggy is not. Dough recipes vary; Some use vinegar, which increases flakiness, while some don't. Some use lard, while others use shortening or butter or some combination of the three.


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup ice-cold water


In a food processor or a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar, and salt. Process or cut with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest for 30 seconds, and then process or cut again very briefly, just until the dough begins to stick together. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into an 1/8-inch-thick 11-or-12-inch circle, then fit into a 9-or-10-inch pie plate. Trim the dough, leaving a 1-inch overhang, and fold under itself. Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

For double-crust pie dough, double the ingredients and divide the dough into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Leave the pie crust unbaked if your recipe calls for it, or pre-bake it: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights or beans. For a partially baked shell, continue baking until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. For a fully baked shell, continue baking until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

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Submitted 6/7/07.
Source: Killer Pies
Submitted By: b smith

Pie Shell