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Evan’s 3-2-1 Pie Crust

The classic 3-2-1 Pie Crust, by Evan Kleiman:

This is the first pie dough I learned to make. It’s made up of 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat and 1 part liquid. I first made it with all the ingredients measured in cups, but I now find that using a scale is more consistent and easier, especially if I want to use a combination of fats, or if I’m making dough for 10 pies at a time. Take a look at Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio app; it has ratios for many culinary standards and does the math for you.

Experiment with different types of fats within the ratio. Butter (we use Humboldt Creamery’s Organic butter at the school), rendered leaf lard, solid coconut oil and Crisco all have their fans and lend specific characteristics to the crusts. My go to crust is either all butter or 5 ounces butter and 3 ounces rendered leaf lard. This makes enough pastry for one double crust 9” pie. If you’re using high fat butter that has less moisture you may find that you’ll need the full 5 ounces of water.

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Ingredients

Evan's 3-2-1 Pie Crust Recipe

12 ounces (about 2-3/4 cups) All purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsps Sugar
8 ounces Fat (butter, lard, shortening or combo)
4-5 ounces ice cold water (about 1/2 to 2/3 cup) Ice cold water

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the fat into tablespoon sized pieces and add them to the flour mixture. Toss the butter and lard lumps around until they are coated with flour. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix the fats and flour together until you have a mixture with uneven crumbles, some as big a an almond and some as small as peas. Add the water and mix until the mass comes together. Don't worry if it's a little shaggy. It's all right as long as it sticks together.
  2. Dump the mixture out onto your work surface. Use a bench scraper to gather the crumbs into the mass of dough. Use the heel of your hand to smear the dough away from you a third at a time. You are creating flat layers of flour and butter. After the dough is smeared out gather it back together with the bench scraper, using the scraper to layer the smears on top of each other, creating a mass of dough. Do it again. The dough should come together nicely, but you should still see pieces of butter.
  3. Divide the dough in half and form into flat discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and as long as two days. You may also freeze the dough.