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Classic Double Pie Crust

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: PJ Hamel

Classic Double Pie Crust Recipe

There are probably as many pie crust recipes out there as there are bakers. Many of us struggle with pie crust; this crust is a good go-to recipe for those of you who haven't yet settled on a favorite. Easy to roll, buttery-tasting, and somewhere between flaky/crumbly, it's like an old friend: reliable and forgiving. This recipe makes two crusts, enough for a double-crust pie or two single-crust pies.

Baking gluten-free? For great results, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe; no other changes needed.

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At a glance

Prep
Total
Yield
2 crusts, 8 servings
Nutrition information

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Pastry Flour Blend
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 10 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
  • 6 to 10 tablespoons ice water**
  • *Reduce the salt to 1 teaspoon if you use salted butter.
  • **Use the lesser amount of water if you use Pastry Flour Blend.

Topping (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sparkling sugar

Instructions

  1. Weigh your flour; you’ll find its weight by toggling to “grams” at the top of the ingredient section above. Or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  3. Add the shortening, working it in until the mixture is evenly crumbly; you want to thoroughly combine everything here.
  4. Cut the butter into small (about 1/2") cubes.
  5. Add the butter to the flour mixture, and work it in roughly with your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a mixer. Don't be too thorough; the mixture should be quite uneven, with big chunks of butter in among the smaller ones. People get nervous about pie crust, and in their anxiety they tend to work the dough too much. Working the butter in completely makes a mealy crust rather than a flaky one.
  6. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of water over the flour mixture, tossing gently to combine.
  7. Add enough additional water to make a chunky, fairly cohesive mixture. It should hold together when you gather it up and squeeze it in your hand. Beware of kneading the pastry too much and/or adding too much water, as this will toughen the crust. (For an ultra-flaky crust see "tips," below.)
  8. To make a double-crust pie, divide the dough into two pieces, one about twice as large as the other; the larger piece will be your bottom crust. To make two single crusts, divide the dough in half. Gather each piece into a rough disk. Smooth the disks; it's OK if they have a few cracks in the surface. Smooth their edges by running the disks along a floured surface like a wheel.
  9. Wrap the crusts in plastic or your favorite reusable storage wrap. Chill for 30 minutes, or up to overnight. Or wrap in aluminum foil over the plastic, and freeze for up to two months.
  10. When you're ready to make pie, remove the crusts from the refrigerator or freezer, leaving them wrapped. Allow to thaw (if frozen) or warm a bit (if chilled longer than 30 minutes), until softened enough to roll but still cold to the touch.
  11. Place the crust on a floured work surface; our silicone rolling mat is a fine choice. To make a standard 9" pie, roll the larger piece of pastry into a 12" to 13" round. Move the crust around on the work surface occasionally to make sure it's not sticking; add extra flour underneath as needed.
  12. Lightly grease the pie pan with non-stick spray; this will make taking the slices out of the pan easier later. Fold the crust in quarters and place it in the pan. Or you can simply pick it up with a large spatula and move it that way.
  13. For a single-crust pie, fold the edges of the crust under, and gently squeeze them together. Crimp as desired. It's nice to make a tall crimp, as the filling for a single-crust pie is usually fairly liquid (think pumpkin or custard), and it's good to have that tall "dam."
  14. For a double-crust pie, leave the edges of the bottom crust as is (no folding or crimping). Once you've added the filling, roll the top crust to the top diameter of your pan, and place it over the filling.
  15. Bring the overhanging edge of the bottom crust up and over the edge of the top crust, pressing the two together. Crimp as desired; a simple fork crimp is fast and easy. At this point, it helps to return the pie to the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes; this chills the fat, which ultimately increases the crust's flakiness.
  16. Make a series of cuts in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Three or four simple parallel cuts are fine, but feel free to do something more decorative if you like.
  17. Brush the crust with milk or water and sprinkle it with coarse sparkling sugar, cinnamon-sugar, or granulated sugar, if desired.
  18. Bake according to the pie recipe's directions. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 74g
  • Servings Per Batch 8
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 320
  • Calories from Fat 180
  • Total Fat 21g
  • Saturated Fat 10g
  • Trans Fat .5g
  • Cholesterol 40mg
  • Sodium 370mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 30g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.