A good pie crust can be intimidating, so here are some tips for the home baker “from a guy who has messed up plenty of them.”
Yield: more than enough for a two-crust pie or two individual shells
300g (about 2.5 cups) all-purpose flour
226g (2 sticks) unsalted sweet cream butter
6 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
56ml (1/4 cup) iced water (you might need a little more)
Mix together flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Incorporate the butter into the flour using a pastry knife or your clean, gloved hands. You can also pulse it in a food processor. You want the mixture to look coarse with have pea-sized chunks of butter. Slowly dribble the water in a little at a time. Gently press it into the flour mixture until the dough has formed. Wrap the finished dough in parchment or plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for at least fifteen minutes prior to rolling it out.
When you’re ready, grab half of the dough, and gently press it into a disc shape. Place one of the discs on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin (or a wine bottle in a pinch) start rolling the disc from the center outwards. Don’t press too hard, let the rolling pin do the work. Rotate the dough every couple of strokes, and make sure it’s even. Use more flour if needed. Roll it out until it’s about 1/8” thick. Gently place the rolled dough in a pie pan, 8”-10”. Fill it with your favorite pie filling. If you’re making a two-crust pie, repeat the process with the other half, and use it as the top crust.
Let this be the year that you finally bake a perfect pie. Check out these local businesses’ tips for baking pies smarter, not harder.
Tips from DaddyBoy Bake Shop
Nic Romano has learned that whether baking on a Navy ship, in a Panera restaurant, or in your home kitchen with three children at your feet, making a hand-made, from-scratch pie crust will be 1,000 times better than a mass-produced crust from the grocery store! Here are his tips for home cooks ready to give it a try:
- Invest in a good baking scale. You’ll be able to be more precise in your measurements weighing everything out. The metric system is your friend. It is much easier to scale recipes and get accurate measurements using grams and milliliters than using ounces.
- Be careful not to overmix your pie crust. The trick to making a tender, flaky pie crust is to handle it as little as possible once the water has been added. Overworking the dough will strengthen the gluten development, and the resulting dough will be stretchy and tough. So, relax, add the water a little bit at a time, pressing it into the flour mixture, until the dough is just formed.
- Don’t overthink, enjoy it! Trial and error are good teachers, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Tips from Mom’s Apple Pie Co.
Avis Renshaw sells pies for a living, but she enthusiastically says that whatever kind of pie you bake at home will be better than any pie you buy, because it will be baked with love. Here are her tips for baking pies at home:
- Roll out the pie crust dough three times and that’s it. Whatever it is after three rolls, it is your crust. Any more rolling and you will lose the flakiness you’ve built up in the dough.
- It’s not rocket science. Baking pies at home is definitely worth trying.
- For the absolute beginner pie maker, start with a single crust pumpkin pie. It’s a pour-in filling, giving you the greatest chance at success.
Tips from Pie Sisters
You don’t have to grow up baking to try your hand at a homemade pie. Here are Allison Blakely’s tips for the home baker:
- Always use a glass pie plate. Your pie will bake more evenly, and you can see the crust as it bakes.
- Don’t overwork the dough, but also, just go for it. With a little practice, you can roll out the perfect dough each time.
- If the pie starts to burn on top, just lay a piece of aluminum foil lightly over the top of the whole pie and remove it for the last few minutes of baking. No need to try to just cover the edges of the pie crust.
Tips from Dangerously Delicious Pies
You, too, can learn quickly how to make a delicious pie with just a little bit of practice. Here are Mary Wortman’s tips:
- Always use fresh ingredients and fresh fruit for your pies.
- Pie crust is intimidating, but it just takes practice to perfect it. Just don’t overwork it.
- Rotate your pie half-way through the baking time. Just gently turn them half-way around on the oven rack to ensure even baking.