Pies, both sweet and savory, are a special treat for our family. My husband and I both love a good, flaky pie crust. Anytime I make a pie for dinner or dessert, my husband is a happy man!
Two of his favorite dinner pies are this Spinach Ricotta Pie and this Homemade Chicken Pot Pie. The thing that really makes them special though is the buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, homemade pie crust. Yum! I could seriously just eat this pie crust plain it is so good. In fact if there is leftover pie dough, I just roll it out and bake it either plain or glazed with honey and cinnamon, and it is AMAZING!
Homemade Flaky Pie Crust
Yeild: 2 – 9 in. pie crusts
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), cubed and chilled
- 1/4 cup duck fat (This is my favorite, but you could also use lard. DON’T use shortening!), chilled
- 6-10 TBSP ice water
Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Add the cold butter and duck fat to the flour. Quickly and lightly pulse a few times. You still want to have some fairly large chunks of butter and fat in there. They will continue to get mixed in as we add the water.
Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. You will keep adding water and pulsing after each addition until the dough just begins to gather together into larger clumps.
Gently gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Divide in half. Roll out to a 10-in circle on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with the other half of dough. Use as desired.
Notes and Tips:
- The duck fat combined with the butter in this recipe makes the most flaky, tender crust that I have ever had. That being said you can also make this recipe with all butter if you do not have duck fat or lard. It will still be very good, but using the duck fat just brings it up a notch!
- You should be able to purchase duck fat at the meat counter of Whole Foods or other places that carry quality meat.
- The amount of water that you use could vary from pie crust to pie crust. Don’t be alarmed if one time you use 6 TBSP and the next time you have to use 10 TBSP. Many factors, including the weather, will determine how much water you need to use. The key is to stop adding water just when the dough starts to come together. You don’t want it to be too wet, but you don’t want it to be dry either.
- Don’t overmix! You want to be able to see flecks of butter when you roll out your final dough. This is what creates the a flaky crust.
- Make sure that you use COLD butter, duck fat, and water. This also contributes to a flaky crust. If it is warm, your butter and fat will melt, and you won’t get those flecks of butter in your final dough.
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