My Favourite Pie Dough
This recipe is my all time favourite pie dough for flavour, texture, and to work with when making decorative elements. This will make two crusts, so you can use one for the top and one for the bottom of your pie.
I use a mix of butter and shortening because butter brings the flavour and gives the dough a nice flaky texture, but shortening makes the dough much easier to work with and helps decorative elements hold their shape.
You’ll want to make sure all your ingredients are cold before you start. I usually measure everything in advance and put all my cut and measured ingredients (yes, even the flour and salt) back into the coldest spot in my fridge for at least half an hour. If it happens to be warm in your kitchen, I would also recommend chilling your mixing bowl and baking tools. Don’t be afraid to return things to the fridge from time to time if you feel it’s warranted.
When it comes to cutting the fat into the dry ingredient, I like to use a few short pulses of the food processor, then I transfer the ingredients to a bowl and mix the water in a little at a time with a rubber spatula. This will leave you with pieces of butter that will give your crust a nice flakiness, but if you’re aiming to do detailed designs in your crust, you’ll need to account for the butter causing the dough to puff up and possibly leaving gaps. If you want a more uniform dough for these reasons, you can add the first two or three tablespoons of water into the food processor (1 tbsp at a time, mixing between each addition) and mix using short pulses until it looks like wet sand, then transfer to a bowl and finish adding the water in a little at a time and mixing with a spatula. Creating a more uniform dough will allow you to retain more details in your designs, however you’ll lose some of the flakiness you get from the butter pieces and the dough will be a bit more fragile once baked (you can counteract this somewhat by not rolling your dough out too thin).
115 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
150 g shortening
330 g all purpose flour (plus more for dusting the counter)
1 1/2 tsp salt*
about 1/2 cup ice water**
Measure out flour and salt and refrigerate. Cube butter and shortening then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Add more water than needed into a bowl with some ice cube and refrigerate.
Mix flour and salt in food processor.
Add butter and shortening to the flour in the food processor and pulse in short bursts until pea-sized clumps form.
Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and slowly mix in 1 tbsp of water at a time with a rubber spatula. When dough begins to come together in some places, add water 1 tsp at a time and continue to mix just until dough forms one shaggy ball.
Sprinkle flour onto counter, then turn dough out onto counter and gently roll in flour or use your hands to tap flour onto dough surface.
Split dough in half, flatten into a disc, and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling out or freezing so that the dough is properly hydrated before freezing. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
* If you’re making a savoury pie and are worried about the salt content, you can use 1 1/4 tsp instead of 1 1/2. ** The exact amount of water needed will depend largely on the humidity levels in your kitchen on that particular day. Prepare more than 1/2 cup of water in case you need a little bit more, and add water to dough a little at a time in case you need less than 1/2 cup.