Double-Crust Pie Dough

Foundation recipes

Yield: makes enough pastry for one 2-crust pie (or two 1-crust pies)
Recipe: 1/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 82

  Although I love baking and everything it entails (preparing a savoury dessert or snack, smelling its aromas as it bakes and enjoying it warm with family or friends), one thing that I have always been afraid to try was to make my own dough to use for pies or other such dessert. For some reason that, after trying this recipe, I cannot fathom, I believed this to be one of the most difficult things to do as a baker. It seems so much easier to buy an already made and even rolled out dough! Not that I ever did, I was never a fan of pies (gasp!) ! I believe that is story of the past. The first recipe I wanted to try from my brand new cookbook from my baking idol was the classic apple pie. To do so, I obviously needed to make my own dough. Thankfully, Anna has a recipe, a perfect one might I add, for this. It is surprisingly very easy to do, basically foolproof (as can be testified by the fact that even I was successful at it) and very good. The dough was easy to manage and baked perfectly. This will be my go-to pie dough recipe for some time, I am sure of it. I lack the words to convey how simple and essential this recipe is, so give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 2  1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, directly from the fridge
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice

Directions:

  1. While it’s cold, cut the butter into small pieces. Leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar and salt.
  3. Add the butter to the flour mixture. Combine well using a hand or stand mixer until the dough is a crumbly texture.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cold egg, water and vinegar (or lemon juice). Add to the dough all at once and mix until the dough comes together.
  5. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into 2 discs, wrap them each in plastic wrap and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling.

Notes from Anna (from pp. 78-79, 82):

  • The pie dough can be frozen for up to 6 months and is thawed in the refrigerator.
  • Butter’s consistency changes considerably from cold to room temperature. Due to the fact that butter softens as the dough is mixed, it can create an unnerving sense that a dough can be ruined if overworked. Worry not, it will all come together as long as the dough has had a chance to sit out of the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • The acidity provided by vinegar or lemon juice is key to a flaky and tender pastry.
  • Every time you work your dough, whether it is mixing it or rolling it, you should give it time to rest.