Perfect Pie Crust 101

Perfect Pie Crust 101

Pie crust can be intimidating, but with these handy tips, soon you'll be making the flakiest, tastiest pies yet.

YIELDS

2 pies or one covered pie

PREP TIME

70 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp (14 g) Redpath ® Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, cold
  • ¼ to ½ cup (60 - 120 ml) cold water

INSTRUCTIONS

Perfect Pie Crust

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and Redpath® Granulated Sugar. Add butter and crumble with your hands or a dough mixer. Dough should contain pea-sized pieces.

2. Add water starting with ¼ cup and add more if needed. Keep mixing but don’t overwork

3. Squeeze together on a flat and clean surface. Form a ball and cover with plastic wrap. refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Perfect Pie Crust 101

Use cold ingredients. This is crucial to achieving a flaky crust. You want your fat (butter, lard, shortening) to remain cold because this prevents it from being incorporated into the flour. It should be in pea-sized pieces. Here’s why: when your pie goes into the oven, the pieces of cold butter melt, creating tiny pockets in the flour. When the butter melts, its water content evaporates into steam. This steam lifts the pockets in the dough, creating a “flake,” and that is what gives the crust its crisp, flaky texture.

Don’t overwork the dough. The more you work your dough, the warmer it gets, and you don’t want those pieces of butter to start melting, so be gentle with it.

Refrigerate. Don’t forget to refrigerate your dough before rolling it out. This ensure the butter will be nice and cold and give you that beautiful, flaky crust. Pie dough can keep in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for up to two months. If freezing your dough, just be sure to place it in the fridge 24 hours before you’re planning to make your pie.

Cutting

For the best flakiest dough, you should cut the butter into the pie dough by hand. Use your hands and a pastry cutter, which you can find at most kitchen supply stores. Doing this by hand ensures the butter is cut into the right size and remains visible in the dough.

Shaping

When shaping your dough, the trick is the be gentle and patient. Even if it seems crumbly at first, don’t worry, it will come together.

Rolling

The trick for rolling your dough out evenly is to always roll from the centre of the dough, and to roll in one direction. You can rotate the dough as you roll to make it easier.

Fluting

This is how you make your pies look fancy. Using your knuckles along the edges creates an even, beautifully fluted crust.

Lattice Top

If you really want your pie to impress people, make a lattice crust. It looks gorgeous and intricate, but couldn’t be simpler to do. The best trick is to use a long wooden spoon. Lay it atop your pie and fold the strips of pie dough over top. This makes the whole process much easier and you’ll end up with the best looking pie in town.

Great Pie Recipes

Now that you’re a master pie crust maker, it’s time to test those skills out on some delicious pie recipes. Check out our favourites here: