pie dough (with butter)

27th August 2012

This is a basic butter pie recipe that bakes up wonderfully into a flakey dough. This pie dough works well for sweet fruit pies, savoury or handheld pies.  When using it for a sweet pie increase the sugar quantity to ½ cup/90g.


  • Use high-quality butter and flour. Poor quality butter has higher water content and less fat; and low quality flour can vary in protein structure and that can affect your final pie crust.
  • Combine the butter and flour evenly, so the butter is the size of a pea and no bigger than a marble.
  • Work with very cold ingredients, especially the butter. Soft butter will not allow your dough to come together evenly, resulting in a tough dough. Cold butter creates the lovely flakey layers.

pie dough

This is a very good post on basic butter pie crust.


350g flour (250g white & 100g whole-wheat)

½ tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar

200g unsalted pure butter

100ml very cold water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar


1.  Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix, then cut the butter into pea-sized pieces and add to flour, making sure all the pieces of butter are well coated with flour – cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

2.  In a food processor with the S-blade attached, add the cold flour and butter, process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal), then stir the vinegar with the cold water and pulse in short bursts. The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth. If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add ice water – a tablespoon at a time. Do not over-process!

To make the dough by hand: Use your fingers to pinch the butter and flour together, making thin, floury, disks of butter. Continue working until the butter has broken-down into pea-size beads, then into a sandlike consistency. Drizzle in the ice water, mixing until the dough comes together in a crumbly mass.

3.  Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass, then divide and press into two round discs, wrap tightly in plastic, and then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough and flatten it so it fills any empty space making it airtight. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours (ideal).

4. When ready to roll out, you may need to let it rest 5 – 10 minutes. You want it to warm up slightly so that it is easy to roll out. If it is too cold it will crack when you roll it out. However, if it is too warm it will be sticky and fall apart when you are baking it. On really hot days you may need to put it back in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes then continue to roll.

Here are some favourite pie recipes –

apple raspberry pie

peach pie

baked samosas

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