If you are looking to get into the kitchen and create some pies, I’ve got an easy butter pie crust recipe for you! This flaky, all-butter pie crust is THE BEST! It’s unbelievably easy to make from scratch. You only need five simple ingredients and a few tips and tricks along the way. This is personally my go-to easy butter pie crust recipe. It’s easy, reliable, makes perfectly flaky crust and is great for both sweet and savory pies. If you’ve ever struggled with pie crust recipes, you’ll fall in love with this one.
If you are an experienced pie maker, you can make your way to the end of this post and get straight into to the recipe. However if you are not yet comfortable with making pie crusts this blog is mostly for you. I’ve got some tips which will help you get a better result with your pie crust.
USE COLD CUBED BUTTER ONLY
Use cold, unsalted butter only! This is because when you are kneading the dough it is possible the butter will melt before you bake it. This means you will loose the structure and fluffiness of the pie crust. You want the pie crust to melt inside the oven, not on the bench or in your hands. Unsalted butter gives the pastry a lighter flavour, a crust that is too salty can be overwhelming. By using unsalted butter you get freedom to add a little salt if you want to. Naturally, with salted butter you cannot remove the salt.
ICE COLD WATER IS A MUST
Ice cold water helps hold the ingredients of the butter and flour the best. You want the dough to hold its shape when you roll it out. Add ice cubes to the water to keep it as cold as possible. When prepping your pie crust, fill up 1/2 cup ice cold water. You probably will not need to use all of this water but have it on hand just in case. If you do not use enough ice cold water, your dough will have cracks, break and wont roll out smoothly. If you find that you have added too much water, you can always add a little bit more flour. A great tip is to keep adding a teaspoon of water after the recommended amount. This helps make sure you do not add too much water. Make sure you chill the dough for AT LEAST 2 HOURS before baking.
ROLL OUT THE DOUGH BEFORE REFRIGERATING
So many recipes use the technique of forming the dough into a disk, refrigerating and then rolling it out before baking. However I absolutely dislike rolling out the dough after it has been refrigerated for hours. I find it very difficult to work in this way. What I like to do is roll out the dough after it had chilled in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then I place it in the pie crust dish and refrigerate it so that it sets.
When rolling the dough you will want to keep your bench surface floured. This will help prevent the crust from sticking. Be sure to also flour your rolling pin so that the dough does not stick onto the rolling pin. For rolling out the dough, you want to start in the middle of the dough and work your way in an upward direction. I usually count 3 rolls to make sure it rolls out evenly. When you are ready to put your dough into your pie dish use your rolling pin to wrap the dough around it and to then transfer it to your dish. This will help the crust not to break during the transfer process.
Working with a butter pie crust takes a little practice and knowing what things to do and what things to avoid can really help you get the best result.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- Be sure to read the recipe and follow as written! Making any changes to the ingredient list can affect the overall outcome of your pie crust.
- Use only cold butter and ice cold water. Do not make changes and use room temperature butter or water, this can only ruin the pie crust result.
- Be aware of temperature the entire time you’re making the dough. Your dough must never get warm and the butter must never melt!
- Make the pie crust in advance! It needs at least 2 hours in the fridge before being baked.
- Be careful not to overwork your dough. Overworking the dough activates the gluten in the flour, which can cause the crust to become tough and shrink while baking.
- Before rolling out your chilled pie crust, make sure it’s the right temperature by pressing the dough lightly with your finger. Your fingertip should leave an imprint but shouldn’t easily sink into the dough. If the dough is too soft, place it back in the fridge. If the dough is too hard, let it soften at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes.
- To roll the dough – place your rolling pin in the center of the disk of dough and use your body weight to press straight forward. Make sure to rotate your dough in the same direction between rolls & only roll in one direction instead of side to side, left & right. You should continue the process of making singular strokes in the same direction followed by rotating the dough.
Butter Pie Crust
- 400 g all purpose flour
- 280 g cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water ice cold
- In a food processor, add the flour, butter, salt and sugar and pulse for roughly 10 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse sand, with some small lumps of butter.
- Transfer the flour and butter mixture into a large bowl. Then add in one tablespoon of the ice cold water at a time and use your hands to bring the dough together.
- Stop adding water when the dough comes together easily and begins to form large clumps. The dough will feel a little sticky, but not feel overly wet.
- Alternatively you can continue the process in the food processor. Add one tablespoon of ice water at a time through the feed tube of the food processor, pulsing a few times after each addition. Stop adding water when the mixture begins to form large clumps and pulls away from sides of the food processor bowl.
- Dump the mixture onto a work surface and push it together into a disc using your hands. Cover the butter pie crust tightly in glad wrap and place in the fridge for roughly 20 minutes before shaping into the pie dish.
SHAPING THE BUTTER PIE CRUST
- Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the disk of dough from the center moving outward, turning it each time and repeating. Work the rolling pin in one direction. Roll for 3 counts and then rotate. Feel free to smooth out the edges if you notice cracks.
- Carefully transfer the pie crust to the pie pan, flute the edges.
- Cover your pie crust dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before baking.
- Once the pie crust has rested in the fridge, proceed with your pie recipe.
- Half a cup of ice water is usually the perfect amount for this recipe. However you could require a tad more. Just pay attention to your dough and stop adding water before it gets too wet.
- Try not to handle the dough too much or your hands will warm it and start to melt the butter. If you need to, refrigerate the flour and butter mixture for 5 minutes before continuing.
- This pie dough may be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of days before rolling out.
I hope that you have found this recipe helpful! With this easy butter pie crust recipe you can create many savory and sweet treats! If you are in need for some inspiration try my Healthy Sweet Potato & Lentil Pie recipe or the famous and indulgent Healthy Mince & Cheese Pie.