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Pie Crust 101

Martha Stewart Living, Volume 71 July/August 1999

By following these seven simple rules, you can produce a flaky, tender crust every time.

1. When making the dough, make sure the butter is very cold.

2. Handle the dough as little as possible. Both the stretching of the dough and the warmth from your hands will further the development of gluten -- long, stringy protein molecules that form when flour is blended with liquid -- resulting in a tough dough that's difficult to roll out.

3. Since our pie-dough recipe yields two single crusts, divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a flat disk before wrapping it in plastic and chilling. This will make it easier to roll out each crust into a perfect circle.

4. Chill the dough thoroughly (at least 30 minutes) before rolling it out, and use a minimum of flour to dust the rolling pin and work surface. Brush excess flour from the rolled dough with a dry pastry brush before transferring it to the pie plate.

5. For an extra-crispy pie crust with a golden color, brush the unbaked top crust with water, and sprinkle it with sugar.

6. For a shiny pie crust, brush the unbaked top crust with an egg wash made from one egg and 2 tablespoons cream.

7. Cut decorative vents in the top of a double-crusted fruit pie; vents allow steam to escape and prevent the fruit juices from overflowing.

Comments (17)

  • 5 Jan, 2013

    I use Martha's recipe and it is very good and flakey. I roll it between plastic wrap so I don't have to add any extra flour. I use my nonstick rolling mat as a base so that I can get a perfect round. I also use a Polish Pottery rolling pin because they are nonstick also. I love pie just like Michael the Archangel ;).

  • 19 Jun, 2009

    this is strickly an article on how to make fool proof pie crust... many people have their own family recipes... or you can look up one.

  • 26 Nov, 2008

    search for "pate brisee (pie dough)" it's a great recipe

  • 26 Nov, 2008

    search for "pate brisee (pie dough)" it's a great recipe

  • 24 Sep, 2008

    I think the pie dough is purposely left out of everything as it isn't posted anywhere.
    Cherimstar

  • 24 Sep, 2008

    I think the pie dough is purposely left out of everything as it isn't posted anywhere.
    Cherimstar

  • 14 Jun, 2008

    I'm searching for the ingredients in your pie crust and can't find it -- Help??

  • 18 Mar, 2008

    Does anyone know if you can freeze a pie crust made with egg yolks in it for the italian sweet pie.

  • 21 Nov, 2007

    kitchenchallenged, the recipe for the dough is under Pate Brisee. If you look up any specific pie, like apple, there will be a link to the pie dough recipe.

  • 21 Nov, 2007

    kitchenchallenged, the recipe for the dough is under Pate Brisee. If you look up any specific pie, like apple, there will be a link to the pie dough recipe.

  • 21 Nov, 2007

    Use aluminum foil to make strips

  • 21 Nov, 2007

    help! i always burn my pumpkin pie crust. HELP!! I follow the libbys pumpkin pie receipe on the can.....what am i doing wrong?

  • 20 Nov, 2007

    I have to say that I tried to go back to the previous page and couldn't even FIND the word "More". Does anyone know where to find a good pie crust recipe that actually has the ingredients listed?

  • 13 Nov, 2007

    To access the actual recipe, go back to the previous page where you clicked "Pie Crust 101" and click "More" instead. It is the first recipe listed. I was looking for it too!

  • 12 Nov, 2007

    Where is the list of ingredients?

  • 11 Nov, 2007

    I would use this recipe if the ingredients were here.

  • 11 Nov, 2007

    I would use this recipe if the ingredients were here.