I have to be honest - I'm feeling a little bit guilty about this post. As I've mentioned before, my grandmother was a total rockstar in the kitchen, and her blueberry pies were out of this world. Her pie crust was always incredible, and her pie crust recipe is the only recipe I'd ever used (I've shared it before here and here).
But pie crust can be really tricky. Sometimes it's too dry and simply crumbles everywhere when you try to lay it in your pie plate. Sometimes it's too wet and impossible to roll out. You literally have to adjust the amount of liquid you add based on the humidity in the air on the day you're baking. Ugh.
Over the past year, a few super frustrating failed attempts at making pie crust have resulted in a few profanities, a tear or two, and some not-so-lovely pies. And so, I decided that it's time for a new pie crust recipe (gasp!).
When I told A that I was going to experiment with pie crust there was fear in his eyes and his response was: “we’re about the have a full-blown Chernobyl meltdown in our apartment". Please tell me that I'm not the only one who occasionally gets overly emotional about kitchen disasters.
BUT this time there were no profanities, no tears, and no meltdowns. I HAVE DISCOVERED THE SECRET TO PERFECT PIE CRUST. This recipe takes everything that I loved about Grandma's pie crust - it's golden, flaky texture and incredible flavor - and makes it so much easier to work with. This pie crust was a piece of cake (pie?) to roll out, slide into the pie plate, and even create a lattice top.
[recipe title="Perfect Pie Crust" servings="1 double-crust or 2 single-crust pies" time="2hr 15mins (includes refrigeration time)"]
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
20 T (2 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch pats
6 T orange juice
2 T cold water
Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour with all of the sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to blend. Spread the pats of butter over the surface of the flour mixture and pulse about 25 times, until no dry flour remains and the dough just begins to clump. Using a rubber spatula, spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle the remaining cup of flour over the dough and pulse about 5 times, until dough is just barely broken up. Transfer the dough to a large bowl.
Sprinkle the orange juice into the bowl and, using the rubber spatula, fold and press the dough until it comes together. If the dough is still a bit crumbly, add the water one tablespoon at a time and fold and press the dough until it comes together into a ball. Divide the ball in half and flatten each half into a 4-inch disk. (The dough should flatten easily and should not crumble apart when flattened.) Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking.
Fill and bake your crust according to your favorite pie recipe.
P.S. The filling for the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie shown in this post came from Magnolia Bakery via The Huffington Post.