Mixing Dough by Hand
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to incorporate cut-up butter into flour. Add water as needed, and mix gently with a fork. Proceed with step 3 of Basic Pie Dough.
Keeping Crust Flaky
Keep ingredients cold, and do not overmix, overhandle, or stretch the dough. Be sure to chill it (both before and after rolling); this helps maintain pockets of butter, which keep the crust flaky and tender.
A fruit-filled pie is best the day it's made. If serving later, store, loosely covered, at room temperature, up to 2 days (chilling pies can make the crust soggy). For leftover pie, cover any exposed filling with plastic wrap, and keep at room temperature.
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