March 14th 2011 celebrates another “Pi Day” or Pi = 3.1415926535… Day. Yup, I can hear the roaring cheers from all you math-groupies out there. But if you are going to celebrate Pi Day by baking a luscious homemade pie, you really need to take it a step further and make your own homemade pie crust. If you’ve never tried it – trust me – you are in for a treat. Give homemade pie crust a try with my recipe..
“What is Pi Day”
“Wait, so what is Pi Day?”
(blank stare) “So…”
“3.1415926535…” … “March 14th” “Pi Day.”
“So, ….. oh never mind. Yay pi. Or pie.”
..and that’s how it goes in my household. My math-savvy husband is quite proud of his “Pi reciting skills” – and good for him. I’m personally more savvy at pie than pi.
Homemade Pie Crust is a must-try for every at-home cook. And it’s easier than you think…
recipe note: I used “vegan buttery spread” for myself and it turned out perfectly flaky! But this recipe will work with either vegan or traditional dairy butter.
Want the “Pi” recipe in the photo? My Blueberry & Bosc Pie Recipe.
Classic White Pie Crust for pi Day
makes 2 balls of dough = 2 crusts (or a top/bottom crust)
2 sticks of “butter sticks”, chopped into small cubes
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups white pastry flour
1/4-1/2 cups well chilled water
1 Tbsp sugar
plus: extra flour for rolling out dough
surface for rolling
1. Start your crust process either the night before or at least 2 hours before you will need it to make your pie. And stick your buttery sticks (chopped into cubes) in the freezer for at least a half hour to chill before using. You can also chill your flour.
2. Start by pulsing the flour and salt in a food processor.
3. Add in the buttery sticks and pulse until the flour/butter/salt turns into a clumpy dry mixture. You want all the butter to combine with the flour and become dry little beads.
4. Next, add in your chilled water a little bit at a time (you can also add in a splash of vanilla extract and pinch of sugar if you’d like). I usually use 1/3 – 1/2 cup ice water.
5. When your dough is now ‘wet’ you can transfer it onto a floured surface. It’s OK if it feels ‘sticky’ at this point. Add more flour to properly work with the dough. Also, if there are a few clumps of buttery spread, that’s OK too. The vegan butter clumps will melt nicely in the baking process anyways.
6. Separate your dough into two rounds. They will be incredibly soft and delicate right now. Satiny and fluffy. Wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. Freeze these balls for at least an hour before working with the dough. You can freeze overnight if needed.
7. Pull your dough from the freezer – allow to soften slightly if too hard to roll out. Roll out dough and transfer into a pie tin. The crust doesn’t have to be perfect when you transfer. You can always mold the dough in the tin with your fingers. Press it out through the sides as you like.
dough balls, pulled from the freezer..
Slice into strips for lattice design if you’d like..
8. I don’t like to pour my pie filling directly into my pie crust. I like to bake the crust at 425 for about 5-7 minutes first. Then I pour in my warm pie filling and add the top layer of crust…
Warm filling poured into 5 minute baked crust shell..
top layer.. Sprinkle with sugar and bake. My baking time usually goes like this: 15 minutes at 400-425 degrees, then an additional 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
More detailed photos and pie recipe ideas here.