Pie dough recipes calling for butter as the only fat are certainly delicious (our Easy Pie Crust, for example), but the pastry can have a crumbly texture, rather than a perfectly flaky one. For the flakiest crust, we’ve found that adding a little non-hydrogenated shortening to the butter and a bit of lemon juice to the ice water yields optimal results. Try this recipe with your next Fresh Apple Pie—you’ll be amazed! If your pie recipe calls for both a bottom and and an upper crust, simply double this recipe. And if you’re a pie-dough novice (or not as confident as you’d like to be), check out these quick video pointers.
Equipment note: Some pie recipes without a top crust call for pie weights to weigh the crust down so it doesn’t puff up while pre-baking, or baking “blind.” If you don’t have pie weights, don’t sweat it: Use dried beans instead.
Make-ahead note: Tightly wrap the finished dough and refrigerate up to 3 days in advance.
- Yields: Dough for a 9- to 9-1/2-inch pie plate
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr
- Active: 15 mins
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening, frozen and cut into small pieces
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the shortening and butter and toss with your fingers until the fats are well coated in the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients until reduced to pea-size pieces, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the ice water and the lemon juice and mix just until the dough comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if the dough is too dry, but don’t overwork the dough or it’ll be tough after baking.)
- Form the dough into a flat disk. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling it out.