This is our go-to dough for making all pies, from Apple to Quiche and Cheery Cherry. We mix it up at times, adding who wheat flour and a touch more water for an earthier crust, or subbing out a couple of ounces of butter with lard for extra flaky tenderness. The result, should you keep your butter cold and resist over working the dough, is a lovely, easy-to-roll dough, studded with butter, that will rival and pastry shops’. For a crimping tutorial, click on this link for step-by-step photos. This recipe will yield three bottom crusts OR a top, bottom and scraps for making hand pies (or another bottom crust).
3cupsAll purpose flour
12ozButteror 2 sticks (8oz) butter and 4 oz lard
2/3cupIce cold water
If using a food processor, pulse your flour, salt and sugar for a few seconds. If you're doing this by hand, simply mix them to disperse the salt and sugar well.
Add your butter and pulse until you no longer hear the large chunks bouncing around. This should take between 8-10 quick pulses. If doing this by hand, use your fingers to rub the cold butter into the flour or a pastry cutter to cut the butter pieces into the flour. We like to flake the butter between your thumbs and index fingers until the butter pieces are flaked to about the size of your thumbnail.
Once you’ve flaked the butter add the water. Pour into the food processor as you pulse, just until the dough starts to come together in clumps. If doing this by hand, pour the water in and using your hands as large scoops, shoveling the water into the bowl to create a shaggy dough. You may need to use the extra water, as your hands will absorb some of it. Once you can squeeze the dough and it just starts to stay together, you’re done. Don’t add so much water the dough feels sticky. If it does, simply toss in a little more flour. Press the dough into two flat discs, wrap and chill for at least an hour in the fridge or for up to a couple months in the freezer.
On a well-floured surface, begin to roll out your doughs until each is about 3" larger than your pie tin. The best way to roll out pie crust is to place your rolling pin (flour it first) on the center of your dough. Move forward, stopping just shy of the edge of the dough, then move backwards. Turn your dough a quarter turn and repeat until the dough is about 3” larger than your tin around each side. Pick up the dough using your rolling pin and place it in the tin.
Scoop your filling into the crust. Top with the second pie crust and using scissors, trim the top and bottom doughs together so that they hangs just a hair off the sides. Tuck the dough under and crimp (I like to push my index finger between my thumb and middle finger). Freeze the pie for at least one hour, or up to several weeks.
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Sprinkle the frozen pie with coarse or regular granulated sugar (organic unbleached sugar works best) and place into the oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 375F and bake until golden all over. Let the pie sit for about one hour before cutting into it and serving.