Pie Pastry Basics - Make a Perfect Pie Crust

  • 01 of 05

    Pie Pastry Basics - Incorporating the Butter

    Pie Pastry Butter and Flour Mixture
    Pie Pastry Butter and Flour Mixture. Diana Rattray

    When making pie pastry, begin with ice cold butter -- put it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes -- and ice water. This is a photo of the mixture of flour, salt, and butter. Note the crumbly texture and many pea-size pieces of butter. This was done in the food processor, but you could also use your fingers or pastry blender to get the same results.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Pie Pastry Disks

    Pie Pastry Disks Ready to Chill
    Pie Pastry Disks Ready to Chill. Diana Rattray

     Pie pastry is moistened with just enough ice cold water to bring it together. Knead the dough a few times and shape into one or two disks, depending on whether you are making a one- or two-crust pie. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes before rolling. 

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  • 03 of 05

    Pie Pastry - Rolling the Dough

    Pie Pastry - Bottom Crust
    Pie Pastry - Bottom Crust. Diana Rattray

     Take one disk of pie dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. If it is over-chilled and cracking when you start to roll, let it stand at room temperature for just a few minutes.  

    Roll from the center to create a fairly even circle and roll as quickly as possible to avoid overworking the dough. 

    Transfer to the pie plate and pat it in. Trim the edges.

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  • 04 of 05

    Pie Pastry - Top Crust

    Filling and Top Crust
    Filling and Top Crust. Diana Rattray

    Add the filling to the pie and roll the top crust out just as you did the bottom crust. Transfer the top crust to the filled pie plate and center it over the pie.  Folding it over the rolling pin can be helpful if the crust seems too delicate to lift by hand. Crimp the edge as you like, using a lot or very little of the dough overhang. Trim excess. 

    Lightly brush the top crust with egg wash made with 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of milk or light cream.  Using a small sharp knife, cut several slits...MORE in the top crust to allow steam to escape.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Pie Pastry - Glazed and Baked Double Crust Pie

    Pie Pastry - Glazed Baked Double Crust Pie
    Pie Pastry - Glazed Baked Double Crust Pie. Diana Rattray

     This pie shows a glazed and baked double crust pie made with the all butter pie pastry. I sprinkled the top with a few teaspoons of vanilla sugar, but you could use a cinnamon sugar blend or plain granulated sugar as well.

    If the edge of the crust is browning too much and the filling is taking longer, fashion a foil ring and fit loosely over the crimped edge the last several minutes.