I included this recipe in my Classic Apple Pie post, but I think this pie crust recipe deserves a post of it’s very own.
This recipe was inspired by Butter and Scotch, the cookbook. They recently shuttered the doors to their Brooklyn bar/bakery, but these recipes are here to stay.
I slightly reduced the amount of salt and I omitted the apple cider vinegar called for in the original recipe because I didn’t have any on hand. I’ve made this pie crust a few times now, and I’m really happy with the results! The flakiness level is perfect without being too crumbly and I love that I can see a slight lamination in the crust. Lamination is a bakers term for layered dough, like croissant, or puff pastry.
You’ll notice that this recipe calls for whole milk instead of the usual water. You can use water, but the authors suggest whole milk to inject even more fat into the pie crust. More fat = more tender and flakey. I can’t complain about that.
Without further ado,
All Butter Pie Crust
Recipe yields 2 pie crusts, or 1 top and 1 bottom crust.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter. Cold and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup cold whole milk, plus 1-2 tablespoons more if needed
- 2.75 cups unbleached all purpose flour (about 340 grams)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspooons kosher salt
- 1 egg yolk (for brushing on crust before baking)
- Cut butter into small cubes and place on a plate in the refrigerator.
- Measure out the milk and place it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture. Using a fork or a spoon, gently toss butter to completely coat with flour. This step helps to keep all of the butter from sticking to the pasty blender all at once.
- Use pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour being sure to use up and down “cutting” motion.
- Butter should be about the size of peas, mixed into the flour. Add cold milk and gently toss the ingredients. (I like to use a metal fork to gently toss the flour mixture and milk together).
- Once the milk has been added and gently mixed, you should be able to pinch the dough together with your fingers and it should hold together. Add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time of you need more moisture. You should be able to see bits of butter throughout.
- Divide the pie dough evenly. Shape it into two discs and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour before using.
- I like to use just the egg yolk for brushing the pie crust. You’ll achieve a beautiful golden crust this way.
- Feel free to use sanding sugar for a shiny effect. Plus, it gives a slight crunchy texture!
- Err on the side of baking longer to get a golden brown crust. When it comes to fruit pies, there is so much moisture in the filling, you don’t need to worry about over baking. (I wouldn’t do this with custard pies like pumpkin though)
- Make sure the butter and milk are as cold as they can possibly be before adding them to the mixture. You can even put your flour in the freezer to be extra safe.
- Don’t have a pastry blender? You can make this pie crust the old fashioned way by “rubbing” the butter into the flour by using your thumb and pointer finger. You have to be careful with the method, as your hands could warm the butter.
- Have a food processor? Cut out the extra work and use it instead!