Traditional Art of the Pie All-Butter Dough

August 1, 2018 Updated: August 1, 2018

Traditional Art of the Pie All-Butter Dough

An all-butter crust is not as flaky as a butter and leaf lard crust, but the flavor can’t be beat.

For one double-crust pie or two single-crust pies

  • 2 1/2 cups (363 grams) all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
  • 14 tablespoons (196 grams) salted or unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup (118 grams) ice water plus 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 grams) more as needed
  • Additional flour for rolling out dough

Put all ingredients but the ice water in a large bowl.

With clean hands, quickly smoosh the mixture together, or use a pastry blender with an up and down motion, until the ingredients look like cracker crumbs with lumps the size of peas and almonds. These lumps will make your crust flaky.

Sprinkle ice water over the mixture and stir lightly with a fork.
Squeeze a handful of dough to see if it holds together. Mix in more water as needed.

Divide the dough in half and make two chubby discs about 5 inches (12 centimeters) across. Wrap the discs separately in plastic wrap, and chill for about an hour.

Rolling Instructions:

Take out the dough discs and let them temper until they feel slightly soft to the touch and easy to roll out. Unwrap one disc and place it on a well-floured board, pastry cloth, parchment paper, or plastic wrap.

Sprinkle some flour onto the top of the disc. Thump the disc with your rolling pin several times.

Turn it over and thump the other side.

Sprinkle more flour onto the top of the dough as needed to keep the pin from sticking, and roll the crust out from the center in all directions.

When the dough is 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 centimeters) larger than your pie pan, brush off the extra flour on both sides.

Fold the dough over the top of the pin and lay it in the pie pan carefully.

Don’t worry if the crust needs to be patched together. Paint a little water where it needs to be patched and “glue” on the patch piece.

Put the filling in the pie and repeat the process with the other disc.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life” by Kate McDermott. Published by The Countryman Press, a division of W.W. Norton & Company.