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How To Make Pie Crust Without A Food Processor

How to Make Pie Crust Without a Food Processor: Easy Techniques

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Lori Walker

Creating a pie crust without a high-end food processor may appear daunting, but no need to fret, I am here to guide you through the process.

You don’t need high-tech gadgets to create a flaky, delicious pie crust that will leave your taste buds dancing.

With a few basic ingredients and some simple steps, you’ll be on your way to pie perfection in no time. 

So, roll up your sleeves and learn how to make pie crust without a food processor that’ll wow your friends and family.

An Easy Guide To Make Pie Crust Without A Food Processor

Pie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Half a cup of unsalted butter cut into 1-centimeter cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 60ml of cold water

Step-by-step Directions:

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: Begin by taking a large bowl and mixing 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of white sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir them well to make sure they’re evenly blended.
  2. Add Cold Butter: Add 1/2 cup of cold, cubed, unsalted butter [1] to the dry mixture. Make sure the butter cubes get lightly coated with the flour mixture as you toss them in.
  3. Smash and Blend Butter: To create the right texture, gently use your fingertips to smash and blend the cold butter into the flour. Keep going until it looks like you have walnut-sized pieces of butter mixed in, with some smaller bits. Don’t overmix.
  4. Add Cold Water: Mix 60ml of ice-cold water over the butter and flour. Use your fingers to work the water into the mixture gently. Be careful not to handle the dough too much. It should stick together when squeezed but still have a slightly crumbly appearance. If it’s too dry, add more water, a tablespoon at a time.
  5. Shape and Chill: Place the dough on a sanitized surface and flatten it into a disc shape. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. This resting time allows the flour to absorb moisture properly.
  6. Prepare for Baking: Follow these steps if you plan to partially or fully bake the crust (par-bake or blind-bake). Warm your oven to 190°C, roll out the chilled dough, and transfer it to a pie tin. Place the tin in the freezer for around 10 minutes to firm up. Bring it out of the freezer, trim off excess dough, crimp the edges, and utilize a fork to create perforations in the bottom and sides of the crust (a method known as docking).
  7. Par-Baking (Partial Baking): If you’re par-baking the crust, do the following: Bake it in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Ensure the crust is completely cooled before you fill your pie.
  8. Blind Baking (Full Baking): If you’re blind baking the crust, follow these steps: Remove any pie weights (if you used them) and brush the crust with the beaten egg [2]. Lastly, return it to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until it achieves a rich, deep golden brown color and becomes wonderfully flaky.

Related Post: Simple Steps To Keep Pumpkin Pie From Cracking

What Shouldn’t You Do When Making Pie Crust?

1. Using Warm Ingredients

Don’t use warm ingredients, especially butter. Warm butter can make your dough too soft, leading to a less flaky crust. 

“So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges. Stay in control, and never panic.”

Martha Stewart, American Businesswoman and Writer

Always make sure your butter and water are cold for the best results.

2. Shrinking Crust

Avoid the frustration of a shrinking pie crust by not stretching or pressing the dough into the pan’s sides. Gently fit it in without pulling or tugging.

3. Skipping Chilling Time

Pie dough needs time to relax and chill in the refrigerator. If you skip this step, the crust may turn out tougher than desired.

After making the dough, wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour, allowing the flour to hydrate fully.

4. Overworking The Dough

Handling the dough excessively, mixing or rolling, can produce a less tender and flaky crust. Keep things gentle and minimal when working with the dough.

5. Soggy Bottoms

If the bottom of your pie crust turns out soggy, it’s often due to not pre-baking it before adding the filling for custard-based pies. 

Pre-baking the crust (also known as blind baking) helps to prevent a soggy bottom.

6. Quick Browning Edges

If you observe the edges of your pie crust browning too rapidly while the filling isn’t done, use aluminum foil or a pie crust shield to protect them.

This prevents over-browning while allowing the filling to cook thoroughly.

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How Long Should You Let The Pie Crust Sit Before Cooking?

Pie Crust

To ensure a perfect pie crust, it’s crucial to let it rest before baking. The ideal waiting time in the refrigerator is at least 30 minutes, but you can leave it chilling overnight for even better results. 

This resting period allows the pie dough to relax and chill, preventing it from becoming tough and ensuring a tender, flaky crust. 

“While machines may simplify our lives, there’s a timeless satisfaction in crafting a pie crust by hand, where every fold and flake tells a delicious story.”

Leonelli Bakery

So, whether you’re preparing a savory quiche or a sweet fruit pie, remember to give your pie crust the time it needs to rest before baking.

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What’s The Best Food Processor Attachment For Pie Crust?

Two attachments emerge as top contenders when creating the ideal pie crust using a food processor: the standard multi-purpose S-blade and the specialized dough blade. 

Each of these attachments serves a distinct purpose. 

First, the standard S-blade is a versatile and efficient option. It excels at cutting cold butter into flour, achieving a coarse texture perfect for pie crusts.

On the other hand, the dough blade is specifically designed for kneading and mixing dough, making it an excellent choice for pie crusts, especially if you frequently bake pies.

Also Read: What Thickness Is Recommended For A Pie Crust?

FAQs

Is a mixer a better choice than a food processor for pie dough?

It depends on your needs. If you’re making several pies at a time, a stand mixer can handle larger batches of dough due to its greater capacity. 

However, a food processor can work just as effectively and with less cleanup for smaller batches and simplicity.

Find out how you can keep pie crust from burning here.

Is it okay to use a stand mixer instead of a food processor?

While stand mixers are versatile, they serve different roles than food processors. You’d need to purchase additional attachments to mimic certain food processor functions. 

These attachments can help your stand mixer handle tasks like slicing or shredding, but a food processor may still be your best bet for pie crust due to its specialized blade for cutting butter into flour.

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On A Final Note

Creating a perfect pie crust without using a food processor is achievable and can result in a flaky, delectable pastry. 

First, we gently blended cold butter into flour and carefully added ice-cold water, ensuring minimal dough handling. 

We emphasized the importance of allowing the dough to rest and chill in the refrigerator, preventing a tough crust. 

Moreover, we explored the options of par-baking and blind baking for different pie recipes. 

References:

  1. https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/salted-or-unsalted-butter/
  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283659
Lori Walker

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