Make your own pie crust. Just do it.
Homemade pie crust is one of those things that make people feel fancy. Decadent. Spoiled. Because it is sold ready-made in grocery stores, it makes home bakers feel like it is somehow out of their reach. “That’s too serious for me, I’m not a serious baker.” you might think. Or, “That has to be difficult. I’ve got enough difficult things in my life, thank you very much.”
Wrong! Homemade pie crust is not too serious for you, and it is not difficult! You can do it! Think Rosie the Riveter.
It’s totally worth it to learn how to make your own pie crust, if for no other reason than to avoid the sad beige colored crusts that you buy in the store. (Who made them? How long have they been there? So many unanswered questions) Yes, there are a million different homemade versions, some that call for more salt or less sugar, some that include cream cheese or whole wheat or lard or any number of ingredients. This recipe is for a basic all-butter crust. It’s is good for pretty much any recipe that calls for a pie crust- I use it for quiches and all types of pies. There are a million sources out there that have a very similar formula for their basic crust recipe. I’ve followed Deb and Joy’s blogs for a long time, and they both have great all-butter crust recipes, here and here, respectively, that I’ve adapted my recipe and technique from. Trust me, the store bought crust cannot compare to the homemade. It might take a few tries to get your own formula down pat, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never go back to mystery beige dough again!
All-Butter Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons table salt
2 sticks of butter, very cold, cubed
1/2-1 cup of ice water
Combine flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on. Turn the mixer on low, add the cubed butter, while the butter is still very cold. While the mixer is running, slowly add the water 1-2 tablespoons at a time to the butter flour mixture. It should start to come together and form a ball. When the dough begins to take shape, take it out, knead it a couple of times and form it into a disk. It should be soft and pliable, but not too sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using. Dough will keep about 1 week in the fridge, much longer in the freezer.
If you don’t have a mixer: whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter, and mash with a fork or a pastry blender. It should form pea sized lumps. Get in there and use your hands! Add the water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and stir with a wooden spoon. After to dough starts to come together, dump it on a floured surface and knead it into a ball, and shape it into a disk. Refrigerate as above!