- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) very cold butter, cubed or cut into small pieces
- 6 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
- Optional: Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water or milk)
- Makes two 9-inch piecrusts or 12 to 15 Jr. Pie piecrust rounds
- A few simple tips will help you make a wonderful butter crust. Make sure the ingredients are very cold. you can even chill the flour! Also, make sure not to overwork the dough, that's really the key.
- 1 In a large bowl or mixer, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter pieces and cut them into the flour mixture, working until you have big crumbs (see Tip). Add ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix in until the dough holds together.
- 2 Divide the dough into 2 mounds. Wrap each mound in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes to overnight. Let the dough stand for at least 15 minutes before rolling it out.
- 3 Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface or between 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper, then place the rolled-out dough in the pie pan and press into place.
- 4 For pies with tops, brush a little water on the edges of the bottom crust before adding the top crust and crimp the edges of the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers to seal them all around the pie. You can use your fingers, thumb, fork, or the back of a teaspoon to add a design along the ridges. Also, gently lift the edges from the pan a bit (it helps make it easier to cut and serve slices of the baked pie later on). Make little slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape (and add a decorative charm!). Another fun flourish is to add to the top crust little pieces of scrap dough cut out in shapes such as flowers or leaves. Brush the top crust with an egg wash, place on the decorative bits, and sprinkle with sanding sugar (or regular sugar) for a sparkly top.
- Tip: What's best to use to cut the butter into the flour?
- You can use two butter knives or a fork, or pulse gently with your mixer, or use your fingers. If you want to get a fun and fancy tool, get a pastry blender, also called a pastry cutter. It's a handheld tool, kind of like a potato masher for pastry dough! Whatever you use, I recommend chilling the utensil in the freezer first, so it's nice and cold! It is important that the butter stays as cold as possible, so if you use your fingers, be careful not to warm the butter too much with your hands.
- I'm thinking the one in better homes and gardens is better than this one.