Discover my easy pie crust recipe by hand, the secret to a perfectly flaky crust, ideal for your Apple Pies and other sweet delights. Simple and versatile, this homemade hand pie is a must-have to elevate your sweet pies and tarts.
What is a Butter Pie Dough
A butter pie crust is a classic pastry base known for its rich, flaky pie crust texture and its deliciously buttery flavor. A versatile choice for sweet and savory pies, beloved by bakers for its delicious results.
Homemade hand pies are ideal for making classics such as Apple Pie, pumpkin pie, or savory quiches, as well as a variety of sweet or savory tarts.
Pie crust dough, made from flour, sugar, butter, and water, is unique because it does not contain eggs, unlike shortcrust pastry "pâte sucrée" or "pâte sablée" pastry. This simple composition gives it a light and flaky texture, perfect for creating crispy and delicious pies.
- Simple Ingredients: It uses basic ingredients like flour, icing sugar, salt, butter, and ice water, making it accessible and budget-friendly.
- No Special Equipment: You don't need any fancy equipment like a food processor; all you need are your hands and a mixing bowl, making it convenient for everyone.
- Flaky and Delicious: The technique of incorporating cold butter into the dough results in a flaky and flavorful crust that's perfect for both sweet and savory pies.
- Versatile: This pie crust can be used for a wide variety of pie and tart recipes, giving you the flexibility to create your favorite desserts and savory dishes.
More Bottom Pie Crusts
Ingredients you need
*You will find quantities and instructions in the recipe sheet at the end of the page.
- Flour: The foundation of the dough, all-purpose flour creates structure and stability. It is the main support that helps achieve the desired texture.
- Sugar: Use powdered sugar for sweet versions. It blends better into the dough and adds a slight sweetness, perfect for fruit pies or desserts.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is crucial to balance and enhance the flavors of the dough, even in sweet preparations.
- Butter: Unsalted butter, very cold butter is the secret to flaky and crispy pastry. It creates thin layers of dough that become airy when baked.
- Water: Ice-cold water is used to bind the dough without activating the gluten or melting the butter, which is essential for keeping the pastry crumbly.
- Vinegar: Although optional, vinegar can be added to make the dough more tender and easier to work with. It helps relax the gluten and improve the texture.
How to make Homemade Pie crust Recipe
Hand pie dough
- In a large bowl, place the flour, powdered sugar, and salt, and mix until you have a homogeneous mixture.
- Add the cold butter pieces and crush them into the dry mixture until you have a sandy mixture with some small butter pieces.
- Finish by adding the ice-cold water and gather the dough with your hands until it forms a somewhat uneven dough ball, without over-kneading it.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap, making direct contact, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before using it.
With a food processor
- in a food processor combine flour sugar and salt, and mix at high speed for a few seconds.
- Add the cold unsalted butter pieces in the flour mixture and mix again at high speed until you have a powder with some slightly visible butter pieces.
- Finish by adding the ice-cold water and mix again briefly, just enough for the dough to begin forming large pieces.
- Transfer the mixture onto a work surface and gather the dough to form a homogeneous ball.
- Cover with plastic wrap, making direct contact, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before using it.
- Roll out the cold pie dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper and line your pie dish or tart ring.
- Bake the pastry with your pie filling in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for approximately 40-55 minutes, or until it turns golden brown, depending on the recipe.
How to use your pie dough
- Classic Fruit Pies: Apple pie, Cherry pie, Blueberry pie, Peach pie
- Pie Recipes: Such as Apple Pie or my Blueberry Pie.
- Cream Pies: Like Banana cream pie, Coconut cream pie, Chocolate cream pie
- Pumpkin Pie: Perfect for the fall, my pumpkin pie combines pie crust with a creamy mixture of pumpkin puree, spices, and sugar.
- Nut Pie: Like this delicious pecan pie or walnut pie.
- Hand Pies: Like Handheld fruit pies, Mini savory pies
- Chicken pot pie: A classic comfort food filled with tender chicken, vegetables, and a creamy sauce, all encased in a flaky pastry crust.
Storage and freezing
Refrigerator Storage: Wrap the pie dough in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight bag. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Keep it cold to maintain the buttery texture.
Freezing: For long-term storage, tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag. It can be stored in the freezer for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator before use and allow it to briefly come to room temperature to soften.
Tips for this Recipe
- Choose the Right Butter: Use good-quality butter, preferably with a high-fat content, for superior texture and flavor.
- Cold or Frozen Butter: Ensure that the butter is very cold before incorporating it into the flour, you can also place the butter in the freezer. This helps create small pockets of butter in the dough that will melt during baking, resulting in a flaky crust.
- Don't Overwork the Dough: Mix the dough just enough to hold it together. Overworking it can make it tough.
- Use Ice-Cold Water: Cold water prevents the butter from melting and helps maintain a crumbly texture.
- Let the Dough Rest: After preparing it, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator. This allows the gluten to relax and the butter to firm up, making the dough easier to work with.
- Handle Gently: When rolling out the dough, do so gently to avoid overheating and melting the butter.
- Pre-Baking: For pies with a very moist filling, blind baking the crust can help prevent it from becoming soggy.
- Monitor Oven Temperature: Proper oven temperature is crucial. Too low heat won't allow the pastry to become crispy.
- Thicker Edges: If making a pie, form slightly thicker edges to prevent them from burning or collapsing.
Chocolate Pie Crust: Perfect for sweet pies, this crust incorporates cocoa powder for a chocolatey flavor.
Cream Cheese Pie Crust: By replacing some of the butter with cream cheese, this crust becomes richer and offers a slightly different texture.
Gluten-Free Pie Crust: Suitable for those following a gluten-free diet, this recipe uses a blend of gluten-free flours for a delicious and inclusive pie crust.
Coconut Pie Crust: This version is ideal for fruity or tropical pies. It incorporates coconut flour and/or shredded coconut for an exotic taste and texture.
Olive Oil Pie Crust: For a healthier option, replace some or all of the butter with olive oil. This yields a lighter crust with a Mediterranean touch.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Question
How to Pre-Bake a Pie Crust?
Cover the crust with parchment paper, fill it with pie weights or dried beans, and blind-bake it before adding the filling.
Can I replace butter with other fats?
Yes, vegetable oil, margarine, or coconut oil can be used, but it will alter the texture and taste.
Why is my pie crust too hard?
It may be due to overworking the dough or insufficient water.
How to prevent the pie crust from shrinking during baking?
Let the crust rest in the refrigerator overnight or in the freezer for 2 hours after rolling it out and before baking.
Did you make this recipe?
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