In the bowl of a food processor - add the flour, salt, and butter. Pulse for 30 seconds until bread crumb consistency. You can also use a bowl and pastry blender.Pro tip - A flaky pie crust must have a good combination of small and big pieces of butter. So, don't pulse too long.
Add the chilled water through the feeder. Pulse another 30 to 40 seconds until almost combined. Pro tip - The dough should still look crumbly but when you squish a little with your fingers it should shape into a ball.
Invert the crumbly mixture on a clean work surface. Gather it all into a ball without kneading. Pro tip - We do not want to activate the gluten in our dough so we avoid kneading.
Divide into two – more for the bottom crust, less for the top crust (see video). Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.Pro tip - You can keep these in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.
Roll the bottom crust
Dust the work surface with flour. Open the larger disc for the bottom and roll carefully. Use your 9-inch pie pan as a guide to see how big you need it.Pro tip - If you find the crust is breaking around the edges too much, it means that it is too hard to roll. Leave it to rest on the counter for just 7 to 10 minutes. Then, roll again, press the broken edges together with your fingertips.
To transfer the dough to the pan without breaking, fold the pastry in half, then into quarters. Then, place it on the pie pan and unfold. Pro tip - Alternatively, you can roll the dough onto your rolling pin and unroll it over the pie pan (folding in quarters is easier for newbies).
Gently fit it to the pie pan especially in the bottom edges with light hands. Place the lined pie in the fridge while you prepare the filling. Pro tip - You need about an inch more than the edge of your pie pan so you can trim the excess dough.
Add the filling
Preheat the oven to the temperature directed in the recipe. Fill the lined and chilled bottom pie crust with filling (today I am using apple pie filling).
Roll the top crust
Roll the top crust - Dust the work surface with flour. Open the larger disc of shortcrust pastry for the top of the pie and roll it larger than the pie pan (about 12 inches).Pro tip - Use your pie pan as a guide to know how big you need it plus extra for crimping.
Cut excess - Place the second disc on top. Cut off excess at the edges leaving an inch of overhang.
Crimp the edges - Fold the top pastry under the bottom pastry (see video). Crimp the edge by forming a V shape with your thumb and index finger (see video).Pro tip - Alternatively, you can make impressions around the pie using the tings of a fork.
Brush with egg wash. For my apple pie, I also sprinkle it with granulated sugar. Sugar adds a nice crunch but can be omitted. Pro tip - For the egg wash, combine the egg and water. Then, use a pastry brush to brush it on the pastry.
Place the pie on a baking tray to catch any juices. Cut a few slits on the top crust with a knife. I like to do about 6 to 8 cuts. Pro tip - The slits or cuts on the top crust are for steam to escape so the pastry won't puff up and break.
Bake the pie as directed in your recipe. As a guide here is how I bake my pies with a double crust.- Bake at 400°F / 200°C / Gas Mark 6 for 15 minutes. -Then, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 177°C / Gas Mark 4 and cook another 35 to 40 minutes.Pro tip - After 20 to 25 minutes, cover edges loosely with foil or pie shield to prevent the top crust from becoming too dark.
The secret to making a perfect pie crust is not only in the recipe but in the method of making it.
Fat - you will see a big difference in the quality of your crust based on the fat you use. If you ask my mom, it can't be all butter. It had to be mostly full-fat GHEE (Shortening) and some butter for flavor. The higher the ratio your fat is, the better the crust. My grandmother would use 100% lard (animal fat). For her, making a pie crust with butter is a No-No! And yet, she lived healthily until 89. I, on the other hand, never use lard for making my pie crust. I use butter or sometimes half butter and half veg shortening. I'd be lucky if I live to her age..!
The amount of water in your pie dough plays a very important role in the final texture. Too much water will make your crust very tough. And too little will make it very crumbly. Crumbly is good, and yet you still want to be able to hold a slice of pie.
Avoid the fat/butter from melting into your flour. I usually place my bowl with the flour and chilled butter into the fridge for at least half an hour before I start to work it into the dough. Those of you living in a hot and humid climate can avoid touching the dough too much with your hands by rolling the pastry between two parchment papers.
Also, use chilled iced water to maintain the temperature of the dough.
Cool the pie crust for at least half-hour before you bake. This will prevent the sides from shrinking.
Let the pre-baked crust cool for 15 minutes before you add in the filling. This will prevent the liquid from being absorbed into the crust. And if your filling is very liquidy, brush the pastry with egg white, before adding the filling. This creates a seal between the filling and crust.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you