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How to Make a One Crust Pie Crust

I made an amazing Cookies-n-Cream Pie today, and as I was starting to write the post, I realized that a lot of readers may not know how to make a pie crust, especially one that you pre-bake, and then fill, like you would use for a pumpkin, or lemon meringue. Now these instructions aren’t difficult, but there are little tricks to do it right, and I thought some photographs might help.

There are some die hard pie bakers out there that insist on using some sort of vegetable shortening to make their crusts. I am not one of them, as I don’t ever use hydrogenated oil. Either way, these tips will allow you to make a one crust pie, regardless of the recipe you use.

One Crust Pie Crust

(Double the recipe if you are making a two-crust pie, such as an apple or cherry pie. With those, you don’t do any pre-baking. You simply roll out the crusts, lay one into the pie plate, fill, cover with the other crust, crimp, and bake.)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut in pieces
2-3 tablespoons ice cold water (all ice removed)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Toss the butter pieces in the flour mixture to coat. Using the pulse option on a food processor, or using a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut the butter into small pieces, and continue cutting it until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Distribute the water over the mixture and pulse (or mix by hand), until the water is well-distributed and the mixture holds together like dry clay. Dump mixture onto a floured board, knead a time or two, form into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

2. Try to handle the dough as little as possible. Pound dough with a rolling pin a few times to soften the butter. Roll into an 11 inch circle on a well-floured board. Place the dough in a 9 inch pie plate. Roll up the edges and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork several times. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Place a large circle of parchment paper in the center of the chilled crust, and fill the parchment paper with a pound of dried beans (you can reuse them for this purpose again and again–just save them in a ziploc bag). Bake for 15 minutes with the beans in. Remove from the oven, take out the beans and parchment paper, and bake again for about 10 minutes, or until the center starts to turn golden brown.*

*If you will be re-baking this, as you would with a pumpkin pie, decrease the second baking time to about 5 minutes.

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