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All-Butter Pie Crust

You can make this dough either by using a pastry cutter by hand or a food processor, but it's harder to overwork the pie dough when using a pastry cutter. It's very important to keep all the ingredients cold throughout the assembly process. If the butter starts to soften, then stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow it to firm up. If you're not using the dough within two to three days, then wrap the plastic-wrapped discs in tinfoil, or place them in a heavy-duty resealable bag, and freeze until needed. Thaw in the fridge overnight before use.

All-Butter Pie Crust

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Notes

You can make this dough either by using a pastry cutter by hand or a food processor, but it's harder to overwork the pie dough when using a pastry cutter. It's very important to keep all the ingredients cold throughout the assembly process. If the butter starts to soften, then stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow it to firm up. If you're not using the dough within two to three days, then wrap the plastic-wrapped discs in tinfoil, or place them in a heavy-duty resealable bag, and freeze until needed. Thaw in the fridge overnight before use.

More of a visual learner? Reference our step-by-step guide.

Ready to take it to the next level? Learn how to crimp pie crust or to top with a lattice.

Ingredients

  1. 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and very cold
    1/2 cup very cold water, plus more as needed

Directions

To Make by Hand:

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture, and cut it using a pastry cutter (rubbing it in with your fingertips also works in a pinch). Keep working the butter into the dough until the largest pieces of butter are in between the diameter of a dime and a nickel.
  3. Scrape off any residual butter-flour mixture from the pastry cutter, and drizzle in the water. Gently work the water into the dough with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until it becomes a shaggy but relatively cohesive mass. Give the dough a few kneads with your hands (fewer than 10) so that it forms a rough ball.
  4. Divide the dough ball into two, and flatten each half into a rough disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and chill for at minimum one hour (this allows the water to fully hydrate the dough, making for a more cohesive product that's easier to roll out).

To Make in a Food Processor:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
  2. With the machine running, add about half the water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream; stop when the dough holds together without turning wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, then add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Divide the dough ball into two, and flatten each half into a rough disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and chill for at minimum one hour (this allows the water to fully hydrate the dough, making for a more cohesive product that's easier to roll out).
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