Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Are you joining family and friends for America’s best meal or are you hosting this year? Once November rolls in, I start practicing my pie making skills. I’ve already made six pies this month, all for practice  of course (and eating for myself). No matter what pie you’re making, the crust is the most essential part. Here are my tips and tricks for making the perfect pie crust. Oh, and my secret ingredient, butter and lots of it!

PieCrust_Supplies-01Here’s what you’ll need. Note all ingredients are scaled to insure that the pie crust is the same every time. This recipe fills two 9 in. pie pans or if making fruit filled pie, one half of dough is used for bottom of pan and the other half for the top.

Pastry Flour: 1 lb 4 oz

Cold Butter: 14 oz

……………

Cold Water: 6 oz

Salt: 2 tsp

Sugar: 1 oz

1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter.

2. Cut butter with pastry cutter. Cut the butter into hazelnut size pieces. Do not mix the butter into the flour. This is what makes the crust nice and flaky.

3. Dissolve salt and sugar in cold water.

4. Add water to flour mixture. Mix gently and simply let the water be adsorbed. Do not overwork the dough because you want the butter to stay in pieces not blended in. This is the hard part. It make look and feel like there isn’t enough water. Do not add more water! I promise there is enough and after mixing for 10-15 minutes it will become a ball of dough.

5. Roll out to 1/8 in. and place in pans. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I usually cut refrigeration time by half and the crust turns out just fine.

6. Now fill!

*For pies that need the dough to be baked before it’s filled, like coconut cream pie that need to be chilled or pumpkin pie, here’s the how to. After the dough is chilled, dock the dough by using a fork to put holes evenly throughout the dough. This allows air to escape and to prevent the dough from bubbling up or exploding while it bakes. Then place parchment paper in pan on top of the dough and fill with rice or dried beans. This helps the dough stay flat while it bakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Fill and then follow instructions for baking or chilling pie filling. For fruit filled pies, you fill the pan after the dough has chilled and then bake.

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Posted and Photographed by: Victoria

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