1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 Tbs. Ice cold water (put ice cubes into cold water to make it even more cold)
Making pie crust at home sounds kind of crazy to me, but I had to do it if I wanted some pies this past Holiday season. I wanted to make three pies and there were no frozen pie crusts to be found in my town, so I made my own crust with this recipe! Each crust turned out better than the one before it, and now I feel confident about making pie crust – it’s a Miracle!
There are absolutely other ways, different recipes, to achieve a more flakey, or healthy pie crust. I went with an unsalted-butter based recipe a friend recommended from Williams Sonoma which worked out great for me and that’s what I will share.
What I want to emphasize the most: Dust Your Rolling Surface With Flour! Not just a sprinkle. That will not do. A good and consistent coating of flour on your work surface will keep you from unavoidable dough tearing when you transfer the rolled out dough into the pie shell. If you roll out your pie dough and notice the coating of flour has disappeared from your surface, re-coat the surface! Your dough will stick to anything not coated in flour and this can be trouble.
Directions (taken from the Williams Sonoma recipe):
To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives (I used knives), cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas (here is a video explaining what this looks like). Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.
Coat the work surface you intend to use with flour. Transfer the dough to the work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Lightly flour the work surface, then flatten the disk with gentle rolls of the rolling pin until it is about 6″ in diameter. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn (this makes sure the dough is not stuck to the surface), add additional flour to the surface if it is gone. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out into a round at least 12 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick, now you are ready to line the pan or dish. When transferring dough from work surface to pie shell, fold the round in half, then again into a triangle to keep it from tearing (the crust will be fragile no matter what you do, be careful, but if it tears you can mend it in the shell). This page describes the folding method and gives another alternative.
Makes enough dough for one 9-inch single-crust pie or one 10-inch galette.
Once my pie dough was in the shell, I refrigerated it for at least one hour – covered with plastic wrap or other airtight container.
You can also freeze pie dough but I have no experience with that and will not give advice on how to do so.