Easy pie crust

With Thanksgiving in a couple of days, there’s a lot of pressure to entertain and display your cooking skills to a crowd. I can’t imagine doing all the cooking and mingling on the same day. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while every body else is having fun in the living room. In such times, having pre-made pie dough in the fridge helps a lot!

I make a batch of this fail-proof pie dough recipe in advance, needing only a handful of ingredients and ready in minutes. So when its actually time to make a pie, I always have a dough ball handy and the only thing to make is the filling (which could also be made in advance) and bake a pie.

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Use dough cutter or food processor to make the dough

I experimented with almost 4-5 recipes from popular sources and this one stuck with me because of its easy method, few easily available ingredients and consistently excellent output. The crust comes out perfect every single time. Buttery, flaky and crisp! I was thinking of adding half butter and half vegetable shortening because it did produce phenomenal results, but I thought why complicate a simple recipe!

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Using ice cold water is important to keep the butter solid
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My dough here has cracks, which means the dough is too dry. I fixed it by pulsing the dough in food processor and added more ice cold water.

So here’s the final recipe and I hope it produces as perfect a crust for you as it does every time for me. Let me know if you have comments and thoughts on the recipe. I would love to see pictures of your experiments on Facebook/Instagram so do tag me.

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Dough must be rolled out fast!

Easy pie crust

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Prep time: 35 mins        |    Cooking time: 30 mins        |    Serves : 4
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Category: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serving suggestion: Bake with your choice of filling and serve warm
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour (plus more for sprinkling on  surface)
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick Butter, frozen and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 5-6 tbsp ice cold water (add more or less to adjust)
  • 1 tbsp milk OR 1 egg beaten with a tsp of water

Method:

  1. To make the pie crust, add the flour, sugar (and salt) in a food processor. Pulse once to combine. Now add the butter chunks and pulse 4-6 times till you see the mixture become crumbly or coarse.
  2. From the opening in the lid, stream the water inside one tablespoon at a time and pulse every time while doing so. Stop when you see the flour crumbles are moist and stick together when pinched between two fingers. Dough should not be too dry/crumbly or too wet/sticky. Soft and supple yet tight enough to roll out.
  3. Flour your work surface and tumble the dough onto in. Using both hands, gather the dough together tightly into a ball. Working fast to avoid the butter from melting, form the ball into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30 mins or more until ready to roll out.
  4. To assemble the pie, divide the cold dough into half. Use one half now and refrigerate other for later use. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough with one-way strokes (no back & forth) into a large circle about 1/4 of an inch thick. Fold the dough over the rolling pin to lift it and plop it onto a pie dish or a baking sheet lined with foil or silicone mat, gradually unrolling it to spread. This should be done fast.
  5. Spread the filling over the crust. Add a top cover or lattice or whatever design and decorations you desire.
  6. Brush the top crust with egg wash or milk. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 mins. I suggest checking after 20 mins to avoid a dark crust because oven temperatures vary at times. Let it stand for an hour before sneaking a taste.

Note: Use as much dough as needed to cover the diameter plus 2-3 inches of your pie dish. I made one 9-inch apple galette and two 3-inch cranberry tarts with 1 batch of the dough.
If the crust darkens quickly, cover it with aluminium foil. 

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