- All Butter Pie Crust vs. Pie Crust with Shortening
- Tips for success
- All Butter Pie Crust
- Step 1 – Cube Butter
- Step 2 – Mix Flour
- Step 3 – Add Butter
- Step 4 – Blend Ingredients
- Step 5 – Add Water
- Step 6 – Divide Dough
- Step 7 – Wrap Dough
- Step 8 – Roll Out Dough
- Step 9 – Transfer Dough
- Step 10 – Crimp Edges
- Step 11 – Decorate Pie Crust
- Step 12 – Weave Dough Strips
All Butter Pie Crust vs. Pie Crust with Shortening
A traditional pie crust is made with part butter and part shortening. While the butter is the flavouring agent giving your pie crust a rich and buttery flavour, the shortening provides structure and keeps your pie designs in shape whilst baking. However, I have found that substituting butter in place of shortening creates an even more flavourful and lighter pie crust. While the dough isn’t quite as stable as traditional pie dough, it tastes better and can still be braided and decorated nicely. In terms of flavour, all butter pie crust is a clear winner!
Tips for success
Make sure you are working with chilled ingredients. Using very cold butter will prevent the butter from melting into the dough completely. If the butter is too warm it will fully combine with the rest of the ingredients and you won’t get that marbled effect in your dough. Why do we want a marbled effect? This is so the butter can melt into the dough as it bakes and create air pockets which in turn make the pie crust unbelievable flaky… and who doesn’t love a flaky pie crust?!
The ice water furthermore helps keep the butter chilled, preventing your dough from becoming too warm. Remember: the colder your pie crust the flakier the pie!
For making your own pie crust you’ll need a few baking tools. The most important tool is a rolling pin. If you do not have one, use a clean wine bottle to roll out your dough. You’ll also need a 25cm (9.8 inch) round pie or tart pan preferably out of glass or ceramic. Another important tool you’ll need is a pastry brush. Other tools such as a pastry blender, pastry wheel and bench scraper are helpful to have but are optional.
-My pie has burnt edges.
This happens if you place the pie in a rack too far up or do not cover it as it starts to darken. Always cover your pie with a pie shield or aluminium foil if it starts to get darker than a golden brown.
-My pie dough is dry and crumbly.
You didn’t add enough water to the dough and thus your dough has difficulties sticking together. Add a bit more water until your dough becomes pliable.
-My pie crust shrank while baking.
To prevent the pie crust from shrinking, chill the dough in the pie form for 15 minutes before baking it.
-My pie crust is soggy.
This can happen especially when working with fruit fillings that release their juices as they bake. To prevent a soggy bottom, brush the bottom of the dough with some egg white. This creates a barrier between the pie crust and filling.
-My pie crust is tough.
This happens when you overwork the dough. Pie crust should be kneaded just until combined and not any longer.
All Butter Pie Crust
- 320 g all purpose flour 2 and 1/2 cups
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 230 g butter chilled (2 sticks)
- 100 ml ice water 1/2 cup
Cut the butter into cubes and freeze for 10 minutes.
Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar.
Add in the cubed butter.
Blend the butter into the flour mixture until the butter clumps are no larger than the size of peas.
Add half of the ice water and combine the dough. Continue to add the rest of the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is pliable.
Divide the dough into 2 equal sections.
Shape both parts into discs and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Remove one of the discs from the fridge and let it warm up for about 10 minutes. Then roll it out on a generously floured surface until it is slightly bigger than your pie pan.
Carefully roll it onto the rolling pin and transfer it into your pie pan.
Crimp the edges as desired.
Freeze the other half if making an open face pie or use as the top part. For decorations, roll out the second dough and slice into strips using a pastry wheel.
Alternatingly layer the strips over the pie filling to make a braided design. Then freeze or bake as your recipe calls for.
Make ahead tip: Pie crust can be made ahead and stored in the fridge, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months.
Let’s get started
Step 1 – Cube Butter
Cube the butter and spread it out on a single layer. Freeze until firm, for about 10 minutes.
Step 2 – Mix Flour
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar and whisk until well combined.
Step 3 – Add Butter
Add in the butter cubes and mix into the flour mixture with a pastry blender.
Step 4 – Blend Ingredients
Blend the butter until it resembles the size of peas. Be careful not to blend the butter into the flour too much. You still want to see small chunks of butter inside the dough.
Step 5 – Add Water
Slowly add in half of the ice water and work into the dough. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is smooth.
Step 6 – Divide Dough
With a pastry cutter (or a sharp knife), divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
Step 7 – Wrap Dough
Form both parts into round discs and and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Then chill the discs in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Step 8 – Roll Out Dough
Take out one of the discs and let it warm up on the kitchen counter for about 10 minutes. Then, on a generously floured surface, roll the dough out till it is slightly bigger than the pie pan.
Step 9 – Transfer Dough
Carefully roll it onto the rolling pin and transfer it into the pie pan.
Step 10 – Crimp Edges
Crimp the sides of the dough, pinching both sides of the dough with your fingers.
Step 11 – Decorate Pie Crust
If making an open face pie, freeze the other dough disc; or roll out and use as the top for your pie. To decorate the pie, cut the dough into strips with a pastry wheel (or sharp knife) and braid as desired.
Step 12 – Weave Dough Strips
Layer the dough strips onto the pie filling in an alternating fashion. Freeze or bake as recipe calls for.
Enjoy this pie crust as a basis for a variety of fruit pies such as apple, cherry, peach, berry, or pear. For more homemade dough recipes, try this vegan Coconut Pecan Pie , this easy homemade French Bread or this lightened-up Quiche.