Simply Perfect Homemade Pie Crust

How to Make Perfect Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

Simply Perfect Homemade Pie Crust

How to Make the Most Perfect Homemade Pie Crust from Scratch.  Tender, Flaky Layers and a Rich and Buttery Flavor.  No Partially Hydrogenated Oils or Artificial Ingredients.  A Step-by-Step Tutorial with Pictures.

Many of you, especially those who follow on Facebook, know that I have been pretty under the weather for the last few weeks.  First I had surgery, and then I guess my immune system must have been weakened from all that, so I got hammered with a flu-type bug that knocked me out of commission for another 2 1/2 or so weeks.  Ugh!  When it rains it pours, I suppose.

Well, all of this laying around and recuperating has meant one thing for me: tv.

I’m not normally much of a tv person.  I mean, the tv is always on around my house, don’t get me wrong.  But usually it’s tuned in to Paw Patrol, Max and Ruby, or Peppa Pig.

When it’s not kid-tv, it’s sports.  Mr. Allie is the biggest sports freak in all the land, and he’s happy as a lark to keep the tv on ESPN 24/7.

So, for most of the day, I busy myself with other things.  At the end of a full day, I like to flip over to Food Network or Cooking Channel, and zone out to a recipe show or two.

These last few weeks have afforded me a lot more time for that sort of thing, and I’ve really had the opportunity to analyze the programming on these channels.  This is what I’ve found: during the day, there are so many great shows on both Food Network and Cooking Channel.  I mean, I love it.  There’s nothing better than watching a lovely person in their spotless and airy kitchen, cooking up fabulous treats, and talking to you like you’re best friends from way back.  It’s so comforting!  Like, yes, I think you’re wonderful, and you want to cook for me?  I’d love to watch you cook for me…

At around 5:30 pm, something changes.  All of a sudden, all the lovely ladies and kitchens go away, and suddenly things get really aggressive and competition-y.  This is not comforting.  At all.  I do not like all the fighting and clock-ticking and challenging and eliminating.  This is no longer enjoyable.  I’m now sitting on the edge of my seat and tense and worried, and where did all the yummy recipes go???

This is not what I come to Food Network and Cooking Channel for.

Food Network and Cooking Channel, please take note: lots of us can’t/don’t watch tv during the daytime.  But we like recipe shows!  Not game shows!

All that being said, I really enjoyed a show that aired a few nights ago.  It was all about pie.  Sigh!  Pie.  So comforting.  So old-timey.  Such tradition, and such a great way to take all that love that is just bursting out of your heart, put it in a dish, and feed it to your family.

And at this time of year, we all have our eyes on pies, as we are hurtling headlong into Thanksgiving baking, and what is arguably the most pie-centric time of the year.

So, I thought this would be a good time for me to share my absolute favorite pie crust recipe and method.

How to Make Perfect Homemade Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

Pie crust can often be a bit challenging, but over the years I’ve worked out a formula that I love, and I think you will too!  It’s pretty simple, although there is a bit of down time while it chills, and the result is always flaky, tender, buttery, and delish!

All-butter pie crust sounds just wonderful, but I have found that it’s often a bit tough.  A little bit of vegetable shortening goes a long way to tenderize the pie crust.  Shortening = Tender; Butter = Flaky.  A little bit of both has always been the way to go, for me.

How to Make Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

That is, until Robin Roberts had to go and rain all over my pie crust parade, alerting me to the reality that trans fats are even worse for our health than originally thought, and all things partially hydrogenated are likely to be banned from supermarket shelves in the very near future.  This got me thinking about substitutions, and I remembered about the olive oil sampler that was recently gifted to me by Oregon Olive Mill.  I gave each of their three varieties a taste, and found the Arbequina to have a lovely, light and floral flavor that would complement a sweet filling in such a beautiful way.  Just a few tablespoonfuls added to the flour and salt, stirred in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, and you have a heart-healthier pie crust with all the tenderness of your granny’s classic.

How to Make Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

When the dough comes together into a ball, divide it into two equal portions, and give each one a quick roll, to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.  Then fold into thirds, like a letter, give it a quarter turn and another fold, and roll again.  Refrigerate for about an hour.  All this folding and rolling is what makes the gorgeous flaky layers.  It’s perfection.

How to Make Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

Be sure to keep everything really cold while you’re working.  You don’t want those layers of butter to soften or melt.  They should be cold when they go into the oven, so steam is released and the layers open up.  It’s a lot like puff pastry.

How to Make Perfect Homemade Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

At this point the dough can be frozen.  I often make my crusts a few weeks before Thanksgiving and freeze them, just to make the holiday prep a little easier on myself.  They can be defrosted in the refrigerator a day or two before you’re ready to roll them out.  Or, if you have the room in your freezer, you can roll and place in the pie pan, and freeze it that way.

How to Make Perfect Homemade Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

This recipe makes enough for two single crust pies, or one double crust.  Or you could do a lattice top pie!  So pretty…

The proof is in the pudding!  This is the mark of true pie crust success, to me:

How to Make Perfect Homemade Pie Crust | Baking a Moment

Can you even get over those flaky layers???

Simply Perfect Homemade Pie Crust

Yield: enough for (1) double crust or (2) single crust pies

Simply Perfect Homemade Pie Crust

How to Make the Most Perfect Homemade Pie Crust from Scratch. Tender, Flaky Layers and a Rich and Buttery Flavor. No Partially Hydrogenated Oils or Artificial Ingredients. A Step-by-Step Tutorial with Pictures.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • approx. 1/3 cup ice water

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil, and stir until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Cut the butter into thin slices and toss in the flour mixture to coat.
  4. Dribble ice water in, a tablespoon at a time, mixing just until the mixture can hold it’s shape.
  5. Gather the dough into a ball, and divide into two disks. Wrap the disks tightly, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  6. Roll the dough out to ¼” thickness, and fold into thirds. Fold into thirds again and refrigerate for another hour, or freeze for later use.
  7. If frozen, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Unwrap the dough and roll to about two inches larger than the diameter of the pie plate.
  8. Slip the dough into the ungreased pie plate, and prick with a fork. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  9. Fill the pie shell with desired filling, and refrigerate for at least one hour before baking.
  10. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, place the cold pie in the oven, and decrease the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  11. Baking time will vary according to pie filling. Crust should be a deep golden color, and flaky.
http://bakingamoment.com/simply-perfect-homemade-pie-crust/

Next time I’m going to show you my favorite apple pie filling.  It’s so good!  I mean it’s basic but all the important stuff is there, and you can dress it up with whatever fancy ideas you might have (salted caramel, just sayin’).  I love how it’s totally stuffed to capacity with the most juicy apples, that are firm and toothsome, not mushy or watery.  Just wait!  You’re going to love it!

PS- If you are looking to stock your recipe box with some really stellar basic recipes, you came to the right place!  I’ve been baking for, ahem, 20-some odd years, cough-cough, so I’ve played with lots of recipes.  Check out these other recipes from my “Simply Perfect” series (just click the pic to view the recipe):

Peanut Butter Cookies | Baking A Moment

Simply Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies (naturally GF!)

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Simply Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

Simply Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes

Simply Perfect Pizza Dough

Simply Perfect Pizza Dough

Simply Perfect Brownies | Baking a Moment

Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch

*This post was Featured on BlogHer*

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About Allie {Baking A Moment}

Hi! I'm Allie, and when I find myself with a few free moments, I head straight for my kitchen! I love to bake, and I especially love pastry and desserts.

You can also follow me via: RSS | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | G+ | BlogLovin'

Comments

  1. Oh Allie this pie crust looks AMAZING!!! What a great recipe! I will definitely bookmark this for my (hopefully soon to come out of my oven) apple pie :)
    xox and I hope you are getting better every day a little bit more
    Amy
    Amy @ swiss miss in the kitchen recently posted…Flourless Bailey’s Chocolate CakeMy Profile

    • Thanks, Amy! I am getting better (finally!) It felt so good to finish up this post. Hopefully now I can get caught up and back to my regular schedule. Thanks so much for the sweet thoughts, and I’m so happy you like the recipe!

  2. The most beautiful pie crust ever!!!!
    Hope you are feeling better, Allie! xoxo
    Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet recently posted…Blender Apple Bread RecipeMy Profile

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I never would have thought to use olive oil in a pie crust. I’ll have to try this out.

    • My pleasure, Jann! I hope you enjoy the subtle flavor of the olive oil. Really though, I think the sliced butter and the folding and chilling are what make this method so great. Thanks so much for reading and good luck! :)

      • Hi Allie,
        I do have a question about the olive oil. Would you use a lighter tasting oil? We have this kind in Canada but I don’t think we have the brand you mentioned in your post. I’m wondering if I use the regular kind if I would get a strong olive flavour?

        http://bertolli.ca/our-products/bertolli-olive-oils/bertolli-delicato-extra-light-tasting-olive-oil/

        Hope you’re on the mend. Surgery and then getting the flu must have been rough. Sending lots of healing vibes your way.

        • Hi Jann! I think a lighter tasting oil would be perfect in this pie crust! You’ve got great instincts ;) That being said, the variety I used was the lightest tasting one in the sampler, but it still did have a pronounced flavor, and once the pie was baked, it was barely perceptible. Honestly, I never would have known the difference from the way I’ve made it in the past (with shortening).

          Thank you so much for the kind words and thoughts! It’s been a tough few weeks, and the hardest part was having to shelve the blog. I love keeping in touch with you and my other readers and bloggy friends, and it was killing me that I couldn’t! I’m so happy to be doing so much better now, and the sweet words and prayers and thoughts from people like you have kept my spirits up through it all :)

  4. Allie I love your experimentation with olive oil in your crust. I’ve always used a little bit of shortening for that extra flakiness but Robin Roberts is right and I’m glad you have come up with a great alternative. I can’t wait to try your version the next time I make a pie, which is as soon as I get back to end up Pie Fridays.

    • Hey Zainab! I’m so happy you liked the post. Believe me, I was all set to post the recipe with shortening. I literally froze when I heard that report on GMA! Back to the drawing board, lol! Loving your Pie Fridays, I hope you have lots of success with this method!

  5. I’ve been thinking about you and the surgery thing, Allie. The flu absolutely and utterly sucks, and I’ve only had it once in my lifetime. I got your message on Facebook too, but I keep going to type a reply then deleting it! I guess I’ll email you instead of going through FB.

    Anyhoo, your pie crust looks amazing. Those flakey layers have me salivating. How much sugar would you normally add to turn your shortcrust pastry into a sweet version? Either way, I have been planning on making [for years, literally] some homemade cauliflower cheese pies that would be a great way to try your version of pastry. :)

    I also keep meaning to buy some of those foil pastry cases to make my own pie crusts since I can’t stand to buy ready-made.

    It’s great to see you back and posting again. I’ve missed all my blogging buddies on this hiatus I’m on.

    • Hey, Lisa! It’s so great to hear from you! I was worried, but I’m glad to see you’re still around ;)

      I’m thinking about 3 tablespoons of sugar should get you the result you’re hoping for. If I were wanting a sweeter crust for a tart or something, I’d probably go the pate sucre route, a la Martha Stewart (http://www.marthastewart.com/336048/pate-sucree). Cauliflower cheese pies sound amazing! I love the way cauliflower brings out the best in a nice sharp cheese. And foil cases are a great idea! I used to use ready made all the time, until I tried my hand at making my own. After that there was no going back!

      Thanks so much for reading Lisa! I’ve missed you too but it’s good to know you’re still popping over for a read every now and again. Take care, dear, and I hope to see an email from you soon. <3

  6. SUCH a gorgeous pie crust!!!! Tis the season :D
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted…Loaded Oatmeal Coconut Cookies for #CookieWeekMy Profile

  7. Joanne O'Malley says:

    Hi Allie. So glad you’re feeling better.

    Pie crust is one of the things that strikes terror in my heart. Your step-by-step instructions make me want to give it a try. The finished product looks gorgeous, and I’ll bet it tastes delicious as well.

    I agree with you 100% about the Food Network. I love watching the cooks. I’m not so fond of the competition. I’ll tune into Iron Chef America and Chopped, but those nasty shows like Cutthroat Kitchen turn me right off. It upsets me when people are arrogant and mean. Nothing wrong with some kindness in the kitchen.

    Please take care of yourself and stay well. Remember to take a little extra rest in between all of your tasks. It will help you heal completely.

    • Hi Joanne! Thank you so much for being so sweet and encouraging! I’m feeling so much better and looking forward to getting caught up on things, and back into my normal schedule.

      Pie crust scared me too, for a long time. Once I finally mastered it, it felt so good! It’s a little intuitive, as far as how much water to add, but I do think that slicing the butter instead of cutting it in, and the folding technique, really help to make it goof-proof. And make sure it’s super cold before it goes into the hot oven. I hope you have a lot of success with it!

      My guess is, the Food Network is trying to cater to men. But I tend to think that if a man is into food, and willing to watch a channel devoted to it, then he can get into a recipe show without it having to be like a big mean fight.

      Thanks again for the kind well-wishes! I love hearing from nice readers like you :)

  8. I hope you’re feeling better now, Allie!
    This pie crust looks so flaky it’s unreal! I love the tutorial, it will be so so helpful for me. Thanks! xx
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs recently posted…Vegan Almond CookiesMy Profile

    • I think I am finally back on track now! Hooray! I know I said that a few times over the last couple weeks but now I really think I am. Isn’t the pie crust so flaky? I love that! This method works so well for me. Thanks so much Consuelo!

  9. So glad to see you back in action Allie- I missed you there! And omg, I so agree with you about the game shows. The world does NOT need another cooking competition, contrary to what these channels believe!
    Mimi @ Culinary Couture recently posted…Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel MuffinsMy Profile

  10. This pie crust looks amazing Allie! What a great recipe and tutorial and so perfect for this time of year:) Take care Allie – hoping you get better and an easier recovery *hugs*
    Kelly recently posted…Vietnamese Pho – Beef Rice Noodle Soup (Pho Bo)My Profile

  11. Poor Allie! Nothing’s worse than getting sick, especially when you’re already not feeling well! I hope you’re feeling better! I feel the same way about the Food Network. I’m never home during the day to watch so I miss out on all the shows that actually talk about cooking. While I do enjoy a good competition show every now ‘n then that’s all there is in the evenings, other than endless episodes of Diners Drive-ins and Dives. This post was made for me – I’m such a pie crust novice. Yours looks absolutely perfect and I’m excited that you used olive oil. I wouldn’t touch shortening with a ten inch pole. I can’t wait to try this over the holidays!
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently posted…Apple Spice Layer Cake for a Hip Foodie Mom Guest PostMy Profile

  12. I’m so glad that you are feeling better Allie, that all just sounds horrible! :( I just started making pie crusts and had no idea about, shortening = flaky, transfats = worse for you than we than we thought!! I am happy to say that my crust has only butter (no transfats) but I love how flaky your crust is with the olive oil!! That is now on my list of things to try, since I have finally figured out how to even make a crust. :)

    Oh and I totally agree, I hate what they have done to Food Network. I just want to watch nice sweet shows about cooking and learn something. I do not need to be entertained, and watching people scream at each other is NOT entertaining!! Have a wonderful weekend, Lisa
    Lisa @ Cooking with Curls recently posted…Best of the Weekend {30}My Profile

    • Gah, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way about Food Network! Who wants to get all stressed out at the end of a long day??? I just want to zone out and watch something lighthearted at night!

      I’m so happy you like my pie crust post! I love the taste of the butter in the pie crust, but I don’t know, maybe I’ve done something wrong but I always felt like it needed a little shortening to keep it tender. Now that I’ve tried it with olive oil though, there’s no going back. It tasted every bit as good as always, but I felt so much better about avoiding all the partially hydrogenated gunk.

      Thanks so much for the sweet message and I hope you’re enjoying the weekend, Lisa! :)

  13. Allie, not only am I going to feature you with this recipe this weekend at the Show Stopper Saturday link part…but I am printing this off and putting it in my Thanksgiving menu planner. I can’t wait to start making the crusts for all of my pies this coming week. Always about trying to make everything from scratch…and this crust recipe is going to rock! (It’s already rockin!) Thank you for sharing with all of us!
    Gloria // Simply Gloria recently posted…Scallion WrapsMy Profile

  14. Hello,

    You can always learn too much by going through comments :). I do use 100% extra virgin oil for my cooking, actually we have the oil from olive trees in our land so you can tell it’s REAL.
    I am wondering now, can I use this type of oil in the recipe or shall I purchase a bottle from he supermarket (of course it wouldn’t be extra virgin)? I can’t tell if I can find the lighter version but it will definitely look for it.
    Thank you in advance and yes.. this recipe looks gorgeous.

    • My pleasure, Hala! You know, I’ve been adding olive oil in place of shortening with several of my favorite recipes lately. I’ve tried light olive oils and extra virgin olive oils too, with a stronger flavor, and I have to say, I cannot detect the olive flavor at all. Maybe my palate is just dull, or maybe because the amount is so small and the other ingredients have a bolder flavor that outshines it. I really think that any kind of oil would work equally well, so unless you really have an aversion to a strongly flavored oil, I say go for it!

  15. I do a crust very similar to this one – mine is all-butter, but the way I get it super flaky is by freezing the butter and grating it in with a cheese grater! I also smash and fold it a bit the way you do here. For the longest time I didn’t like pie, until I realized that what I really didn’t like was the storebought crust! Here’s to simple, gorgeous homemade crust. :)

  16. Well, Allie, I’ve officially just found my new favorite blog. So far, I’ve seen like 20 recipes I can’t wait to try

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