Pie Dough with Butter and Shortening
Prep Time:30 Minutes
Yield:1 Double Crust
- 2 ½ cups (12.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) shortening cut into pieces
- ½ cup ice-cold water
- 591.47ml (12.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 4.26g sugar
- 4.26g kosher salt
- 153.36g cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 51.12g (2 ounces) shortening cut into pieces
- 118.29ml ice-cold water
Fat is what provides flakiness in pie crust, and the longer that fat is solid the more flakes you get! By keeping all your ingredients very cold and by adding shortening, with its higher melting point, you can have a pie crust that is flavorful (thank you butter), but lighter and flakier.
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Toss lightly to mix.
Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients and toss lightly so that all pieces are coated with flour.
Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or smash the butter pieces into the flour until it is broken into pieces the size of small peas. Add the shortening and continue to cut until all of the fat is cut into small pieces (some peas, some almonds).
Sprinkle half of the water over the mixture. Toss well with a fork to dampen the mixture. Add more water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and continue to toss and mix until it looks a bit like cheese curds and all the flour looks like it has been “touched” by fat. You do not want the dough too wet!
Pick up a handful of the mixture and squeeze in your hand. If it breaks apart, it is too dry and needs a tiny bit more water. If it holds together then you are done adding water. (Humidity and time of year affect moisture so it will take more or less water at different times of year)
Pour the dough out onto the counter and form into a large ball. Using a knife (or bench scraper) cut the large ball into 2 pieces. Gently form each piece into a round flat disk about an inch thick. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes but longer if possible. At this point, it can be left in refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 2 or 3 months (putting wrapped disks in a sealable freezer bag).
Keep the ingredients as cold as possible until ready to mix, including flour and fats. You can even put your flour in the freezer until ready to use! Use ice water (but remove ice cubes) before adding to the dough mixture.
If you only have salted butter on hand that is fine, just reduce salt in recipe to ½ teaspoon.
Any butter makes delicious pie crust, but it you are looking for the most flavorful crust possible, reach for European or Irish style butter with it’s higher fat content.