This pie crust recipe won “Best Crust” at this year’s Good Food Pie contest. Give it a try, it’s certainly a winner!
Alina Bezdikian, JP Bolles, Patrick O’Brien
530 g. King Arthur all-purpose flour
290 g. cold European style butter
95 g. vegetable shortening
2.5 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 pinch baking soda
3/4 cup of buttermilk
water as needed
Keep your ingredients cold. We mean always cold! When working with the ingredients and finally the dough, take breaks and re-chill to ensure the butter is never too soft and in a workable temperature range.
First, mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
Next, cut the chilled shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender.
Add chunks of butter, coating and flattening each piece just until the butter begins to break. You’re done when the butter and shortening are fully coated with flour, leaving some chunks larger than others.
Pour in the buttermilk, 2 tbsp at a time, mixing the ingredients with a large fork. Add the buttermilk to dry areas and incorporate with a light hand. You want the mixture to have just enough moisture to come together. Depending on your exact ingredients and climate, you may need to add a small amount of water if the dough is too dry.
Empty the mixture onto a surface with parchment paper and flatten the dough, using the parchment to bring it together into a rectangle.
Cut the rectangle in half, shaping into disks for your two crusts. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll the dough out to your desired thickness (up to 1/4 in), and transfer, preferably to a glass pie plate so you can evaluate the crust as it cooks.
Add your favorite fruit filling, coat with an egg wash, dust with sugar and bake! We bake our pies at 400 degrees, and then lower the temperature as needed, evaluating our home oven with a thermometer. Each oven bakes differently, so get to know yours!
Once the crust becomes a deep golden brown and your fruit is bubbling, you’re done! Don’t be afraid to really bake the crust—both top and bottom. As Jonathan Gold says, “the three most important things about pie are crust, crust and crust.” Make sure yours is fully cooked!
And lastly, our favorite aspect of pie baking is the community it brings together. Get your friends involved; start a pie club to help evaluate and push your progress. Eat pie and analyze what others are doing, then see what works for you. Learn from other great bakers and try different recipes. We found inspiration in recipes from Nicole Rucker, J. Kenji López-Alt and Marion Cunningham—all wise and delicious chefs. And then bake and bake and bake!
Photo by Lisa Peters.