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Myra Goodman’s Sweet Pie Crust

 Posted by on November 18, 2009
Nov 182009
This rich, buttery pastry crust is light and tender, perfect for fruit pies and tarts. I find the food processor technique the quickest and least messy method for making pie dough. It’s almost foolproof — just be sure not to overwork the dough in the machine or the pastry will be tough. — Myra Goodman

See directions below recipe on making pastry by hand. Makes enough for 2 single-crust pies or 1 double-crust pie, 9 to 10 inches in diameter.

Make your own pie dough for a rich, flaky crust. Photo by Mike Neale Dreamstime

Make your own pie dough for a rich, flaky crust. Photo by Mike Neale Dreamstime

Use organic ingredients whenever possible.


2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus flour for rolling out the dough
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
¼ cup ice water, or more as needed


1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and process to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

2. With the machine running, add the ice water and process just until the dough holds together loosely in a ball, 5 to 8 seconds. Do not allow the dough to form a solid mass or it will be overworked.

3. Test the dough by pinching a small amount between your fingers. If the dough is not moist enough to form a cohesive mass, add an additional tablespoon of ice water, process briefly, and test again.

4. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper and divide it in half. Form each half into a flat disk.  Wrap a piece of parchment paper around each piece of dough to cover it, and refrigerate until chilled, 20 to 30 minutes. (If you intend to chill the dough overnight or freeze it, tightly wrap the pieces in plastic wrap.  The wrapped dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let the frozen dough thaw overnight in the refrigerator before rolling out.)

5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (for a single-crust pie you’ll need one disk of dough; for a double-crust pie you’ll need both disks), and open the parchment paper to a flat rectangle. If it was refrigerated for more than 1 hour, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes to soften slightly. (If the dough is too cold or firm, it will crack when you try to roll it out.)

6. Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough into a round about 1/8-inch thick and 2 inches larger than your pie plate.

7. Fold the dough in half or drape it over the rolling pin, and transfer it to the pie plate. Press the dough firmly into the pie plate, and brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush. If there are holes or cracks, press the dough back together or patch them with small bits of the overhanging dough.

For a single-crust pie, trim the dough with a pair of kitchen scissors, leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold the edge under to form a double layer, and crimp or flute it.

For a double-crust pie, fit the dough for the bottom crust into the pie plate and trim the dougheven with the rim. Roll out the second disk of dough. Place the filling in the bottom crust and place the dough for the second crust on top. Trim the top crust with scissors, leaving a ½-inch overhang. Fold the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust, and crimp or flute it to seal.

Cut three slits in the center of the top crust with a sharp knife to allow steam to vent as the pie bakes.

How to make pastry by hand

If you don’t own a food processor, here is the technique for making pastry by hand:
1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to blend.
2. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles coarse meal.
3. Add the water and mix it into the dough with a rubber spatula, using a folding motion to moisten all of the dough. Press the dough into a rough ball against the side of the bowl with the broad side of the spatula.
4. Continue with the Sweet Pie Crust recipe at Step 3.


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