Let’s go old school, vintage…nay Victorian…in the kitchen. No electronics, no special tricks, no modern conveniences. Just good old fashioned handmade perfection. Pie crust is such a simple recipe to make…with a food processor. Flour, butter, water and ready in five minutes at the press of a button. Why can’t it be that easy by hand? Afterall, food processors are expensive, bulky and a hassle to clean. Handmade pie crust is just as easy…it all boils down to how you score the butter! (And I’m surprised to tell you, the handmade version turned out richer, flakier and more tender than the food processor method.)
Yields a double crust 5″ (mini) pie or 2 single crust 5″ (mini) pies. Double this recipe for a single crust 9″ (standard) pie. Click here for the food processor method.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar + 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
Next comes the master secret, the secret technique – scoring the butter. As we go, we’re going going to follow a simple technique of halving halves. What are you looking for? Well, it’s simple. You want small cubes of butter measuring about the size of peas. First things first! Half 4 tablespoons of butter. Flip on it’s side turning once to the left and half the butter again. You should have four equal rectangles of butter.
Half each rectangle (two cuts on top), then flip the butter on its side turning once to the left and half each rectangle again. Be careful to keep the butter tucked into a single unit as you go. You should have 16 rectangles of butter.
Now, it’s time to dice the butter into peas. Instead of working in halves length wise, cut the butter into a small dice width wise (about 4 cuts widthwise moving from front to back). Flip the butter on its side turning once to the left and dice it into peas again (another 4 cuts widthwise).
Add the butter to the flower using a small spatula to break it apart. To help keep the butter evenly distributed throughout the dough give it a stir to coat each of the butter cubes with flour.
Finally, add 2-4 tablespoons ice cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and vigorously whisk into the dough with a spatula. Stop adding water when the dough starts gathering together and produces sandy tendrils. Continue stirring vigorously until the dough forms a ball and begins to pull away from the sides of a bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and quickly shape into a ball. Wrap in cellophane and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to use.