If you are looking for a flaky, buttery and delicious pie dough recipe, you have come to the right place! You don’t need special equipment or training to create this crust – just follow the tips in this post and you will have a pie crust to delight your guests. This is the only flaky pie crust recipe I use at the bakery and I have tried countless other recipes! It is strong enough to hold up to heavy fruit fillings, yet still tender, and is a dream to work with. Be sure to check out my video where I will walk you through all the steps for making this delicious flaky pie dough.
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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 to the crust and will also add to the flakiness of the dough as long as it isn’t overworked while preparing or rolling the dough.
Tips for Making the Perfect Flaky Pie Dough
- Only a few simple ingredients are needed to make this dough: 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 1/4″ cubes and place in the refrigerator until called for in the recipe. It is important the butter is 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.
- Adding the Fats to the Dry Ingredients:
- Begin by measuring 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 so the fats are elongated and flattened. Continue this process until you have visible pea-sized bits of fat remaining (Figures B and C). A pastry cutter may also be used for this step.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 or 15 minutes if the butter becomes too soft. Continue working the dough once the butter hardens.
- Adding the Liquid:
- 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 until the dough when squeezed forms a loose ball and there are few remaining crumbs on the bottom of the bowl.
- 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.
- Resting the Dough:
- Form the dough into a disk, 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.
- Rolling the Dough:
- Generously sprinkle your work surface, rolling pin and pie dough with flour before beginning to roll out. Continue to dust flour on the work surface and rolling pin if it begins to stick.
- Start with a flattened disk (figure A), 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 (Figure B).
- 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 Dough with Your Pies:
- After filling your pie, lightly whip an egg and using a pastry brush apply a generous coating of egg wash to the crust. This will help prevent the crust from burning. Additionally, sprinkle a generous amount of raw sugar over the crust to achieve a rustic look.
- Place your pie in the refrigerator or freezer once the pie is assembled for 10 – 15 minutes. This will help minimize the crust from shrinking.
Flaky Pie Dough
- 375 Grams All-Purpose Flour (3 Cups)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 TBSP Granulated Sugar
- 170 Grams Cold Butter, cut into cubes (6 ounces or 1 ½ sticks)
- 100 Grams Vegetable Shortening (½ Cup)
- 2 – 6 TBSP Cold Water
- Place flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine.
- Place vegetable shortening and cold butter in 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 refriderator 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.