Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Special Occasion Pie Crust

My main pie crust is just fine for day-to-use.  In our house, day-to-day use entails holding quiches and (this time of year) tomato pie.  But if you want a reaallly yummy, lovely, buttery and impressive looking pie crust that holds the juices of fruit pie nicely and remains flaky, you may want to listen up.

My best friend from high school is getting married this fall and she asked me to make some of the desserts for the reception (I enlisted my mom's help).  She wants pies.  So, a couple weeks ago I set out to find a worthy pie crust for this happy occasion and struck gold on the first try.  It helps that the recipe came highly recommended from a dear friend who blogged about it.  It also helped that the original recipe came from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen.  I can't remember a recipe of hers that I've tried and haven't liked.

My standard pie crust method is to make 11 pie crusts at once, line pie plates with them and freeze crust-in-plate so they're at the ready.  This All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Crust recipe which makes two crusts can be frozen in disc form, at the ready for special pies/occasions.

Recipe Disclaimer/Update! (11/1/11)  I wrote this post after making this recipe once or twice (my memory fails me), but then I made it several more times and grew less and less fond of it.  It was very tasty and flaky but I did not like how it didn't do a good job of consistently holding the shape of the fluted edges during baking.  More often than not, the fluting melted together during baking and didn't look neat.

So!  If you don't care how your pie looks, go on and give this one a try- it's yummy.  If you do care how it looks, use a different recipe.  I continue to fall back to this one.  It never fails me.  I used this tried and true recipe with success for the wedding.

All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough (recipe from Deb via Jennifer Jo)

2 1/2 cups all purpose white flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
6 tbsp. ice water

Blend flour, sugar and salt with a fork.  Chop the butter into small pieces and, using your fingers, blend the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the ice water and work the dough until it's just combined.  It will be soft and a little sticky.  If, for some reason, it's on the dry-side add a teaspoon more of ice water until it's soft and a little sticky.  Divide the dough in two pieces and form into discs.  Wrap them in saran wrap and store in the fridge or freezer.

Thaw a frozen disc completely in the fridge.  Prior to using a refrigerated disc, let it sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes until it softens.  Open the plastic wrap, keeping the crust disc in the center.  Place another piece of plastic wrap on top and, using a rolling pin, pound it out into a larger disc and then roll out to form a circle slightly larger than your pie plate.  Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap and lay the exposed side of the pie crust into your pie plate.  Before removing the other layer, press it gently into the plate.  Remove the other layer of plastic wrap, flute, fill and bake.

I found that because of the higher butter content, it required slightly longer bake time that my other pie crusts, so two things can be done to help with this.  First of all, start off the bake time on a lower rack at a higher temp (400 degrees).  Then, lower the temp to 350 degrees and cover the edges of the crust with foil if it begins to darken too soon or too much.  Don't worry.  The extra attention is WAY worth it:-). Pin It


  1. I have used an almost identical recipe from Martha Stewart for years, and it is wonderful. I agree that it makes the most flaky crust. Your recipe has a little more sugar than mine, so I am going to try it your way next time. Thanks for posting such great recipes.

  2. I hope I can find some time to make this,sounds so much better than a normal pie crust and how easy is that -pop in & pop out

  3. I just found a recipe online last week that was very similar to this (if not almost exactly the same) when I was looking for a pie crust recipe for my peach pies. And, I learned something new. Pie crust can be made in a food processor! The dry ingredient & the butter (cut into Tb. size) get a few pulses (about 5 or 6 depending on how chunky you want your butter to be), then add the water 1 Tb. at a time, pulse a bit after each addition until it clumps together. I'm always intimidated by making pie dough for some reason and this was so EASY!

  4. This is so good that you posted this. I'm new to tomato pies and so I'm making them like they are going out of style. But, I couldn't agree more that you need a "special" crust for sweet pie.

    I do believe that the Smitten Kitchen Site is my new best friend. I just discovered it and I'm there everyday scanning the recipes by ing. It's exciting to see what I have on hand and make something special for my family.


  5. That recipe looks wonderful and I have just printed it. I also must add that the thought of canning "70" jars of nectarines makes me a bit weak ~ WOW. You amaze me...I was tired and asking myself "why do I do this?" after 24 quarts of do a great job!

  6. Good morning, I am new to your blog and love it. I can not wait to try the pie crust and freeze a stack of them. They sure will come in handy with fellowship meals at church. thanks for sharing.

  7. With fall coming on I needed a good pie crust recipe-thanks!

  8. With as many pies as you make AND being of Mennonite background, I'm surprised you don't use a hot water pie crust recipe. I found one in an Amish cookbook and it made so much more sense - the hot water melts the butter and incorporates it better - very flaky. Unfortunately, I've misplaced that cookbook and don't know if the ones I've found on the internet through searches are the same one. But you might want to give it a try...
    Teri in WA State -

  9. I just finished making two pies with this dough recipe! It was perfect thank you so much for sharing it with us!


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