Butter Pie Crust
- 8 oz. (1 cup) cold unsalted butter
- 9 oz. (2 cups) all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Dump the flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, if mixing the dough by hand).
- Mix for a second or two to blend the dry ingredients.
- Add the butter and then, running the mixer on low (or by hand with two knives or a pastry cutter), work the mixture until it's crumbly and the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than a pea (about 1/4 inch).
- The butter should remain cold and firm.
- To test it, pick up some butter and pinch it between the thumbs and forefingers of both hands to form a little cube.
- If the butter holds together as a cube and your fingers are not greasy, then the butter is still cold enough.
- If your fingers look greasy, put the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 min. to firm up the butter before adding the water.
- As the mixer turns on low (or tossing with a fork if mixing by hand), sprinkle the cold water evenly over the flour and butter.
- Work the dough until it just pulls together as a shaggy mass.
- To roll out the dough for a double-crust pie -- Cut the dough in half and pat each piece into a thick flattened ball (see Shape and roll the dough).
- Lightly flour your work surface and tap one of the dough balls down with four or five taps of the rolling pan.
- Begin rolling from the center of your dough outward.
- Stop the pressure 1/4 inch from the edge of the dough.
- Lift the dough and turn by a quarter and repeat the rolling until the dough is at least 12 inches in diameter.
- Be sure to re-flour the work surface if your dough is sticking.
- Using a pot lid or a circle of cardboard as a template, trim the dough to form a 12-inch round (this should give you a 11/2-inch margin all around your 9-inch pie pan).
- Fold the dough in half, slide the outspread fingers of both hands under the dough, and gently lift it and transfer it to the pie pan.
- Unfold and ease the dough round into the bottom of the pie pan without stretching it.
- Roll out the other dough ball and cut a second 12-inch round to be used as the top crust.