This recipe is what I use for making my homemade Pumpkin and homemade Apple Strudel pies, among others.
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt (optional. I sometimes substitute 1 T sugar for fruit pies)
- 4 T real butter, unsalted
- 4 T ice water
Most pie crust recipes insist that cold, thinly sliced butter. But honestly, it’s a lot easier to warm it up (or even melt it) in the microwave right before mixing it in. It’s just so much easier to work with. And maybe I’m not a pie crust connoisseur, but I can’t really tell the difference between pie crust made with melted butter from crust made from cold butter. Cold butter probably yields a stiffer dough, but you can always stick the dough in the refrigerator for a while if you use melted butter.
Mix together the salt and flour.
Blend the butter into the flour mixture using a fork or a pastry blender until the two are well mixed. If using cold butter, the result will be more like a bowl full of little butter/flour pebbles.
One tablespoon at a time, add the ice water, mixing between each addition until the dough is moist but not sticky. (If you accidentally add too much water, you can always work in a tad bit of flour, maybe 1 tsp at a time, to bring the dough back to the appropriate consistency. But avoid adding more flour than necessary, as it could affect the texture and flavor of the crust.)
Form the crust dough into a nice ball.
On a clean, floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out, keeping it as circular as possible. If the dough starts to stick to the dough, sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough surface before continuing. Dough should be about 1/8 inch thick when you’re done.
Roll the crust gently up onto the rolling pin to transfer to the pie plate. Arrange the crust gently in the pie plate and trim off the edges if they’re too long. You can gently crimp or flute the edge of the crust to make it prettier.
Your crust is now ready to bake. With some pies, like my Pumpkin Pie, the crust is baked after you pour the filling in. When I provide recipes that require a pre-baked crust, I’ll give the cooking time in that recipe.
Some Fun Stuff
I’m always looking for ways to bring more beauty and fun into the lives of myself, my family, and friends. Recently, I found a couple of really beautiful pie plates on Amazon.com that I’ve never seen in stores. Pie plates may seem to be a small detail–and they are. But I’ve discovered that life is made up of little things.
One pie plate that looks like it would be beautiful on a crisp white table cloth is bright red with scalloped edges by Good Cook.
Another, slightly more elegant pie plate, is the Pfaltzgraff Winterberry 9-1/2-Inch Perfect Pie Plate with Cardinal Pie Bird. The ceramic bird is really cool looking, and also acts to release steam from the pie so that the filling doesn’t bubble out as much.
Okay, this is crazy! I was looking through the pie servers, which make it a lot easier to serve pieces of pie to guests without them falling apart, and I came across this ridiculous pie server! It’s called the Leopard High Heel Cake Server–but it would definitely work for serving pie, as well. This cool server would make a great gift, as it comes in a fancy leopard themed gift box.