The Only Foolproof Pie Crust Recipe
Here it is, The One and Only Foolproof Pie Crust Recipe you need to have in your pie making arsenal…Boom, drop the mike!
I am letting you in on a couple of sweet tips and tricks on adjusting the flavor profile for sweet and savory pie crusts using one recipe.
The pie crust ingredients are simple and the quality matters!
- Cold Unsalted European Butter and Pastry Flour is the big secret to the puzzle.
- Salt and/or Sugar determine the kind of pie, sweet or savory.
- Cold liquid is important to combine the flour and butter rather it be just water, or a combination of or not, of eggs, milk, and/or buttermilk (add to the flavor and stability of crust).
The secret to the flakiest crust is the addition of cold Vodka!
- Vodka adds moisture to the piecrust without aiding in gluten formation, since gluten doesn’t form in alcohol.
Think of Flavored Vodka for those fruit, nut, and cream pies when making your next pie. For instance; Blueberry Vodka-Blueberry Pie, Chocolate Vodka – Chocolate Pecan Pie, or Coconut Vodka – Coconut Cream Pie.
Take a peek at Chef Gerrie’s Blog on“Easy as Pie, It’s all about the Pie Crust” for great information!
Remember to use ice cold butter and liquid. The less contact with hands to dough is better, to avoid gluten development and a tuff crust!
Below are the ingredients for a delicious double pie crust. You will see the same amount of butter and flour, salt and sugar, and approximately the same amount of liquid (Water & Vodka, Milk or Buttermilk) with only the addition of 1 egg.
Makes: One Double Pie Crust *
- 9-10″ Pie Pan- Metal, Ceramic, or Glass
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Bench cutter/scraper or pastry blender
- Saran or plastic wrap
- Sheet Pan, pre-heated *
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing Bowl
- Wire Whip
- Pie weighs or 1lb dried beans (blind bake for single crust pie)
- Parchment paper or foil (to hold pie weights for blind baking)
- Pastry Brush ( to apply egg wash)
- Fluted pastry wheel cutter and ruler (for lattice double pie crust)
- Pie Crust Shield, silicon or metal
Super Flakey Pie Crust A
Great for a Single Sweet or Savory Piecrust – 2 recipe crust. This is a light and flakey crust. If you’re a complete pie crust beginner, start with the “Pie Crust B” recipe below. It’s less delicate and easier to handle.
European Unsalted Butter, Pastry Flour, Salt, Sugar, Vodka and Water
- 3 C Pastry Flour (+ extra for dusting)
- 1 C Unsalted European Butter (Plugra, Kerrygold, or Horizon), cubed and (ice)cold *
- 1 T Sugar *
- 1 t Salt
- 1/3 C Water, (ice)cold *
- 1/3 C Vodka, (ice)cold *
- 1 Lg Egg, beaten (with a splash of water for egg wash)
Sturdier and Flavorful Pie Crust B
Great for Double Sweet or Savory Piecrust, this adds stability and flavor. Great if you’re a beginner.
European Unsalted Butter, Pastry Flour, Salt, Sugar, Egg, and Milk Crust
- 3 C Pastry Flour (+ extra for dusting)
- 1 C Unsalted European Butter
- 1 T Sugar
- 1t Salt *
- 1 Lg Eggs, beaten
- 3/4 C Milk or Buttermilk *
- Sparkling White Sugar *
Optional Additions to flour for flavor change
- 4 T Dark Coco for chocolate crust
- 3/4 C of Cornmeal while you remove that amount from pastry flour portion for cornmeal crust
- 2T of Lemon, Lime or Orange Zest for citrus cream pie crusts. Along with the juice adjusting the liquid.
Chef Gerrie’s Notes
This recipe makes a double pie crust. Be sure to cut dough into two portions, one a little larger than the other. Remember the larger one will need to cover bottom and sides. In you only need one crust, reserve the other portion. It can be used for decorative design cut-outs…leaves, apples, and braiding to adorn the edges of your pies. Or use for hand-pies.
Sheet Pan, pre-heated ensures a crisper bottom crust. Pop it in the oven while preheating oven to 425 º F.
Sugar and Salt can be able to used in combination for sweet pies and just salt and not sugar for savory pies.
Vodka and Water amounts may vary when adding first to flour-butter mixture. Start with 2/3 cup, you may want to increase to form the dough better.
Milk or Buttermilk is great for flavor. You can use milk alone, with the addition of 2 Tb of Buttermilk powder to flour.
Sparkling White Sugar is great to use sprinkled over the pie crust before baking…it adds a bit of crunch.
Optional Flavor additions to flour try 4T coco, 3/4 C cornmeal, 2 T of Lemon, Lime, or Orange zest with juice.
Watch Fox19 News Anchor Dan Wells mix up the pie ingredients on the morning show here. It’s hilarious!
How to make Pie Crusts A & B1. Mix sugar and/or salt into flour * On a hard surface counter, lay out flour in a horizontal roll/shape. If using a bench cutter/scraper to cut in butter. If using a pastry blender, mix flour in large mixing bowl. Drop ice cold butter pieces along top of flour. If desired, this is where you can mix in coco, cornmeal, citrus zest, or buttermilk powder into flour.
Pastry Flour mixture with Ice Cold Butter for The One and Only Foolproof Pie Crust
2. Cut cold butter into flour with bench cutter or pastry blender, cutting and folding over with bench cutter, until small lumps of butter shards the size of a pinto bean, larger than a green pea. You want the butter shards to be seen and yet floured. This will cause the crust to expand and be flaky.
All Pie Crust showing Floured Butter Shards.
3. Drizzle cold vodka and water * over dough and fold over dough with dough cutter/scraper until dough begins to come together. To check if dough has enough liquid, squeeze some together, if easily forms and doesn’t crumble away, great. If not add a little more cold liquid. Form into 2 round disks about 4-inch in diameter. (If making a two crust pie make sure that one of the disks is larger because it has to cover the bottom and sides of pan. And the top crust lays just on top). Wrap with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30-45 minutes. Save the other disk for decorative cut-outs or hand pies. This is where you would add cold milk or buttermilk, and beaten egg , if you’re using not the vodka & water.
Butter Pie Crust ready for the Addition of Egg and Milk
4. Roll out bottom crust or single crust dough on a well flour work surface – counter top, make sure extra flour is handy for dusting. Remove dough from plastic wrap and flat out a bit with either rolling pin or the palms of your hand. Roll from center out turn dough 90 º roll again and repeat. Make sure to dust with flour top and bottom so dough doesn’t stick to counter. Roll out to approximately 11 inches, larger than pie pan with 1 to 2-inches overhang. (Turn pie pan upside down over rolled out dough to measure).
Rolled out All Butter Pie Crust , Note the Visible Butter Shards
5. Lightly spray pan with Cooking Spray (for easy release) and transfer to pie pan. If single crust, trim edges to even up. Roll/tuck dough edge under itself on rim of pie pan so you can flute edge either with fingers (bending knuckles of first and second fingers of one hand and bending knuckle on first finger with other hand, lightly pushing together the dough edge) creating a zig-zag pattern around edge or imprint with the fork. If adding decorative dough cut outs, brush with egg wash first before attaching cut-outs. Brush again with egg wash after they are in place.
Bottom Crust in Pie Pan, Note the Visible Butter Shards
* Refrigerate for at least an hour or flash freeze for 20 minutes. This will keep the crust from drooping!
6. Preheat oven to 425 º F with sheet pan! Place single pie crust with weights and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate it once during baking. Here is when you may want to use the pie crust shield to prevent darkening edge. Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or two on cooling rack.
Blind Baking Preparation with Pie Weights
7. Remove pie weights by lifting parchment or foil. If it appears buttery or wet, lower temperature to 350 º F and return to oven for 5 minutes or until bottom crust looks dry along with pie shield. Let cool before completely before adding filling.
Preparing a double pie crust
- Roll out bottom crust as above, transfer to a lightly greased pie pan. Trim up to even edges. Brush entire bottom crust and hangover with egg wash.
- Fill bottom crust with filling and top with top crust. Press and trim edges to even out match hang-over.
- Then tuck dough edges underneath itself forming a roll on edge of pan. Flute using fingers (bending knuckles of first and second fingers of one hand and bending knuckle on first finger with other hand pushing together the dough edge lightly) forming zig-zag pattern around edges, or use a fork to imprint. Brush with egg wash. Cut 4- 6 vents into dough to release steam. If wanting to attach decorative cut-out forms (leaves or such) just lay them on and brush again with egg wash.
- Refrigerate or Flash Freeze (1 hour in refrigerator or 20 minutes in freezer)…To avoid drooping crust.
- Preheat oven to 425 º F with sheet pan. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar if baking a sweet pie. Bake for 20 minutes turning once. You will want to use the pie crust shield if fluted edge is turning a light golden color.
- Lower oven to 350 º F and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes.
- Remove and cool completely on cooling rack.