This is my favorite crust to use. This crust actually turns out pretty flaky for an all butter crust, and it tastes amazing! It’s so fast that if you blink twice, you might miss it. Some argue that using a food processor takes away from the texture, but I think if there is a difference, it’s pretty negligible, especially if you are new to pie crust making. There is more importance in how cold you keep the ingredients. Just CHILL the butter and water, and make sure you don’t OVERPROCESS and you’ll be awesome!
There are a few factors that will influence your crust and how well it rolls out, and how well it bakes up. The first is your flour. Depending on the type and even brand you use, it will have an effect on how much water you will add. Different flour absorbs water differently. This recipe uses only all-purpose flour, and depending on where you live and what is available to you, you will have to adjust your water. I live in a desert and usually need the full 12 tablespoons, but even I have to adjust each time. It comes down to practice and getting a feel for when the mix is just right.
I REALLY suggest using a scale to measure out your flour. It’s just so much more consistent. And if you have any interest in baking at all, you really should have a nice digital scale in your kitchen. They are inexpensive as far as equipment goes, and I find mine invaluable. There is so much variance in the ways people measure, and in a recipe where the liquid/dry ratio is so important, the variance can mean the difference between success and not so happy results. Pie crust really should be easy. Don’t make it harder on yourself! Practice a few times and it’ll become second nature and you will start to get a sense for how everything is supposed to look and feel.
Easy All Butter Double Crust
11.5 oz. all-purpose flour (or, if you absolutely must measure without a scale, 2 cups, 2 1/2 Tablespoons flour)
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter–cut into 1/2 inch cubes and set in freezer for 30 minutes
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (halve if using table salt)
8–10 Tablespoons ice cold water
Cube your butter into 1/2 inch cubes and spread out onto a plate or baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Place your water in a bowl with plenty of ice and let sit for 20 minutes to chill well. Put it in the fridge if you like.
Put the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of your food processor and pulse for a second or two just to mix together well.
Sprinkle the chilled butter over the pulsed dry ingredients.
Pulse (cut) the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse meal. You should still see tiny 1/8th to 1/4 inch pieces of butter in the flour.
With the machine pulsing, start to add the ice water. Stop after 7 tablespoons. You will need to evaluate the water content at this point. The mix will just be starting to cling together slightly and to the sides of the bowl, but will still appear quite crumbly.
Take a small amount (about 3 tablespoons) into the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze just until it comes together in your fist. Open your hand and the mix should hold together but still appear SLIGHTLY crumbly. If it doesn’t hold together like the picture above, put it back in and pulse in another tablespoon of water. Don’t over process at this point. Just barely incorporate the water in and test it again. If I were to err to one side or the other, I would probably say just BARELY to the wet side, because trying to work with a too dry, crumbly crust is MEGAANNOYING! But don’t think this means you can just keep adding water to be safe. Just practice until you get a feel for what works.
After you have achieved crust mixture PERFECTION, pour it out onto a clean work surface. Working quickly to avoid warming up the dough with your hands, bring it together into a ball. I like to divide my dough NOTQUITEEVENLY. I like the bottom crust to have just a tad more to work with because it needs to drape the sides of the pie pan. So this crust gives somewhere right around 24 ounces of dough. Divide into two pieces about 13.5 ounces and 10.5 ounces. See why having a digital scale is awesome?
Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, forming into a flat disc about 1 inch thick. The more even you get the dough at this point, the easier it will be to roll out later, but remember, the more you handle it with your hands, the less flaky it will turn out in the end.
If possible, I like to only chill for 20–30 minutes before rolling out to make rolling out easier. You can chill the crust in the pie pan after rolling if you like and have the time.
Rollout on a lightly floured surface to a 13–14 inch circle if using a 9.5 inch pie pan. the crust will be between 1/16–1/8 inch thick. Check during rolling to make sure it’s not sticking to your surface. Work carefully to move and center the bottom crust into the pie pan.
At this point you can cover with wrap and chill for a bit and then either fill and top with the other crust, or blind bake for unbaked pies. Instructions for this can be found in this post.