I’m not the most frequent or consistent baker, but there are times, and those times hit recently, that all I want to do is make and eat pie. All kinda pies. But every time I go to make a pie, I need to look at like five different dough recipes, get my ratios correct, make sure I have all the ingredients needed (I usually don’t) and then I can actually start getting to the pie making part. So I figured I might as well add a basic all-butter pie crust recipe to the site for my own reference and it might even be a help for you too.
Since I don’t make pies all that frequently, I never have lard or shortening around. I also just like an all butter pie crust. It’s simple, to the point, mo’ butter, mo’ better. Plus, I ALWAYS have butter. This recipe is nice since it’s scaled to make either two uncovered pies or one covered pie. The dough freezes really well, so any extra gets stashed away for another pie making day.
The starting point for this dough came from an older pastry book I found while used book shopping, The Complete Book of Pastry, Sweet & Savory by Bernard Clayton, Jr.. I love to browse around for old cookbooks, especially ones that have some majorly retro-styled food photography or illustrations and this book has both. Plus, it’s filled with some great recipes. The basic recipe calls for shortening, so I substituted that with butter and slightly reduced the water. And, full disclosure, I used salted butter in mine. I always have salted butter around, so that’s what I used. But that may be too salty for you, so use some unsalted butter and add in a good pinch of salt, maybe a teaspoon or so.
And, as you can see from the photos, this is really just a pie dough recipe. You can fill it with whatever you like, but depending on what that is, you may need to par or fully bake it before it’s filled. I’m planning on getting a recipe for the blueberry filled version I made with this crust up on the site very soon. If you need a fully baked crust before you fill your pie, I would start checking it around 25-30 mins and see how it’s browning. For a par baked crust aim for about 10-15 mins. And for a fruit filled version usually 50-60 mins will do the trick, you’ll want to make sure the filling is rapidly bubbling. Now onto the recipe…
Since I don’t make pies all that frequently, I never have lard or shortening around. I also just like an all butter pie crust. It’s simple, to the point, mo’ butter, mo’ better. Plus, I ALWAYS have butter.
All Butter Pie Crust
mo' butter, mo' better
*Original recipe based on Pie Crust from The Complete Book of Pastry, Sweet & Savory by Bernard Clayton, Jr.
- 2C Flour
- 1/2C Ice water
- 3/4C (1.5 sticks) Butter – very cold, cut into 1/2” cubes
- ~ 1 tsp Salt (only needed if you’re using unsalted butter)
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add in cold cubed butter and toss to coat in the flour. Press and rub butter cubes between your fingers till you get a shaggy, pebbly texture. You’re aiming to have the largest bits of butter no bigger than the size of a chic pea.
Add in your ice water and with a gentle kneading motion mix to get your dough combined. You want the dough to just hold together, but you don’t want it to be sticky or tacky. It’ll still be a bit dry and crumbly, but once you let it rest the flour will hydrate and you’ll have a nice workable dough.
Divide dough in half, shape into two rough disks about 1” thick and wrap tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag or parchment. Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. If you’re planning on freezing a portion of the dough for later, go ahead and stash it away in the freezer now.
When you’re ready to shape your crust, pull your dough from the fridge and let it sit at room temp for about 5 mins. Start rolling out the dough on a lightly floured surface. In addition I typically use parchment as a base to roll out the dough, really insures nothing sticks. You’re aiming for about 1/8” thick, or till you have it large enough to fit in your pie pan with about an inch overhang so you can get that nice crimped edge.
I like to use my pie dish as a template to trim off any extra dough. Roll that dough onto the rolling pin and transfer it into the pie dish. Fold the edges under and get it all crimped, waved or decorated however you like. You can go as simple as using a fork to crimp it or do an oversized wave like I did here. Before you bake, or fill it, I would recommend chilling your crust in the fridge for 10 – 15 mins before it goes in the oven.
Depending on how you plan to use the crust you can either par bake or fully bake it now. You will want to line the crust with parchment and add in some pie weights to keep it from puffing up (or my choice, some dried beans, cause I never have pie weights). Bake it at 350°F (180°C) for about 25-30 mins. You can take out the weights after about 10-15 minutes to make sure you get the pie fully cooked and golden brown.
If you’re planning on making a fruit pie, like I did with this crust, you don’t need to par bake it. I added in my blueberries (recipe for that coming very soon!) and baked it at 350°F (180°C) for 50-60 mins. Or until I saw that the fruit filling was boiling. The crust was nicely baked, golden and crisp on the bottom. No soggy, sad crusts here.