The perfect pie crust is both flaky and tender. It has light flaky layers. A tender and golden brown crust that has flavor good enough to eat on its own. The layers of dough are distinct and clearly seen. Follow the step by step guide to make the best all butter pie crust!

All butter pie crust characteristics


The perfect all butter pie crust is both flaky and tender. It has light flaky layers. A tender and golden brown crust that has flavor good enough to eat on its own. The layers of dough are distinct and clearly seen. This simple pie crust relies on high quality butter for both its flakiness, and wonderful flavor. Once you try this recipe you will use it for all your pies.

The Anatomy of a Pie Crust

At its most basic, pie crust is nothing more than flour, fat, and liquid. But if that’s all it is, why is pie crust so notoriously difficult to make by hand? Let’s take a look:

Flour: Flour is there for strength, structure, and elasticity. It’s the binder that holds the other ingredients together and, well, makes the pastry a pastry! For pie crusts, we usually use regular all-purpose flour instead of cake or pastry flour because we want some gluten development for structure, but not too much.

Remember – mechanical action creates gluten, so it’s important not to over-handle the dough.

Fat: You can use butter, vegetable shortening, lard, or even oil in pie crust, each to a different effect. Butter provides the most flavor and a wonderful melting quality in the mouth, but it tends to not make the most tender pastry. Shortening and lard make a very tender pastry, but don’t always have the best flavor for a sweet pie.

Also, if the fat is left in large pieces, the crust will be more flaky. If it’s incorporated into the flour more thoroughly, the crust will be tender and crumbly.

Liquid: The liquid in a pie crust creates the steam that lifts the pastry and creates flakes. It also gets absorbed into the flour, helping to create gluten. Too little liquid and the dough won’t hold together, but add too much and you’ll end up with a rock-hard crust!

Salt: It might sound odd to have salt in a sweet pie crust, but a pinch or two actually helps boost the flavor without making the crust taste salty.

Sugar: Not all pie crusts have sugar, but those that do will be more tender since sugar interferes with gluten development. In our experience, sugar can also make the pie dough so tender that it’s hard to roll out and transfer to your pan without breaking.

Egg: This makes the dough more pliable and easy to roll out. Eggs also make the crust more compact.

Acid and Alcohol: Both acid and alcohol tenderize pie dough, make it easier to roll out, and prevent it from shrinking in your pan. If these things give you trouble, try

The Best Flaky All Butter Pie Crust Story 

This recipe took about six years of trial and error to perfect! I feel like printing it and putting it in a vault just in case there is an internet crash in 2020 (nothing would surprise me after all we’ve experienced so far this year). If you’ve read my other posts about pies you know they are a joint effort with my husband and me. Pies run deep in Jordan’s family food history and I wanted to honor and integrate part of his family story into ours.

Before I met Jordan I didn’t like pie which was almost a sin in his family. After a few tries of their family pies I quickly jumped on the pie train and was eager to incorporate different flavors and try new methods with the crust. We started baking pies together as newlyweds using his grandmothers Grandma Rhea’s crust recipe. We’ve tried over 10 different kinds of butter and I 110% testify that you must use Kerrygold brand, or else I can’t stand by this crust. We’ve tried to find the reasoning for it, without boring you with too much science about butter, it just comes down to the fat content vs water content, color, and diet of the cows. What can I say, Ireland cows have got it going on in the butter department.

Achievable All Butter Pie Crust! 

If you’ve tried making pie crust and failed. I hear you! I’ll try to walk you through it and you will reach pie dough mastery in no time. There is nothing like homemade pie and every home should have the chance to partake of special memories surrounded by the process of hand making a pie.

Made with Amore,

Elena and Jordan

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Prep Time: 20 min Bake Time: 20-60 min (depending on what baking method) Total Time:  40-80 min Serves: 6-8 

Ingredients

(makes 1 full pie- bottom and top crust)

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

2 sticks cold salted butter (HIGHLY recommend Kerrygold brand) ,cut into small pieces

(freeze the cut butter for 15 min on a baking sheet)

1 large egg (cold out of the fridge)

2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed 
(you may add more up to 4-5 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Directions

  1. Place flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some cherry-size clumps. Start with big chunks so that when you add the liquid they chunks get slightly smaller. You don’t want to start with too small of clumps before adding the liquid.
  2. Beat together egg, ice water, and vinegar in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 10 times more. The chucks of butter should end up to pea size after liquid is added. Squeeze a small amount of dough to make sure it holds together. If dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. If making a
    full pie
    divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap, forming each into 1 disk. If making
    galette
    only make one large disk with the dough.
  4. Refrigerate the dough at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days
  5. Note: crust will keep in the fridge for 2 days or freezes up to 1 month

HOW TO Blind Baking Pie Crust

  1. While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Fill with weights: Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper. (Crunch up the parchment paper first so that you can easily shape it into the crust.) Fill with pie weights, dried beans, or my sugar method found in this recipe. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish and filled to the very TOP.
  3. Bake: Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 15-16 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick holes all around the bottom crust with a fork. Return the pie crust to the oven.
  4. Blind Bake Pie Crust: If you’re making a no-bake pie like the Banana Cream-Dream Pie and need a fully baked pie crust, bake until the bottom crust is golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. For a partially baked pie crust (if you’re baking the pie crust once it is filled- like the Easy French Apple Tart or the  Frangipane Tart) bake until the bottom crust is just beginning to brown, about 8-11 minutes.
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3 Ultimate All Butter Pie Crust, CucinaByElena
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Pulse liquid with flour/butter mixture until it comes together and butter forms Blueberry/pea-sized chunks

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Carefully and quickly (so as to not melt the butter with your hands) form the dough into a disc

8 Ultimate All Butter Pie Crust, CucinaByElena

Wrap the disc in the plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 30 minutes

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all butter pie crust

Ultimate All Butter Pie Crust

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20-60 min depends on cooking method
  • Total Time: depends on cooking method
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Description

The Ultimate Pie Crust! The most flaky pie crust you will ever taste! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Makes 1 full pie- bottom and top crust

  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) cold salted butter (HIGHLY recommend Kerrygold brand) ,cut into small pieces(freeze the cut butter for 15 min on a baking sheet)
  • 1 large egg (cold out of the fridge)
  • 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed (you may add more up to 45 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some cherry-size clumps. Start with big chunks so that when you add the liquid they chunks get slightly smaller. You don’t want to start with too small of clumps before adding the liquid.
  2. Beat together egg, ice water, and vinegar in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 10 times more. The chucks of butter should end up to pea size after liquid is added. Squeeze a small amount of dough to make sure it holds together. If dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. If making a full pie divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap, forming each into 1 disk. If making galette only make one large disk with the dough.
  4. Refrigerate the dough at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days

Blind Baking Pie Crust:

  1. While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Roll out the dough and place in a pie dish. Line the top of the crust with parchment paper. Crunch up parchment paper first so that you can easily shape it into the crust. Fill with pie weights, or dried beans. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish.
  3. Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick holes all around the bottom crust with a fork. Return the pie crust to the oven.
  4. If you’re making a no-bake pie like the Banana Cream-Dream Pie and need a fully baked pie crust, bake until the bottom crust is golden brown, about 15-18 additional minutes. For a partially baked pie crust (if you’re baking the pie crust once it is filled- like the Easy French Apple Tart or the  Frangipane Tart) bake until the bottom crust is just beginning to brown, about 8-11 minutes.

Notes

Crust will keep in the fridge for 2 days or freezes up to 1 month