Making a pie crust from scratch may sound like a big project, but it’s really quite easy with a few simple tips. Although you can certainly make this dough using your food processor, making it by hand is easy enough and leaves you with less to clean up. Using this recipe as our base, follow our step-by-step for a DIY pie crust.
STEP 1: Whisk together the dry ingredients (2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt). Then add the very cold, cubed butter (2 sticks or 1 cup cut into 1/2-inch cubes) and cut it into flour using a pastry blender or pinch it into the flour using your fingers.
STEP 2: Once the butter pieces are the size of small peas (this will only take a couple of minutes), start drizzling the water over the mixture (1/2-3/4 cup, ice-cold), 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir with a spatula or fork.
STEP 3: Stir until large chunks of dough begin to develop, adding an additional tablespoon of water at a time if needed. Once the crumbly dough holds together when pinched between your fingers, form the dough into a ball using your hands and the sides of the bowl.
STEP 4: Divide the dough into two parts and shape each half into a flat disk. Cover each with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be refrigerated for several days or frozen for longer storage.
STEP 5: When the dough is ready, liberally flour your work surface, disk, and rolling pin and begin to roll out your dough. Avoid rolling back and forth, rolling it in one direction at a time. Think of the disc as a clock face and alternate rolling toward each number to stretch out the dough evenly. If the dough gets sticky, it will not roll evenly. At this point, lift the dough, flour your surface and dough, and give the dough a quarter turn. Continue until the dough is 1/8-inch thick and measures at least 12 inches in diameter (for a 9-inch pie pan). Dust off excess flour.
STEP 6: Using a plate, bowl, or another guide, trim your dough to a diameter that is approximately 3 to 3 1/2 inches bigger than your pie dish’s diameter. Chill the trimmed dough and save it for decorative cutouts if desired. To transfer the dough to a pie dish, either roll it onto the rolling pin or fold it gently in half before transferring. Gently press it into the pan, folding excess dough under at the edges, and create a decorative edge with your fingers. Voila – you’re ready to fill up your pie!