The ultimate crust with butter and shortening
If you are looking for a buttery, delicious and flaky pie crust recipe, you have come to the right place! You don’t need special equipment or training to create this crust - just follow the tips presented here and you will have a flaky pie crust to delight your guests. This pie dough is strong enough to hold up to heavy fruit fillings, yet still tender and a dream to work with.
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Why you will love this recipe
This recipe uses a combination of shortening and butter for the fats. Shortening has a higher melting temperature than butter and will contribute to a very flaky crust. Butter adds an intense flavor and will also add to the flakiness of the dough.
- Only a few ingredients are needed to make the flaky pie crust: all-purpose flour (unbleached is preferred), sugar (to add a bit of sweetness), salt, vegetable shortening, unsalted butter and ice water.
- Cut the butter into ¼" cubes. Place in the refrigerator until called for in the recipe. It is important the butter be cold before working it into the dough else it could melt and cause a tough, glutenous dough.
- Place several ice cubes in a glass of water to chill it.
Add butter and shortening
- Begin by adding the flour, sugar and salt into a medium to large bowl. Stir the ingredients to combine.
- Add the vegetable shortening and cold butter to the bowl and toss to combine (Figure A) .
- Using your fingers, begin squishing the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients so the fats are elongated and flattened. Continue this process until you have visible pea-sized bits of fat remaining (Figures B and C). You may also use a pastry cutter for this step.
- If the butter becomes too soft, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 or 15 minutes. Continue working the dough once the butter hardens.
- Begin by adding 2 tablespoons of ice water to the dough and gently toss the dough. Continue adding 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. The dough is finished when it forms a loose ball when squeezed.
- A convenient way to control adding the last measure of water is to use a food-safe spray bottle filled with ice water and add a few squirts to the bottom of the bowl.
Rest pie dough
- Form the dough into a disc, wrap well and let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This will accomplish two things: 1) allow the gluten to relax, and 2) ensure the butter does not melt while rolling out the dough.
- Generously sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with flour before beginning to roll the dough. Continue to dust flour on the work surface if the dough begins to stick.
- Starting with a flattened disc, place your rolling pin in the middle of the dough and roll away from you, place the rolling pin back in the middle of the dough and roll towards you, turn the dough 90° and continue rolling in the same manner. Continue this process until you have reached your desired thickness and the correct size to fit your pie tin. You will see flattened pieces of butter if it was properly incorporated into your dough.
- To place the dough in your pie tin, lightly flour the dough, wrap it around your rolling pin and transfer to the pie tin.
- Place the pie tin in the refrigerator while making your pie fillings.
- Tips for Using the Flaky Dough with Your Pies:
- After filling your pie, lightly whip an egg and use a pastry brush to apply a generous coating of egg wash to the crust. This will help prevent the crust from burning. Sprinkle a generous amount of raw sugar over the crust to achieve a rustic look.
- After assembling your pie, place in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 - 15 minutes. This will help minimize the crust from shrinking.
Flaky Pie Dough Recipe
- 375 Grams All-Purpose Flour (3 Cups)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 170 Grams Unsalted, Cold Butter, cut into ½" cubes (6 ounces or 1 ½ sticks)
- 100 Grams Vegetable Shortening (½ Cup)
- 2 - 6 tablespoon Cold Water
- Place flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add vegetable shortening and cold butter to the bowl and toss to coat with flour.
- Begin working shortening and butter into the dry ingredients by: 1) using a pastry cutter or 2) your hands. If the butter becomes too soft, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Continue to work the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients until small pieces of butter remain which are a bit larger than a pea.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water to the dough and gently toss with a spatula or work in with your hands or pastry cutter.
- Continue to add water as needed until the dough holds together.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Roll dough on a lightly floured work surface.