Basic Pie Pastry


One of the most important steps in making trouble-free pastry is refrigerating the dough before rolling it–for 45 to 60 minutes to firm up the butter. Less than that and it will be sticky; much more and it will get too firm. To prepare enough pastry for a double-crust pie, it’s best to make two single recipes rather than one large batch of dough in the food processor.

  • 1/8 of shellServings


  • 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 1/2 Tbs. ice-cold water


  1. To make dough in food processor: In work bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt and pulse to mix. Remove lid and scatter butter over flour mixture; replace lid. Pulse machine repeatedly in 4-second bursts until butter is broken into fine bits. Remove lid and add 3 tablespoons ice water. Replace lid and pulse several times until mixture is evenly dampened. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons water; pulse again until dough starts to form large crumbs that can be easily packed together.
  2. To make dough by hand: In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas. Add ice water about 1 1/2 tablespoons at a time, mixing, fluffing and compressing dough with fork until it adheres. (You may need to add slightly more water than stated when making dough by hand.)
  3. Empty crumbs onto work surface and pack together like a snowball. Gently knead 2 or 3 times to distribute fat. Place dough on large sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 3/4-inch-thick disk; smooth cracked edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 45 to 60 minutes before rolling out.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Makes 9-inch deep-dish shell
  • Calories: 209
  • Carbohydrate Content: 23 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 31 mg
  • Fat Content: 12 g
  • Fiber Content: 1 g
  • Protein Content: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 7 g
  • Sodium Content: 135 mg