I’m a perfectionist, my mom claims she has had to return or exchange everything she’s ever bought for me. Yes I’m picky, but when I know what I want, I have a hard time settling for anything less.
In the baking world, this trait is to my advantage. Growing up, we would bake cookies or some kind of dessert every night of the week. (Yes, we exercise regularly, and arn’t all obese.) I would tweak and alter recipes every time until until we got close enough to perfection. So what if I have made every cookie imaginable and tried every substitution. I now have my go-to versions of various cookies, Belgium waffles, and fluffy pancakes memorized. Learn the ratios, and you’ll never “Google” a classic recipe again.
Pies are no different. Once you know your favourite flakiness of pie crust, or consistency of crumble topping, you’re golden.
So here I’ll share my pie crust go-to.
I use this for apple pies, cherry pies, sweet or savoury galettes, pecan pie bars, and even quiche.
First things first, USE REAL BUTTER. I promise you the results are always better. Who complains about a melt in your mouth, perfectly golden brown, pie crust? No one. I mean sure you can use lard, but the flavour comes out all wrong…in my opinion. I once went to a cooking class with a well-known Canadian chef, and we had homemade apple pie for dessert, the dough was made with animal lard, and I couldn’t stand it. All vegetarianism aside, it’s not the distinctive taste I want with my vanilla bean ice cream on the side.
Here’s my terribly easy and versatile pie crust recipe.
Yield: 1 pie with a layer of crust on the top and bottom of the pie. Or 2 pies just with bottom crusts.
- 2 1/2 C flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 C unsalted, very cold, butter
- Ice cold water
- Put a pasty cutter and large bowl in the freezer to chill while you gather your ingredients.
- Fill a measuring cup with tap water and a few ice cubes. You’ll be needing a bit of this ice cold water later.
- Whisk flour, salt, and sugar in s very large and wide bowl.
- Cut the butter into 1/4 inch cubes. Sprinkle butter cubes on top of flour mixture.
- Use the pasty cutter and start cutting the butter into the flour. If you don’t have a pasty cutter I could use two knives and cut the butter into the flour. This will take a little longer but prevent the mixture from getting too hot if you were to use your hands.
- Once the butter reaches the size of small peas, drizzle 1/2 cup of ice cold water over the mixture. Use s spatula and try to gather the dough into a ball, folding it over itself. You can slowly add more water (up to 1/4 C), a tsp at a time.
- Once the batter is sticking to itself, use your hands to help the final ball come together.
- Cut the dough in half and press slightly into discs. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to cool for a few hours until you are ready to use.
It you are not using the dough within a few days you should freeze it. Place in a freezer safe plastic bag and the dough will last for months. Just remove and place in the fridge the night before you plan on using the dough.