Yields one double crust pie or two single crust pies, plenty for 10-12 in pie pan.
1 lb. or 3 cups Unbleached Flour
2/3 lb. European Style Butter ( Cremerie Classique from Raven Creamery is widely available in the area)
2 T White Sugar
2 t salt (reduce to 1 t if using salted butter)
¼- ½ c Icy Water
Chill high-sided metal or ceramic mixing bowl with flour sugar and salt in it, in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
With a knife cut cold butter into ¼ to ½ inch chunks. Mix butter into chilled dry ingredients with a pastry blender or with your fingers by rubbing chunks of butter together with flour. When the flour changes from a silky texture to a mealy texture stop mixing. This should only take a couple minutes. It is good for there to be a few big chunks of butter left. Make well in the mixture and drizzle 4-5 Tbs. of icy water into the mixture and combine with a fork. Check dough hydration by pinching a handful; if it sticks together it is ready, if it is too dry to hold together add remaining water. The exact amount of water you will need depends on flour moisture content, weather conditions, and butter quality, so it is very important to check your dough and stop adding water as soon as you are able to form it into a disk. Form two disks out of dough, wrap in plastic and chill for at least two hours before rolling forming pie.
With a Mixer
At home I like to use my 5-quart Kitchen Aid Mixer with the paddle attachment for piecrust. Chill bowl with dry ingredients then cut in cubed butter on speed 3 or 4 for about 2 minutes. Once again the goal is for the flour to shift from a silky texture to a mealy texture with some big chunks of butter. Turn mixer to speed 1 and drizzle 4-5 Tbs. of ice water while the paddle is turning. Check hydration, if dough will hold together when you grab a handful you are done adding water, if it is still dry and crumbly add a bit more water. Form dough into two disks, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 2 hours before rolling and forming into pie.
1. This is an adaptable crust appropriate for virtually any pie filling.
2. Chilling the formed crust or whole pie before baking will help to insure delicate texture.
3. Crust can be frozen at the disk stage and defrosted in fridge for use any time.
4. Use a little flour as possible when rolling crust, it dries out crust and affects the color when baking.
5. Roll crust about 1/8inch thick, be careful of getting too thin, crust tastes good!
6. Docking (poking many little holes) the bottom crust with a fork before baking will minimize shrinkage during baking process.
7. For a glossy finish use egg wash on crust, but left alone this crust makes a wonderful golden brown crust.