pie crust in the Kitchen Aid

I’m all business today.
I’m sure that there is a lot to talk about if we get started. But I promised you pie crust. Really I did. And although I’m learning that as a political candidate, rule number one is DON’T MAKE PROMISES!, in the world of food and rolling pins, promises are really okay.

I’m starting with the best pie crust, because really, I’m not so big on build-ups. If you don’t have a kitchen aid, I’ll do a few other crusts in the next week or two, but if you’ve got one, then you can just stop here.

Of course, there is a chance that this crust might not be for you. If you really like the feeling of mastery over cutting butter into flour, of knowing just when the crust won’t crumble, then keep working with your pastry blender. If your pie crust making is peppered by spaced out daydreams of of being an french pastry chef in the days before whirring gadgets (okay, okay, that actually is me once in awhile), then this crust is not for you.
This crust is the one if you just want to make the damn pie already. It is absolutely predictable, and you barely have to use your brain at all. It is easy to roll out, and ends up light and flaky. It comes together in a few steps, with hardly any active time.

This morning I was dropping Rosie off at her friend Petra’s house for the day. Petra’s mom is a bit of a pie crust whiz, and I mentioned that I needed to get home to finally get this pie crust post going. “Just make sure you talk about how easy pie crust is,” she said. “I don’t think people really get that!” And how does Petra’s mom make her pie crust? You guessed it. Whir, whir, whir.

Are you ready? Should we do this thing? Would you like to make the damn pie crust already?

Okay! Ingredients. I make pie crust with butter. Always. And for pie crust, I buy special butter. Not always, but when I can. It has a higher fat content, and comes across the ocean from Europe, where apparently the butter comes from fatter cows. It arrives in a satisfying block, and it’s called Plugra. It looks like this.

If you don’t use fancy butter, just make sure that you use unsalted butter.
Then there’s the flour. I use King Arthur all purpose. It works for me. I don’t recommend using whole wheat flour unless you are making something savory, like a quiche, and even then, if you really want some whole wheat in there, I’d suggest you use 1/3 to a 1/2 whole wheat flour.
Besides that there is salt. Fine sea salt, or whatever you’ve got as long as it’s not too coarse.
Then you need an acid, and in this recipe it’s apple cider vinegar. If you don’t have that, you can use white distilled vinegar.

Plug in that kitchen aid. Put on the white beater attachment. Here we go.

Pie Crust in the Kitchen Aid
adapted from Shirley Corriher, Bakewise

You will need:

11 ounces (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
8 ounces cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon unseasoned bread crumbs

Cut the butter into 1/2 inch squares. Throw it into the mixer bowl with the flour. Put the bowl into the refrigerator. In a measuring cup, combine the water, vinegar, and salt. Put that in the refrigerator, too. Walk away for a few minutes.
Affix the bowl to the mixer. Using the lowest speed, mix for about 30 seconds, until the mixture looks crumbly, like this:

Then slowly add the cold water/ vinegar, and mix until the dough comes together in a ball, like this:

Divide the dough into two balls, and wrap in plastic. Press down into discs.

Refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to two days. You can also through the discs into a freezer bag and freeze at this point.

Take the dough out of the fridge, and place on a well floured surface. Roll out from the center, turning the dough as you go.

Butter your 9 inch pie dish. Sprinkle the bottom with the tablespoon of breadcrumbs. Roll the dough out so that it’s something like a circle, big enough to spread over your dish. Fold your crust into quarters, like this:

Place the corner in the center of the pie dish, and then unfold the crust. Press out any air bubbles, and fold over the top of the crust if there is extra. Patch any holes with excessive pieces of hanging dough.

Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. If you haven’t yet prepared your filling, refrigerate the crust while you do. Roll out the second crust. Put the filling into the shell, and then either:

1. lay the crust over the filling in the same method as you transported the first crust. Press the edges together, shaping it with your fingers. Cut four holes in the top of the crust.

or

2. cut the second crust into 1-inch strips. Arrange one set of strips going in one direction, then another set in the other direction. Press the crust together at the edge, and shape with your fingers.

Pie crust is very forgiving- the imperfections turn lovely as it bakes. So just press the dough together, and everything will be okay. Your pie will be beautiful, because pies just are.

And that’s it! This pie crust changed my life just a little bit, and if you are in need of a change, it might do the same for you. Whir. Whir. The next crust will be in the cuisinart, so get your blade ready. We’ll all be pie crust makers soon enough, friends.

Comments

  1. Cassandra Willis says

    Thank you!! I was searching for a recipe I could easily handle with limited mobility (can’t hand mix) and this worked great, good taste and texture…it’s in the fridge now, almost ready for the oven. Thanks much!

    • alana says

      Oh, good! I know- it seems like the kitchen aid would beat it up, too much, but I’ve found this one to be pretty foolproof. So glad it’s worked so well for you.

    • alana says

      Hi Maura! Baking temp and time will vary with what you put in there. For fruit pies, I tend to start at 425F for the first 20 minutes or so, and then lower to 375 until the fruit bubbles a bit, and the crust is golden. This will usually take between 45 minutes to an hour in total. But especially if your new to pies, I’d start with a recipe and go from there! I’ve got a few pie recipes here on the site- or you can sub in this pie crust for any basic crust in a recipe. My friend, Ashley English, just wrote a great book on pie called A Year of Pies- it’s a wonderful pie primer! Happy baking…

      • says

        it is super simple to do a pie crust by hand. just meusare your ingredients and have them ready before you get your hands in the mix! put the flour and butter or shortening in a bowl and mix it with your hands breaking up the butter with your fingers until it is in small pieces then add the salt and water a little at a time and mix to combine. done.

  2. says

    Just found this recipe and it worked like a charm. It’s now my go-to recipe for pie crust. The family loved it, it was flaky and buttery. The best part? Since there is no sugar in the recipe I was able to taste a bit of it cooked and thought, “WOW! This would be great for chicken pot pies!” Which probably wouldn’t have dawned on me if I’d used one of the million recipes for pie crust with sugar in it. Thanks again!!

    • alana says

      So glad to hear it! Thanks so much. it’s true, I love the non-sweet crust, too. So versatile, right?

  3. Jon says

    Thank you for this recipe! I definitely fall into the “I just want to make the damn pie already” crowd and this is perfect. So easy to make and it’s far more workable than any crust I’ve made before; easy to roll and doesn’t rip when transferring to the pan. Kudos!

  4. kdpew says

    This turned out really great! I have finally found an easy, flaky, all-butter dough recipe – thanks for that!

  5. Corey Cooper says

    Hi Alana! I made this only once, and I might have made a mistake but I found the cider was a very noticeable off-taste in the crust for an apple pie. I’m now supposed to do another apple pie for this weekend. What is the purpose of the ‘acid’ in this crust? Could lemon be substituted? Or should the cider be unnoticeable, and I just messed it up?

    • alana says

      Hi Corey! You say cider, but do you mean cider vinegar? That would make a big difference, if you used cider! If you did use cider vinegar- it shouldn’t be noticeable in the taste of the crust. But if you’re very sensitive to it, you could reduce the amount by half, or use 1 teaspoon vodka instead. The acid makes the crust extra tender.

  6. Maria says

    I’ve used this for both chicken and beef pot pies and it has worked perfectly every time. Super easy, great results!

  7. Mary says

    As a pregnant woman with bad morning sickness, I can appreciate a little
    less muscle work these days. It never occurred to me that pie crust could be made in a stand mixer- until I tried your recipe tonight! You have SAVED me from cutting in butter with a pastry cutter, and I don’t know how to thank you! lol :) seriously– I had my doubts, worrying that the mixer would overwork the gluten, but this was one FLAKEY crust! I’m thrilled! I will never go back to “the old way”. I am grateful beyond belief- thank you, thank you, thank you!

Trackbacks

  1. […] 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger the juice of 1 lemon 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch 2/3 cup maple syrup (this preserves the tartness of the rhubarb, but feel free to increase if you have more of a sweet tooth) 2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for the pie plate1 recipe pie pastry for a double-crust, 9-inch pie (but I always use the one from my book which is based off of this one) […]

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