This is a recipe for homemade pie crust that’s very easy to make, and only has four ingredients. In fact I’m willing to bet you already have these ingredients in your kitchen waiting for you to turn them into a pie crust. The four ingredients are flour, butter, water, and finally salt.
There’s another name for this pie crust you may have heard, 3-2-1 pie dough. By weight this crust is three parts flour, two parts butter, and one part water. The only other addition is half-teaspoon of salt for every single layer crust. By that I mean a single crust is a pie that does not have a top crust like pumpkin pie.
With a lot of baking we use ingredients that are warmed to room temperature, but pie crust is different. When making pie crust we use cold ingredients because we don’t want the butter to melt. I like to cut the butter in small pieces then put it in the freezer for fifteen minutes. You can put the flour in the freezer too but, I’ve never done that.
When I made this homemade pie crust I started by whisking my flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. I already had my butter cut into small pieces, waiting in the freezer. I added the butter to the flour and combined it with my Pastry Blender. This is a really inexpensive tool that I use to make pastry dough. I’ve read about people using two forks together instead of a Pastry Blender, but I haven’t tried it. I combined the butter into the flour until it was the size of peas.
Next I made a well in the center of the flour mixture and added the cold water. Then I used my fingers to toss the flour into the water, and ultimately pressed it together with my hands. I wanted the ingredients mixed together so I wouldn’t have any dry patches in the dough, but I didn’t want to overwork it because pie dough isn’t meant to be handled a lot.
At this point I had a ball of pie dough so I spread a little flour on my clean kitchen counter, and then the pie dough. Now if I wanted to roll out a circle of pie dough I would need to start with a circle. I flattened the dough slightly into a disc, and then I rolled it out to about a thirteen inch diameter circle. This takes a little practice, but the pie dough shouldn’t be rolled out more than two times.
After the dough was rolled out I gently transferred it to my pie pan, and tucked the dough into the bottom of the pan without stretching it. Finally I trimmed the excess crust hanging over the edge of the pan. I find that a pizza cutter works well for this, but a knife or kitchen shears will work too.
That’s it, my pie crust was done! Now all I had to do was fill it with something and stick it in the oven. If I was making an apple pie I would just fill the pie crust with apple pie filling, and cover it with a second crust. To seal the two crusts I would pinch them together and poke some air holes in the top crust so it remains flat when baking.
If you don’t have a pastry blender I would recommend getting one. This is the one I have and it’s very inexpensive. It will make it easy to combine cold butter into the flour mixture not only for this recipe, but for other pastry recipes as well.
Adapted from Epicurious