This is my standard ratio for a single pie crust. Double it for a top and bottom sheet. I only use butter, which gives the dough a better flavor and makes it puffier.
Many things can be added to increase the crust’s flavor such as orange juice, fruit zest, and vinegar. Nuts with a lot of fat can be ground up and added as well, but the ratio of butter will need to be reduced equally. That means for every tablespoon of ground nuts omit a tablespoon of butter. When working the dough together don’t over do it. You want to form it into a smooth ball quickly. I like to refrigerate the dough for 1/2 hour before rolling it out. This chills the butter so it rolls out better.
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- 3-6 tbsp ice water
Cut butter into small chunks and add to flour. Using a fork or pastry blender cut the butter until flour resembles coarse crumbs. Take a handful of the mixture and clench it in your fist. If the flour comes together in a rough mass there is enough butter in it. If it remains too dry to hold together add a tablespoon of butter at a time until the consistency is correct. Slowly add ice water to flour a tablespoon at a time until it pulls together into a rough dough. Knead quickly to form a smooth ball adding more water if the dough is too crumbly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to desired thickness, place in greased pie pan and prick with fork all over. Follow whatever recipe directions you happen to be making next. If the pie shell needs to be baked, first place a piece of tin foil inside pie shell and fill with dry beans. This helps hold the crust down while it bakes and the beans can be reused in dishes and food after baking.