December 19th, 2012
This is long overdue. I know.
Those days are over. I’m finally ready to share my simple pie dough. Just in time for Christmas!
See, there are tons of great pie dough recipes out there. Some are complicated (unless procuring leaf lard is easy for you), and others super simple. Though I’ve successfully taken on a bunch of the more complicated recipes (and find that many of them do, in fact, make amazing pie dough), the reality is that I need a fantastic easy pie dough made with nothing more than flour, butter, sugar, salt and water. If you dig into the easy recipes, you’ll find that the good ones are all remarkably similar, with just slight variations.
For a long time it struck me as strange to post a recipe similar to so many others, but you have asked for this and I’m here to answer. Before I do, though, please allow me to say, “DUH!” Of course you can find those other simple pie dough recipes, but how do you know which the best? And why should you have to go to more than one source?
For a moment there I forgot that it’s my job to help make things easier for you. I know which recipes are good and I’ve tinkered with enough of them to come up with my own. Now here it is. One stop shopping. Finally. My gift to you this holiday season.
PS: Ever have trouble transferring rolled dough to a pie plate? Here’s the (not so) skinny: fold it into quarters first! The recipe below explains, but here are some pics to show what I mean.
First, roll your dough into a 13″ round with even thickness throughout.
Then, carefully fold the round in half.
Fold it in half again, getting it to a quarter of the size. Now you can easily transfer this to your pie plate.
Just carry it over, place the point in the center of your pie plate, unfold in reverse direction and you’re done.
Makes enough for one 9″ double crust pie
2 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for rolling
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5-8 tablespoons cup very cold water
1. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, pulsing after each piece. Pulse until all butter has been added the the dough resembles coarse sand.
2. Sprinkle dough with 5 tablespoons of cold water and pulse again until dough is cumbly but holds together when rolled with your hands. If necessary, add up to three more tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Remove dough from the bowl of the food processor onto a work surface. Pull half of the dough together and roll into a ball. Gently flatten the ball to form a disk that’s about 3/4 inch thick. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Wrap both disks very tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. If not using immediately, freeze disks for up to 3 months, making sure to thaw before using.
4. When ready to use, remove 1 disk of dough from the fridge (if using dough that has thawed on the counter, be sure to refrigerate it so that it’s cold and firm before using) and place on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 13″ round with even thickness throughout, turning, flipping and lightly flouring the dough as necessary as you go. Carefully fold dough into quarters to transfer it to a 9″ pie plate. Unfold and gently ease the dough into the pie plate and up the sides. Trim excess with kitchen shears or a paring knife. If making a double crust pie, repeat process with a second disk of dough.