Pastry is one of those things that seems easy to make when you look at the ingredient list but is ultimately quite complicated. The hardest part is keeping the butter cold enough while you’re working with the pastry crust. You can shave frozen butter in or cut the cold refrigerated butter in quickly and then refrigerate the pastry again before baking it. All of these extra steps to keep the butter cold increases the crust’s flakiness, which is the goal of good pastry.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 14 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
- 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water
- Whisk together the flour and salt.
- Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Work it in with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer. Don’t over mix!
- Add 4 tablespoons of water, and toss to combine. Keep adding water slowly until you can squeeze it in your hand and it sticks together.
- Divide the dough in half, and gather each half into a rough disk. Smooth the disks and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- When you’re ready to make pie, remove the crust from the refrigerator to warm slightly.
- Measure your pie pan and roll out crust big enough to cover pan and up the sides.
- Place the crust in the pan. Egg-wash the bottom of the crust with 1 egg white to seal the pastry and prevent the filling from leaking out. For a single-crust pie, fold the edges of the crust under, and gently squeeze them together. Crimp as desired. For a double-crust pie, leave the edges of the bottom crust as is (no folding or crimping). Once you’ve added the pie filling, roll out the top crust to the outside diameter of your pan, and place it atop the filling. Trim excess crust with a pair of scissors, then press the two edges together. Crimp as desired.
- Return the pie to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Cut a hole in the center of the crust for steam to escape. Or slash the pie’s top surface several times. Bake and enjoy!