Perfect Pie Crust

This recipe is from Alice Waters, “The Art of Simple Food”. It was a revelation of perfection. When I followed her instructions the crust was light, easy to work with and absolutely delicious. I don’t even want to look further. The crust still tastes amazing using 100% whole wheat pastry flour but using 1/2 organic all-purpose flour brings it to a slightly more gourmet level. When I rolled it out, I tried using plastic wrap to keep the dough from sticking. Perhaps my dough was too wet but I found it to be a bother. Since then I’ve followed Water’s advice and just used as much flour as I needed for the counter and the dough top. It’s been a thing of beauty.

I believe that the phenomenal taste is solely due to the butter, unsalted butter seems to have so much more of a fresh, buttery taste. If you only have salted butter, omit the salt.

I always double the recipe so I can have an extra crust for another meal. Shepherd’s pie, perhaps? Makes 4 very thin crusts or better yet, 3 full-bodied crusts. Who doesn’t like a mouthful of crispy, buttery crust?


4 cups all-purpose and/or freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp. sea salt

3 sticks cold unsalted butter, preferably organic

1 cup ice-cold water


1. Whisk the flour and salt together.

2. Cut the butter into small cubes. Work the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or fingertips, leaving some pieces fairly large, or pulse in a food processor until there are just small clumps of butter left.

3. Pour 3/4 (or so)of the water into the dough until it just begins to come together. Keep adding water if needed.

4. Divide the dough into 3 balls, compressing firmly. Shape into discs and warp in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour or longer.

When pre-baking:

1. Allow dough around 20 minutes, more or less, to become workable. Dust your work surface well with flour and roll out dough in a wheel-spoke pattern, pausing to turn the dough a bit and to re-dust with flour.

2. Line the crust with parchment paper or foil. Bake @ 375° for 15 minutes with pie weights or beans. Edges should be golden.

3. Remove the weights and bake an additional 5-7 minutes until evenly browned.

This entry was published on May 30, 2012 at 2:28 am and is filed under All Season, Desserts, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, The Basics. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Perfect Pie Crust

  1. Pingback: Maple Custard Pie « Eastside Epicurean

  2. Pingback: Shepherds Pie with Green Beans and Mushrooms « Eastside Epicurean

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