Buttery, flaky, tender and foolproof, our recipe for Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry is an essential recipe for baking. In fact, with our recipe and tips, our all-butter pie crust recipe will have you successfully making your own homemade pie crusts that will win rave reviews! Everyone will love the flavor and texture of this scrumptious classic pie crust making your homemade pies true standouts.
Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry:
An Essential Recipe for Baking
My sweet baking friends, once again I am beyond thrilled to share an essential baking recipe with you—Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry as part of my new How To Bake Series. You are going to love this foolproof recipe for an all-butter pie crust! Trust me. It’s flawless.
In life, there are natural laws of science that exist that are perfect and should never be messed with. Ever. This recipe is no exception to these natural laws. In this case, it is all about the perfect ratio of ingredients. Stick to the ratio provided in this recipe, along with the proper pastry-making techniques, and you simply will not fail.
Honestly, there is a reason the recipe I adapted and used to develop this recipe, as well as the more recently published recipes I have researched, are classics. It all has to do with the perfect ratio of butter to flour as well as the amount of sugar, salt and ice water. In each of the recipes I have successfully used in the past, garnering rave reviews, the ingredient ratios were nearly identical.
It is hard to imagine, but I have been using this fabulous recipe for Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry, or a variation of it, for nearly 20 years. I give my hat tip to Rose Levy Beranbaum and her cookbook, The Pie and Pastry Bible. In fact, hers was the first book that I had ever purchased from Amazon.com using the Pre-order option back in 1998 when it was first published. This was a cookbook I just had to have in my cookbook library after falling in love with her earlier works, The Cake Bible and Rose’s Christmas Cookies. I’ve written before about these special baking cookbooks and how they’ve influenced me as a baker. Every serious baker needs these books in their lives and home libraries along with The Bread Bible, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes and The Baking Bible—each written lovingly by Rose. This post is not a commercial for these cookbooks, nor are these affiliate links. I am just making my point from serious baker to serious baker.
The secrets to this incredible recipe for Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry are a) using all butter for the best flavor, b) the proper ratio of ingredients for the best texture, c) the use of homemade pastry flour, such as my recipe for Best Homemade Pastry Flour, to reduce the amount of protein (gluten) for an especially tender, light and flaky pie crust and d) the optional use of apple cider vinegar (an acid) to slow down gluten formation in the dough to create a more tender, light and flaky pie crust—especially if using unbleached all-purpose flour versus homemade pastry flour. Of course, using a bit of granulated cane sugar for a little sweetness and all-natural fine-grain sea salt makes this all-butter pie crust pastry truly shine and taste ethereal.
To understand more about why Homemade Pastry Flour makes a difference in making pie crust pastry, read my article as it provides a good explanation and compares the varying amounts of protein in common baking flours.
Meanwhile, although plenty of tips are included in the recipe below, I will be posting a few more articles on pie pastry making as part of my How To Bake Series. Also in the series is my recipe for Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust Pastry. It is truly phenomenal as well and for so many reasons.
My friends, this special all-butter pie crust recipe, Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry, is ideal to both frame and complement any delicious pie filling with its tender light flaky layers—even savory applications. This is the recipe I reach for time and time again when I want to bake an especially tasty buttery pie crust with plenty of flaky action. It is tried and true, ever so reliable and easy to work with. It is like a true friend.
Whip up a batch today and bake the pie(s) you have had in mind for a rich, buttery and flaky crust. You won’t regret it.
Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest:
Buttery, flaky, tender and foolproof, our recipe for Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry is an essential recipe for baking. In fact, with our recipe and tips, our all-butter pie crust recipe will have you successfully making your own homemade pie crusts that will win rave reviews! Everyone will love the flavor and texture of this scrumptious classic pie crust.
- 2½ cups (300 g) unbleached all-purpose flour or Best Homemade Pastry Flour, recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen, plus extra unbleached all-purpose flour for rolling dough
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated cane sugar
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon (2.4 to 3.6 g) fine-grain sea salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 g) unsalted butter, chilled & cut into cubes
- 6 to 8 tablespoons (90 to 120 ml) purified ice water, as needed, from ¾ cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar, optional
- Chilled purified water, to make ice water
- Ice cubes, to make ice water
- Fluted pastry wheel, helpful if making a lattice top
Prepare Flour Mixture: In a medium to large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt until well blended. Cover and set aside.
Prepare and Chill Butter: After cutting chilled butter into cubes, immediately place in the fridge on a small plate, uncovered, to keep chilled until ready to use.
Prepare and Chill Ice Water: Pour 6 to 8 tablespoons (90 to 120 ml) chilled water into liquid measuring cup and add ice, about 3 ice cubes, to make ice water. This should yield about ¾ cup (180 ml) ice water. Place in the fridge to keep chilled until ready to use. If desired, just before ready to use, add apple cider vinegar.
Prepare the Pie Crust Pastry: Using a pastry blender, cut chilled butter into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with large pea-sized pieces of butter.
Add 4 tablespoons (60 ml) ice water, then mix slightly with fork. The dough should start to hold together when small pieces are pressed between fingertips. Gradually add more water, by the teaspoonfuls (5 ml), as needed until dough is no longer dry.
Gather dough together with hands; divide into 2 pieces. Form each piece into ball, then flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
Roll and Shape Pastry to Line Pie Dish or Pan: When ready to roll out dough and line pie plate for a single pie crust, set out wrapped dough on countertop to soften slightly at room temperature, about 8 to 10 minutes. This will make the dough malleable for easy rolling.
Unwrap dough disk and roll out on lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin to 12 inches (30 cm) round. Sprinkle enough flour as needed under and on top of dough as needed to prevent sticking.
Carefully transfer dough to center of 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie plate. Patch any tears and smooth out with fingers. Trim dough overhang to ½ inch (1.25 cm) over the edge of pie plate—either by using kitchen shears or a sharp paring knife. Fold edges of dough under and gently press evenly around the perimeter of pie plate for a uniform thickness and edge. Then, crimp or flute a decorative edge.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes before docking (pricking the dough sparingly with a fork on the bottom and around the sides of pie plate) and pouring in pie filling.
Prepare Lattice Top or Lid: If preparing a lattice top or lid for a double-crusted pie, skip the step of crimping and fluting a decorative edge for a single pie crust by leaving the pastry overhanging and carefully place pastry-lined pie plate in the fridge to keep chilled until ready to add lattice top or lid over pie filling.
Use a sharp knife or pastry wheel with fluted edge to cut ten ¾-inch-wide (2 cm) long strips from dough round from remaining dough. Especially if working in a warm kitchen, gently place each strip onto a cookie sheet as each is cut and transfer to refrigerator to chill slightly, about 10 minutes, before assembling over filling and crimping edges to seal with decorative fluting before baking.
Bake pie according to pie recipe directions.
Yield: Makes enough dough for two 8- or 9-inch (20 or 23 cm) single-crust pies or enough for one double-crust pie.
Make Ahead Tip: Pie crust pastry can be made up to two (2) days ahead. Keep chilled and well-wrapped. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out, about 8 to 10 minutes.
For Saltier Pie Crust Pastry: Add 1 teaspoon (4.8 g) fine-grain sea salt versus only ½ to ¾ teaspoon (2.4 to 3.6 g).
How to Measure All-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. First, aerate flour by stirring it in the container. Then, simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 120 grams per 1 cup of flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.
Wicked Good Kitchen highly recommends selecting organic ingredients whenever possible.
For this recipe, and all our baking recipes calling for unbleached all-purpose flour, we highly recommend the pure and Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour by Hodgson Mill® because it is naturally white and contains no additives. We also highly recommend Arrowhead Mills™ Organic Tapioca Flour as well as organic grass-fed butter, granulated cane sugar and fine-grain sea salt.
Recipe Adapted From: The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum (1998), Simply Piecrust recipe, The Southern Pie Book by Southern Living, Gourmet, July 2007 and Bon Appetit, June 2008, recipe by Lori Longbotham.
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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