I finally had the amount of time needed to write this blog. YAAAAY!! Well this one, and one coming up after. You see- the blogs I write with recipes are A LOT harder to write! Everything is more precise. I can't just go with the flow and write whatever comes to mind within the perimeters of whatever the blog topic is. With recipes I have to make sure that I'm writing clearly and perfectly understandable- I want you to be able to envision yourself baking along with me. So I guess in a way, it takes a lot more brain power which I'm not always able to give.
But! I got it done, and couldn't be more excited to share with you these next few blogs :) First up- my recipe for your most basic pie crust. This crust is SO easy and creates (when done right) the most delicious and flaky crust! Because it only has a few ingredients, I would strongly suggest using the best quality you can get your hands on :)
BASIC PIE DOUGH
Makes one 9" pie crust
*Will have enough to make a lattice on top if you wish.
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) COLD unsalted butter (I use sweet cream butter) cubed
- 1/4 cup (ish) ice water
1. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add your spooned and leveled flour, salt, and sugar.
2. With your mixer on medium to medium-low, add your COLD cubed butter, one square at a time. When all the butter has been added you'll want to see a sand-like texture with a few lumps of butter the size of peas. (See above picture)
3. Turn your mixer down to low and SLOWLY add your ice water (omitting ice!!) little by little until the dough JUST comes together and starts to pull away from the bowl (DO NOT OVERMIX WHAT SO EVER). I said "ish" in the ingredient list because depending on where you live and the weather the day you do this, your water amount will change. Just add a little at a time until you achieve desired look. As soon as it does this, STOP mixing! You can easily over mix- which will result in a less flaky crust.
4. Pull dough out of bowl onto a floured surface and gently pat together into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in your refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
5. When the dough has chilled, pull out of fridge and roll out on a floured surface until you have a circle about 1/4" thick. Take your 9" pie dish and place upside down- you want the dough to exceed the pan about 2 inches at least, on all sides.
6. This is the easiest way I have found to transfer dough to pan. If you have a better way, please share! What I do is take my dowel (or rolling pin) and gently roll the dough up on it (floured of course). Then I lift the whole thing up, place over one edge of my pie pan, and roll back out over my dish. No rips, no tears :)
7. Gently press dough into pan, making sure to get into the bottom well. Then with a sharp knife, cut the excess dough off as you go around your dish. SAVE THESE SCRAPS! You can either make a lattice with them, make cut-outs to top your pie, or do this.
Now here's where your artistic qualities can come out- how to make the edge of your pie look fancy! I usually do the typical "index finger and thumb from one hand squeezing into my thumb of the other hand" technique/look which will give you above picture and A. But for an easier technique you can try B and C :)
|A. You can achieve this by squeezing with your index finger and thumb from one hand into the thumb of your other hand.|
|B. You can get this look by gently pressing your index finger or thumb into the dough.|
|C. You can achieve this by taking the back side of the prongs of a fork and very gently pressing into the edge of the dough.|
8. Now it's up to you what to do! Will you par-bake? Will you fully bake it and fill with a cream? Or will you pour into the raw crust a silky smooth custard mix and then bake?
Whichever you do, it will definitely be delicious! Yes this dough can be doubled! And yes you can make, and freeze! If you freeze as a ball of dough, please defrost overnight in fridge. If you freeze as a raw crust in pan, no defrosting necessary! Just wrap in plastic first.