Best Butter Pie Crust

October 22, 2019 - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Show Full Recipe Article

Such a flavorful and beautiful pie crust. The thing about homemade pie is that I always want to make it special and this Best Butter Pie Crust helps me make some perfect pies.

A Raw Pie Crust with apples in the pie. It is on a picnic table with two Braeburn apples, a rolling pin, and is laying on a cloth.

A pie crust can turn a good pie into a great pie. Great pies are what we are going to focus on today by sharing our delicious, homemade butter pie crust recipe. This is the crust I have been using all throughout our Apple Pie series, but I wanted to give it it’s own place. Yes, this butter pie crust does make a delicious apple pie, but we are not limited to apples, are we? This crust can be used for any pie that calls for a traditional pie crust. I hope you enjoy our Best Butter Pie Crust!

Butter Pie Crust Zen

If you are anything like me, you did not grow up making homemade pie crusts. Baking isn’t even really my forte. I do, however, want to help people like me make the best dang pie crust they can. Yes, ingredients and technique are important, but there really is something more to it. I feel that finding a place of zen is critical in making the best butter pie crust. I advise you take a look at my Traditional Apple Pie post where I also talk about the zen of making butter pie crust.

When I started off on this apple pie series, I was very frustrated with crusts. In those early experiments, the raw pie crust was just unmanageable and so difficult to roll out. Cooling is very important, so I thought maybe that was the problem. It wasn’t. Perhaps I wasn’t adding enough water to my pie crust? No. That was not the problem either and adding too much water results in a leathery, flaky crust.

I just wanted the pie to work! Even though I was reproducing my recipe and fine-tuning it, I just could not get it to roll out the way I wanted. I would put down my balls of dough and cranked out my rolling pin to force the dough to do what I wanted. It was becoming so frustrating, which did not help things.

Finally, I did figure it out. Technique and the ingredient list is of vital importance, but patience was the key. Stopping and working with the dough, instead of forcing the dough, is paramount to this best butter crust. Finding that place of zen and being in the moment with that pie crust. It may sound cheesy, but my best pie crusts are the ones where I lose myself in the moment and just spend time with the dough. Once again, take a look at the traditional apple pie crust where I talk more about finding zen in rolling pie crust.

Why This Pie Crust Is The Best

Pie crusts require fat and people do use other sources of fat for their pie crusts. Lard and shortening are the most common, outside of butter. Butter is great, however, because butter tastes freaking awesome and it makes a great, flakey crust. The problem with butter pie crusts is that it can be a balance to get right, as outlined earlier in this post. The flavor of the butter, as well as its ability to make a flavorful flakey crust, make this pie crust so great.

How Does The Butter Work

When rolling out the dough, we do our best NOT to fully incorporate the butter. We do not want our rolled out pie crust to look like a homogenous canvas. Instead, we want spots of butter to appear throughout. This is why it is so critical to make sure that our butter gets frozen appropriately and the dough is cooled sufficiently. The steps outlined in this recipe are in place to ensure the desired spotting of butter.

When baking, this butter goes to work. It starts to evaporate and creates air that manipulates the uncooked dough. This expanding and released butter moisture from the chunks of butter is what gives the dough its flakiness.

Water in Our Pie Crust

When making the dough, we must add water to it. We want to make sure our water is cold. Usually, I fill a dish with ice and cold water. Any water that I add to the dough is taken from that. The temperature of the water is the easiest part to get right.

The other variable in this best butter pie crust is how much water to use. The only real answer is to say that you need to use as much water as is needed. Super helpful, right? If we add too little water, the dough can be impossible to roll out. If too much water is added, the end product will be leathery and not flakey.

I start with ½ cup of ice cold water for two pie disks. I add the water slowly and I make end up adding more water as time goes on. After I added some water and tossed it in, I will take my hand and squeeze some of the dough. I want it right at that point where it will stay together in a clump, but still be a little crumbly. It will be at a place where will be able to form it into a disk and put in the freezer.

Regulating Temperature

Once I get to the point where I have the discs ready to get in the freezer, we should be at a point where the butter is still in chunks and the dough disks have enough water to keep them nicely clumped together. This is where the freezer is important. If the disks are too warm, the butter ends up melting into the rest of the pie crust when we roll it out. If  too cold, we have a rock that is impossible to roll out. I have found that twenty minutes in the freezer creates a great pie crust disc that is a perfect temperature for rolling.

Back to the Pie Crust Zen

The crusts are rolled out after they have spent a little time in the freezer and this is when it is critical to be patient and find that place of zen. If you are too aggressive with the dough, it can end in disaster, but you still have to work with it to manipulate it into a perfect pie crust.

How Many Crusts Does this Make

This crust makes two discs. Enough for one whole pie that has a top. If you need only one pie crust, say for a Dutch Apple Pie, just halve the recipe and make sure not to split it when the recipe calls for it.

Butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Flour and butter in food processor before it has been pulsed.

Butter and flour after it has been added and pulsed

Pie crust dough mixed with waterTwo Balls of Pie Crust Balls getting ready to be placed into the refridgerator

Pie Crust circle with spots of Butter

Best Butter Pie Crust Tips

  • Have patience! Butter Pie Crust can be a little tricky, but being able to work with the dough instead of against it can make a great deal of difference in your final product.
  • You can use this dough for any traditional pie that is similar to an apple pie filling and needs a nice flakey crust.
  • Remember that the final rolled out dough should look like a pie circle that is dotted with chunks of easily identifiable butter. All of the steps we have taken in this recipe are meant to help make that happen.
  • When baking, your dough will shrink a bit and this can have an impact on the lip of the crust. Be generous with what you leave on the pie when you trim it.
  • Let that pie rest!

A Picture of a cooked apple pie

Vertical picture of a baked apple pie on a table with cloths, forks, and five Braeburn apples.

Products Used In This Recipe

Did You Make This Best Butter Pie Crust?

If you liked this recipe, you could do me a real solid by taking some time to let me know how it went in the comment section below and by sharing this recipe on Pinterest. I always appreciate hearing from you.  If you want to see more from me, make sure to subscribe to get updates via email.

Print
A Raw Pie Crust with apples in the pie. It is on a picnic table with two Braeburn apples, a rolling pin, and is laying on a cloth.

Best Butter Pie Crust

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 crusts 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Pie

Description

Butter Pie Crust makes some of the pie crust. No matter what kind of fruit pie you are making, this flour based pie crust can make the tastiest, flakiest crust around!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water (approximate)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut 2 sticks of butter into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. Place into freezer for 20 minutes
  3. Place 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in food processor and pulse a few times to mix.
  4. After butter has been in the freezer for 20 minutes, add to food processor and pulse 5-6 times. The goal is to mix the butter into the flour. The cubes of butter should be no smaller than peas.
  5. Move flour mixture to large bowl
  6. Add water to flour 2 tablespoons at a time. Toss with fork. We want to get to the point when you take your hand squeeze a handful of flour, it should stick together. For this one, it ended up taking 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons.
  7. Once this is done, divide into two. Work each half until it sticks together somewhat well and is in a disk. We don’t want the butter to fully incorporate. If you need to add more water, you can, but do so only very sparingly.
  8. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 20 minutes
  9. Preheat oven to 425
  10. Take dough out of freezer and unwrap
  11. Get to your zen place. Roll out the dough. I suggest looking at the section above where I talk about rolling out the dough.
  12. Place one pie crust on the bottom
  13. Add whatever filling you need.
  14. Add top crust
  15. Use fingers to pinch crust together
  16. Trim excess dough, but the crust will shink a bit, so leave a bit
  17. Using fork, crimp the two doughs together further
  18. Brush light coating of egg on dough crust
  19. Sprinkle with sugar
  20. Using knife, slit four holes in crust
  21. Loosely wrap the crust edges with tinfoil to help prevent overbrowning of the crust edges.
  22. Put in for 35 minutes
  23. Remove tinfoil
  24. Check every 5 minutes and remove when it looks done. 40-45 minutes
  25. Let rest for at least 2 hours
  26. SERVE

Keywords: Butter Pie Crust

You Might Also Like

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Colleen
    October 16, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    I love this post. I consider myself to be a great cook and baker, but pastry is my nemesis. I find it intimidating and end up not trying. I also only want to use butter, not lard or shortening. You have inspired me. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Cindy Gordon
    October 16, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Now this will be perfect for the holidays! I am going to make one before to test it out. I mean …eat the whole thing! Ha! It looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Iryna
    October 16, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    That is one delicious looking apple pie. Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I never thought of freezing the dough but now I can see how convenient it is.

  • Reply
    Krissy Allori
    October 16, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Can’t beat an old fashioned rustic all butter pie crust. YUM!

  • Reply
    Sara | Belly Rumbles
    October 16, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    I am loving your step by step guide to make this. I will admit pastry is one of those things I generally buy in. But there really isn’t anything like homemade, and wow that golden flaky pie crust <3

  • Reply
    Homemade Flour Tortillas Recipe - Ramshackle Pantry
    January 28, 2019 at 11:05 am

    […] be forced and expedited, but many recipes involving dough or flour need some time and care. From apple pie crust, to corn tortillas, to this, it is important to find your place of happiness and zen to make a good […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.