Today was wild. I decided to make my first pumpkin pie of the season which I was very excited about. My husband LOVES pumpkin pie. When he was growing up he requested pumpkin pie in place of birthday cake. Luckily, I love it too! Naturally, fall means LOTS of pumpkin pie here. However, today didn't go as usual. I made a beautiful and intricate braided crust. I proudly put it in the oven and sat down to stare at the photos I took of it. I was feeling superrrrr accomplished because it looked perfect. Minutes later my house smelled like a burnt hot dog. The crust somehow slid off the pie and was hanging between the racks. It was burning, dripping, and smoking. I was seriously sweating like crazy struggling to clean it up. Pumpkin juice, now crust, is covering my kitchen, my shirt, and probably my dog. Anyways, I redeemed myself and ended up making a beautiful pie. I resent the pie but it is pretty.
I promise I can make an amazing pumpkin pie. I don't have a fancy secret, I love using a good old Libby's can. However, my crust has improved tremendously this season. After years of baking pies I have learned two simple tricks that always ensure amazing, flaky, crust.
1. MAKE SURE THE BUTTER IS BORDERLINE FROZEN.
Did you get that? I think the caps helped.
2. MAKE SURE THE WATER IS SO COLD ITS ALMOST FROZEN.
I promise you, these two simple things have made my crust worlds better.
Easy flaky and buttery pie crust:
PREP: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours and 30 minutes
2 1/12 cups of flour
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 cup of VERY cold butter (2 sticks)
6-8 Tablespoons of almost frozen water
In a standing mixer add the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix until fully combined. Cut your butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough looks like coarse crumbs. There should be no major chunks of butter. I have found using the standard mixing attachment works way better than the designated dough hook for this recipe. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms. If it forms into dough before using all of the water thats great! You do not need to use it all. Remove the dough and place onto a surface prepped with flour. Gently form the dough into a ball. Cut the dough in half evenly and press each dough ball into a disk shape. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Once the dough has been refrigerated for 2 hours place it on a floured surface to work with. Roll out one of the dough disks completely. I use this first one for the crust. The second dough disk I use for decorations! I do not add the decorations onto the pie right away because pumpkin pie takes a while. I add them on in the last 15 minutes so they do not burn!
There you have it. The easiest pie crust that is actually good!