Joy the Baker

How To Make Pie Crust… do it.

June 30, 2010

You Can Do It Apple Pie

We’ve talked about pie crust before, you and I.

I thought today might be a good day for a little refresher.  The breeze outside is mighty fine, the sun seems pretty friendly, I’ve got chilled butter in the fridge, and… tomorrow I want to show you how to make a double crusted berry pie… so let’s nail this pie crust first.

Can we do this?  Of course we can.  I’ll talk you through it and leave hella directions for you to print out.  Yes, hella.  High five.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Any respectable pie crust has butter.  Lots of butter.  Lots of cold cold cold butter.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

I’ve cut up our two sticks of cold butter into cold cubes and tossed them with the dry ingredients.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Next… dump the whole dang thing on the tabletop.  The whole dang thing.  Don’t be scared.  We’re in this together.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Bust out that rolling pin.  I use the rolling pin to flatten out the cold butter cubes and incorporate them into the dry ingredients.  Some people use their fingers.  Some people use a pastry cutter.  Other people use a food processor.  Sure… but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Roll the loose dry ingredients and the cold butter, using your hands or a bench knife to pile up the mixture and roll it out again.  The goal here is to make flattened sheets of cold butter within the flour mixture.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Like this!  I’ve put it all back in the bowl.  I used my hands to do this.  I also made a little well in the center of the butter and flour mixture.  That’s where I’m going to pour in the cold buttermilk.  Mmmm.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Believe it or not this is the dough after I’ve added the cold buttermilk.  But it’s so shaggy!?  Yes… yes it is.  It’ll all come together.  It just needs a good pressing together and an hour long rest in the refrigerator.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

I’ve divided the dough into two rough balls.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Wrap the balls in waxed paper and place in the fridge for at least an hour.  Resting the dough like this is super important.  It helps the butter re-chill which is important when it comes to rolling out and baking the dough aaand the rest helps the liquid incorporate properly into the dough.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Chilled dough disk on a well floured surface just before the rolling out process.  I’ll sprinkle flour on top too before I attack this thing with the rolling pin.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Rolled out.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Panned up and trimmed.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

This particular pie crust was for an Apple Pie.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Once the top crust is rolled out and placed over the filling, trim the excess dough so that there’s about 1/2 to 1-inch of extra crust.

You Can Do It Apple Pie

Pinch the extra dough together with your fingers or with the tines of a fork.  Make a pretty pattern.

Not so bad… right?  Tomorrow we throw berries in the mix.  Prepare.

Buttermilk Pie Crust

makes a double crusted 9-inch pie crust

Print this Recipe!

2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter

2 1/2 (12 ounces) cups all purpose flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (5 to 6 ounces) buttermilk

1.  Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.  Measure out the buttermilk and store in the refrigerator to keep it cold (you could even put it in the freezer for a few minutes too).

2.  Sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Take the cold butter from the freezer and toss it with the flour mixture.

3.  Dump the cold butter cubes and flour mixture onto a large work area for rolling.  With a rolling pin, roll the mixture, flattening the butter cubes with the flour into long, thin, floured butter sheets.  Work quickly to ensure that the butter stays cold.  Below is what the rolled butter and flour look like after I’

ve gathered them together on the work surface a bit.

4.  Place the flour and flattened butter back in the large bowl and chill for 10 minutes.    When the butter is cold, remove the bowl from the refrigerator, make a small well in the center of the flour and butter mixture.  Add the cold buttermilk to the bowl all at once.  Begin to bring the dough together with one hand ( keep the other hand free to answer the phone).  Moisten all of the flour with the milk, using your hand to break up large clumps of milk and flour.  The dough will be rather shaggy, but you can add another tablespoon of buttermilk, if you see that all your flour isn’t moistened.  Form the dough into two disks.  The disks will be rough, and hard to shape together, but once they rest in the fridge for an hour, they’

ll be easier to roll out.

5.  Chill the dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator.  At this point, the dough will keep in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three weeks.  For freezing, roll the dough out into sheets and wrap them in plastic film.

6.  Roll out the top crust large enough to cut a 12-inch circle.

Transfer the pie filling mixture to the pie shell.  Moisten the border of the bottom crust by brushing it lightly with water and place the top crust over the filling.  Trim the overhang of the top crust so that there is only 1/2-inch of overhand.  Tuck the overhand under the bottom crust boarder and press down all around to seal it.  Crimp the border using a fork or your fingers and make about 5 evenly spaced 2-inch slashes starting about 1 inch from the center of the pie and radiating toward the edge.  Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour before baking.  This will chill and relax the pastry, preventing shrinking.

 


138 Comments Add A Comment

  • Inspired by last night’s Top Chef quick fire? :)

  • Oh, I’m so excited, but I’m so nervous! Blueberry pie here I come!

  • I still can’t get my pie crust as perfect as my grandmothers. I’m convinced it was the lard she used.

  • Wow. This is different. Now, I already make pie crust and I don’t see why people get so afraid of it, but now I think I want to try your method because the whole buttermilk thing intrigues me. I love buttermilk. You’re too cool.

  • how did you know joy?! how did you know that just 2 days ago i was asking my mother and sisters and neighbors and strangers at the laundromat how to make a pie crust?!?! we have an unspoken connection, you and i… ;) thanks a million for the rundown. ;)

  • You know why I avoid making pies like the plague. Pie Crust.Will give this a try. :) Thank you.. You come up with the best stuff btw.. & I could live on butter if I had to.

  • I just made pie crust this morning. You are a mind-reader, aren’t you? But my recipe uses water. Maybe buttermilk IS the key to fluffy flaky crust. And I used your tip on grating the cold butter. Can?

  • I always make all my short crust pastry in the magi-mix. But looking at how you have done it. Your pastry must be delicious and light because it hasn’t really been over-worked and there are some nice big pockets of butter. I love that you make everything sound so accessible and just – you know…EASY! Thank you.

  • Wow! Thank you for posting this up. I’ve never really baked a real pie before and I’m actually thinking of baking it in these coming days. Thank you for your guidance and tips! :) I appreciate it a lot.

  • Your pie crust sounds amazing. Butter, butter, butter. Yummy :D

    Wei-Wei

  • This is great indeed, now, at long last, I understand a little bit more about pie crust, besides I love to use my rolling pin!

  • Oh god, you have to be killing me…

    Why do you always come up with such great stuff? And so easy for us to remake as well?

    It’s my hon’s birthday this weekend and I already baked like 5 things yesterday and have 3 more on the list for today. You cannot just come up with a perfect pie recipe.

    Well. I might just have to add one more thing to the baking list and pie would just be too perfect for the weather right now…

    Stop being so great, please!

  • love the idea of adding buttermilk instead of water to make the crust!

  • Thank you so much for posting it. Because pie crust is not really a friend of mine. Maybe its time to start it over.

    You gave me hope! Thanks a lot.

  • I am loving the no-breadcrumb-making appeal of this! Have been debating playing with a new crust recipe recently (as in my laziness I’ve been using *gasp* Jusrol ready pastry – oh the shame!) This looks wonderful and I bet the flat butter makes awesome buttery pockets, mmm.. apples here I come!

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