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Basic Piecrust

Course Dessert


  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chilled butter 1 stick, divided
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • Vegetable oil spray optional


  • In bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in ¼ cup butter, keeping remainder of butter chilled until you need it. Mixture should form very small, even crumbs.
  • Cut remaining butter into small pieces. Toss with flour mixture and cut in until mixture contains uneven, coarse crumbs, the largest of which are no larger than pea size.
  • Add water a tablespoon at a time and toss with a fork to moisten dough. To test for the right amount of liquid, squeeze a chunk of dough together. If it sticks together easily, it is moist enough.
  • Place dough on a single large sheet (or two overlapping sheets) of plastic wrap. Pat dough into a 4-inch circle. Top with two additional sheets of plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a circle, rolling from the center outward in brief but forceful strokes. The crust's diameter should be 3 to 4 inches greater than the inside diameter of the pan. Chill dough 30 minutes or until plastic wrap can be removed easily.
  • Coat inside of pan with vegetable oil spray, if desired, to make dough slide more easily. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap from dough. Fit dough, plastic wrap side up, in pie pan. Remove remaining plastic wrap. Trim excess dough, fold edges under, and flute as desired.
  • Fill and bake in preheated oven according to pie recipe.