It’s another chilly Autumn day here in Oregon – the perfect kind of weather for a warm slice of pie! And what would a pie be without a good pie crust to compliment the filling??? With this post, I’ll show you how I was able to make a delicious and easy double pie crust straight from the King Arthur Flour website, which you can find here.
If you don’t feel like clicking on the link, here’s the full recipe from K.A.F.’s website:
- 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Pastry Flour Blend
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt*
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
- 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water**
- *Reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon if you use salted butter.
- **Use the lesser amount of water if you use Pastry Flour Blend.
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 tablespoon coarse sparkling sugar
- Whisk together the flour and salt.
- Add the shortening, working it in until the mixture is evenly crumbly.
- Cut the butter into small (about ½”) cubes.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture, and work it in roughly with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer. Don’t be too thorough; the mixture should be very uneven, with big chunks of butter in among the smaller ones.
- Add 4 tablespoons of water, and toss to combine.
- Toss with enough additional water to make a chunky, fairly cohesive mixture. It should hold together when you gather it up and squeeze it in your hand.
- Divide the dough in half, and gather each half into a rough disk. Smooth the disks; it’s OK if they have a few cracks in the surface. Smooth the disks’ edges by running them along a floured surface like a wheel.
- Wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Or wrap in aluminum foil over the plastic, and freeze for up to 2 months.
- When you’re ready to make pie, remove the crust from the refrigerator or freezer, leaving it wrapped. Allow it to thaw (if it’s frozen) or warm a bit (if it’s been chilled longer than 30 minutes), until it’s softened enough to roll, but still feels cold to the touch.
- Next, measure the bottom diameter, and up the sides of your pie pan. If your pan is 7″ across the bottom, and 1 ½” up each side, that’s a total of 10″. This means you should roll your bottom crust to a diameter between 11″ and 12″, which gives you enough extra for crimping the edges.
- Place the crust on a floured work surface; our silicone rolling mat is a fine choice. Roll it to the desired width. See the big chunks of butter? That’s a good thing.
- Place the crust in the pan by folding in quarters and placing in the pan. Or you can simply pick it up with a piecrust lifter, and move it that way.
- For a single-crust pie, fold the edges of the crust under, and gently squeeze them together. Crimp as desired. It’s nice to make a tall crimp, as the filling for a single-crust pie is usually fairly liquid (think pumpkin or custard), and it’s good to have that tall “dam.”
- For a double-crust pie, leave the edges of the bottom crust as is (no folding or crimping). Once you’ve added the pie filling, roll out the top crust to the outside diameter of your pan, and place it atop the filling.
- Trim excess crust with a pair of scissors, then press the two edges together.
- Crimp as desired. A simple fork crimp is fast and easy. At this point, it helps to return the pie to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes; this chills the fat, which ultimately increases the crust’s flakiness.
- Cut a hole in the center of the crust for steam to escape. Or slash the pie’s top surface several times.
- Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired.
- Bake… enjoy!
Alright, let’s dive in and see how I was able to make a delicious pie crust!
First, I measured out all my ingredients and placed them to the side. Then, I dumped the flour and salt into a large bowl, took a whisk, and mixed them together (about 30 seconds of whisking for good measure).
Next, I mixed in the vegetable shortening until the contents of the bowl were nice and crumbly.
I then took my cold butter, and cut it up into half inch pieces. I then dumped the butter into the flour/shortening/salt mixture and used my hands to mix it in. Don’t over-mix the butter – you want some larger and smaller pieces in there.
Mine looked like this when I was done:
I then added four tablespoons of ice water, mixed it, and added another two. Six tablespoons was my magic spot to get a nice, cohesive dough. I then weighed the dough on a scale and divided it into two equal-sized dough balls.
Next, I formed each dough ball into a disc about 6 inches in diameter.
I wrapped each disc in plastic wrap, then set them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Once they had chilled for a half hour, I took them out, floured my silicon baking mat (the mat I use has measurements that show a number of different diameters for just such an occasion) and started to roll the first dough disc with a rolling pin. My pie pan is 9.5 inches in diameter, and the lip is about 2.5 inches high, so I rolled the dough disc to 12 inches in diameter.
Next, I greased my pie pan with some non-stick baking spray, then picked up the baking mat and inverted it over my pie pan (mine is glass, so I won’t call it a “tin”). I carefully peeled the dough from the mat onto the pan, and pressed the dough into the bottom and up the sides until it looked like this:
I then poured in the filling I had chosen for this particular pie (which will be the feature of my next blog entry). It was then time to roll out the second disc. Because the second disc was to cover the top of the pie and didn’t have to be stretched up the side of the pie pan, I only had to roll it to the diameter of the pie pan (9 and 1/2 inches). Using the same technique as the first disc, I inverted the baking mat over the pie pan and carefully peeled it off the mat, onto the top of the pie. I then sealed the pie by using my fingers to press the top dough disc into the bottom dough disc around the edge of the pie tin. Next, I took a fork and pressed it around the sealed edge to make an easy and traditional-looking crust.
Once I finished pressing the edge of the pie with the tines of the fork, I cut four holes in the top of the pie to allow venting.
The end product looked like this:
I won’t go into baking this crust until the next blog post where I’ll show you a specific pie, but to get a sneak peak of what it looked like when it came out of the oven, here you go:
I hope you give this easy double pie crust a try, it was delicious, flaky, and had just the right amount of crisp around the edges. If you gave it a shot, let me know how it turned out for you! Happy baking, readers!