January 4, 2022

The Easy Pie Crust Recipe You Need for Thanksgiving

This year, you’re going to finally make that pie for Thanksgiving and it’s going to be great — and no big deal. Your family and friends are going to eat that pie, and they’re going to love it. They’re going to love it and they’re going to be impressed with how simple it was for you.

Martha Stewart and Ina Garten references will be made.

You’re going to start with this easy pie crust recipe. You’re going to make it whenever you want. You can make it right now and have it hanging out in the freezer for whenever you have time to get to it.

Or you can get up on Thanksgiving morning and make it while the turkey is in the oven and the Pikachu float bounces down Sixth Avenue towards Herald Square. No-stress.

I want you to believe in your heart of hearts that pie crust is super easy, no big deal — because my friend, it’s no big deal. It’s just pie. You can do this with your eyes closed, sorta. But seriously, there are no secrets or tricks here and you don’t need a culinary degree to perfect the pie crust.

It takes just as long to walk to the freezer aisle, dig through the stack of frozen pie shells to find the one that isn’t broken, and bring it home, as it does to whip one up with the simple ingredients you very likely have in your kitchen already.

The ingredients are simple. All-purpose flour, a touch of sugar, a pinch of salt, cold butter, and just enough water to bring it all together. That’s it.

Blind Baking your Pie Shell

If you’re baking a pie with filling that also needs to be baked (like an Apple Pie), you probably won’t need to blind bake the shell to start. If you’re baking a pie that’s a bit wet (like Pecan or Pumpkin Pie), you’ll probably want to partially blind bake the shell to start. If you’re making a pie that’s assembled in a pre-baked shell (like a Banana Cream Pie), you’ll want to blind bake the shell, remove the pie weights, and then finish baking the shell entirely.

To blind bake the shell, preheat the oven to 350F. Line the inside of the chilled shell with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights, making sure the pie weights go up the sides of the pie as well as cover the bottom. I use dried beans or chickpeas in place of more expensive weights, which can still be used for multiple bakes. Bake the shell for 20-25 minutes until the edges are just light golden brown.

To completely par-cook your pie shell, you'll then remove the pie weights and parchment paper, then bake the crust for 4 or 5 minutes more — or until your shell is a lovely golden brown color.

The Easy Pie Crust Recipe You Need for Thanksgiving

This year, you’re going to finally make that pie for Thanksgiving and it’s going to be great — and no big deal. Your family and friends are going to eat that pie, and they’re going to love it.

  • Butter, Cold: 1 stick (8 Tablespoons)
  • All-Purpose Flour: 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon
  • Sugar: 2 teaspoons
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Cold Water: 1/4 cup
  1. Take your cold stick of butter and cut it into Tablespoon-sized portions. Put it back in the refrigerator.
  2. Measure out flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium or large bowl. Stir ingredients together to incorporate. Transfer to a food processor. (Note: your food processor doesn’t have to be big or fancy here. Mine is a little plastic 4 cup processor with a grind & chop function that works great!)
  3. Measure out the water and put it in the refrigerator. Take the butter out of the refrigerator and add it to the food processor.
  4. Pulse the flour, sugar, salt, and butter about 10–15 times until butter is broken up into pea-sized chunks. Dump the entire mix back into your bowl. (Note: Pulse your food processor instead of continuously running the machine to avoid warming up the butter too much. You’re making the dough in the bowl, not the processor. The mix should still be dry and crumbly.)
  5. In the bowl, pour in the water. Stir together with your fingers until dough is scrappy, but sticking together, with no dry patches on the bottom or sides of the bowl.
  6. Flatten pie dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Note: You can leave the dough in the fridge at this point for a week. When you’re ready to roll it out, let it sit at room temperature for 15–30 minutes.)

Rolling the dough and making the shell:

  1. Place your dough disk on a floured surface. Keep your pie dish nearby to correctly calculate how big you need to roll your shell. Very lightly flour the top of your dough to keep the rolling pin from sticking.
  2. Roll out your dough, working as slowly as you like. Place your pie dish on top of the rolled-out dough as you go to make sure you’re getting to the right size. You’re looking to keep the dough as round as possible — but if it’s not perfectly circular, no big deal! Ultimately, you’re looking for at least an inch of dough to extend past the widest part of your pie plate when you set it on top.
  3. Brush any excess flour from the top of the dough. Smoothly and carefully lift the dough off of the counter and gently lay it on your nearby pie dish. Center it as needed.
  4. Press the bottom of the pie dough flat and into the bottom edge of the pie dish. With scissors, trim the dough about ½ inch around the rim of the dish.
  5. Gently tuck the small overhanging dough back under the edge of the dough, forming your crust.

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February 7, 2022
This is my favorite fig jam recipe!