If you go to the store and buy a pie crust for Thanksgiving I might slap you when I find out.
Really, friends, homemade pie crust is not a difficult or time-consuming process. You can make it tonight, so you have one less thing to do on Turkey Day! My recipe is flaky , golden, crusty, and buttery, much like a puff pastry rather than a store-bought pie crust.
Got butter? Got flour? two hands?15 minutes?
This recipe makes a large pie crust that will leave you a ball of dough leftovers that you can roll out to make cute fall shapes like leaves and apples with a cookie cutter to adorn your pie .
You can use a food processor, fork, or pastry cutter, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand. (If not, I will pray for you while you navigate the hell that is the grocery store today to fight for some butter…)
Here is the golden rule of pie crust-making: You cannot overwork the dough and must keep it very cold.
You also should prevent the dog from stealing the dough ball off the counter while you are in the bathroom, as has happened to me at least twice in my pie-making life.
Let’s get started.
2.5 cups flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 sticks cold butter
1 tsp salt
8-10 Tablespoons cold apple cider or ice cold water
Take the cold butter out of your fridge, and slice both sticks into 8 thin slices.
Meanwhile, put your dry ingredients into the large bowl or into your food processor bowl . If using the food processor pulse about 6-10 times, just enough to break up the butter in to small chunks. Be careful because it is incredibly easy to grind it up to the point of graham cracker crumbs. That dough will be too tough. Uniformity is actually not a good thing when we are talking about pie crust flakiness, so the hand-cutting way is superior in my opinion.
If you are using the hand mix method, start mashing with your fork or pastry cutter. Mash, mash , mash until those butter slice pieces become like peas. The entire mixture will look like small peas when it is ready. See the photo below.
Pour the ice cold water or cider into the mixture and work quickly to combine with as little mixing as possible. (Using cold apple cider is a wonderful way to add a Fall flavor and bit of sweetness, but I typically only use cider in fruit pies. Cold water is an excellent alternative. )You can use your hands here to combine into a rough ball. This is where you want to work with the dough until it just barely sticks together and work quickly.The purpose of the cold is to keep those little pea-sized pockets of butter. When those warm up and combine with flour, your dough gets tough. More pockets of butter = more flakiness. If using a food processor, pulkse another 2 -3 times,a dn start mixing the dough with your hands from now on.
Mash the dough into a round, thick disc.Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill 1-24 hours. If you are pressed or time, skip that step and go ahead and roll it out.
On the actual Turkey Day, all you need to do is roll that baby out, and voila!, pie crust to impress your family. When you do roll out the dough, you should see some butter chunks in there. If you have no rolling pin, try rolling the dough out with a drinking glass. I find it easiest to roll dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, which keeps the mess minimal and makes it simple to transfer right into your pie plate. If your dough starts to get too sticky or soft, stop, and put it in the fridge 15 minutes. Then continue to roll out again.
Flip your pie plate over on the crust to see if you have plenty of excess crust around all edges. Crust should be around 2-3 inches wider or more on all sides around the plate edges.
Now, flip your crust into the greased pie plate and allow the excess to overflow.
You can trim the edges or fold under and crimp. I doubled the recipe so I could have a top and bottom crust, pictured below. Then I filled the crust.
Carefully flip the top crust, which should be fairly cold, onto the top over the filling. Fold and crimp the top and bottom crusts together and seal tightly You could make a pretty design with a fork, whatever floats your boat. I’m not fancy like that this year.
Trim of the excess dough and make three long slices down the center to create an air vent. Brush with one scrambled egg for a golden sheen after baking or just use a bit of milk. Bake your pie as directed.
Happy crust-making! Let me know how it goes. It should be golden, buttery, and flaky.