I know that I’ve written about the importance of pie pastry before, but I have found a new signature crust and it is buttery, flaky, a little salty, and a fantastic foil to the sweet pie filling (of course, it is perfect for quiches and pot pies, too). If you haven’t found yours, I recommend Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee. She uses a food processor, but I use my awesome KitchenAid stand mixer because I have an awesome KitchenAid stand mixer and it works just fine. I have adapted her recipe to suit me.
Petunia’s Perfect Pie Pastry
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter bit by bit and mix at the slowest speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, 1-2 minutes.
Continue mixing, and slowly add ice water, about 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms larger clumps and holds together without being wet or sticky.
Divide dough into two balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Roll out dough between two sheets of waxed paper. You want a 12-inch circle, about the width of the waxed paper. Return to refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to let the dough rest and chill. You will want the dough cold and stiff if you are going to do lattice work or cut-outs. Peel off one side of the waxed paper and center into the pie plate. Remove waxed paper and gently press dough into pan. Trim any excess dough and crimp edges as desired. Place back into freezer for a few minutes. Cold dough is key to flaky pastry.
Now, the rest of the pastry story will differ for each pie, single- or double-crust, so carefully read the recipe for details.