Butter Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)

Butter Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)

I just realized that despite the fact that I have been posting about pies for a while, that I have not actually posted the pie crust recipe that I use. Although it is perfectly acceptable to use store bought pie crusts I like to make my own especially if I am not rushed for time. My first few attempts at making a pie crust did not turn out too well but I stuck with it and now I am enjoying making them. With a little practice they are actually fairly easy to make. The trick is keeping everything nice and chilled.

If I am not rushed for time I like to cut the butter and then chill it in the freezer for a bit. Then next important step is the water. You want to add enough water that the dough starts to clump and enough that it is going to stick together when you roll it out but not too much. I find that 5 tablespoons of water usually works out well. Ideally when you have mixed the water into the flour and butter to form the dough you should be able to see small bits of butter in it and it is these bits of butter that are going to make the pie crust nice and light and flaky. After you have formed the dough you want to chill it in the fridge before rolling. Chilling it in the fridge helps ensure that those bits of butter don't melt and that they remain as bits of butter in the pastry. After the pastry has chilled in the fridge it is time to roll it out. You will want to wait a few minutes after pulling it out of the fridge to let it warm up just a bit so that you can roll it easily without it crumbling. Once the crust has been rolled out you will want to lightly fold it in half 2 times and transfer it to the pie dish and then unfold it and fit it into the pie plate. After you have fit the pie crust into the plate you will want to use it right away or put it back into the fridge until you are ready to use it. The uncooked pie crust freezes well so you can make them ahead of time and use them when you need them reducing the amount of effort that a pie takes to make.

This recipe make one pie crust so if you are making a pie with a top and bottom crusts you will need to make this recipe two times. To help get those nice golden brown colours to the pie shell you can brush it in an egg white and water mixture before baking. If you are going to be baking the pie for a long period of time you can cover the crust with foil and then remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of baking time to help ensure that the crust does not burn.

Note: This pie crust recipe works equally well for both sweet and savoury pie. For a sweet pie you may want to add an extra tablespoon of sugar to this recipe.

Butter Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)

Butter Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée)

Servings: 1
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter (cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 4-5 tablespoons water (cold)
  1. Pulse the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor to mix.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 6-8 times.
  3. Add a tablespoon of water at a time pulsing in between until it starts to clump together.
  4. Place the dough on a clean surface and shape it into a disc.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  6. Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle about 1/8 of an inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Place the dough into the pie plate and form it.
  8. If you need to pre-bake the pie crust, this is how:
  9. Place a piece of parchment paper in the pie and fill it with rice or beans to hold it down.
  10. Bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove the parchment paper and weight and poke the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

One of my favorite pasries!



Anonymous said...

That was my default recipe for years. This Thanksgiving I tried the Cooks Illustrated version, that uses vodka. It was good too, maybe a little easier to roll out, but I think I prefer the all butter version.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Sage said...

That is almost my recipe but I make it with cold 1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco. I will try yours next time;it is a foolproof crust.

Joanne said...

I still haven't mastered pie crust yet but this one looks like a dream!

James said...

A good pastry recipe is almost life changing.

@ Bewitchingkitchen - Vodka? Wow that's one to try!

Christine said...

That looks awesome! Do you think the recipe would work with a gluten-free AP flour?

Pam said...

Now that's a great looking crust..yum!


Kelly @ EvilShenanigans said...

I have used the food processor to make Pate Brisee in the past and it does a lovely job! It also makes the process SO EASY ... no smearing the dough on the counter which is messy. I use Pate Brisee for tarts mostly. I tend to use my hands for pie crusts now. I can tell by feel now if it is properly hydrated, and if the fat is rubbed in enough. I love making pastry doughs!!

Jamie Dougherty said...

Thank you thank you! I've been telling my clients for years to forgo Crisco and embrace butter in their pie crusts. Not only better for you but better tasting too. Thanks again! Jamie

Treehouse Chef said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe for pie crust. I use pillsbury frozen pie crust. They are fine, but not as good as the real thing. I have made a few attempts to make my own and I never seem to get it right. However, I will try again using your recipe!

Tsuki said...

Thank you for posting the recipe for your crust pie! Yesterday, before you posted this, i was just looking in here and i thought "why didn't he posted the recipe when he has so many pies in here" ... When i saw today i was like WOW ... very happy.
Thanks a lot!
Ummm i have a question ... can you tell me in grams how much butter does 8 TBs means? (one stick or how much)
(i'm not american ... and english is not my first lang. so sorry for my grammar)
Keep it up!

Sook said...

I'm so excited to try your crust recipe! I've been trying different recipes for pie crust and still haven't found the one that I absolutely LOVED. I'll try yours. Thanks for sharing!

The Cooking Photographer said...

I need to use this one. Thanks Kevin. Your pie crust gives me hope.


Bridgett said...


Kathy - Panini Happy said...

Thanks for sharing! I will try this crust next time. Finally tried my hand at making my own crust over Thanksgiving - I've got newfound confidence! :-)

Kevin said...

Tsuki: 8 tablespoons is 1/2 cup or one stick of butter. Some more conversions:
1 stick Butter = 1/4 pound = 1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons = 4 oz = 115 g

Helene said...

Thanks for sharing Kevin. I also like to make my own. I find it better than storebought.

MaryBeth said...

What a perfect pie recipe Kevin, I love a good melt in your mouth pie crust.

Tim - WI said...

Wow. Looks like just the crust to try with your Rhubarb Sour cream pie. Just yesterday I 'discovered' I had one last bag of rhubarb left in the freezer... what better way to use it :) Tim

Chef Fresco said...

Looks quite tasty Kevin!

Tsuki said...

Thank you very much Kevin!!!
Now i can make an awesome pie :)
I'll make a sweet potato pie.
Your blog is my favorite!
Take care!

dangelmc said...

I tried this recipe last night and it worked out wonderfully! Thanks for the recipe!

Sweet Harvest said...

Have you tried doubling this recipe? Or is it just better to do two separate batches if I’m doing a double crust pie?

Kevin said...

Sweet Harvest: I only have a mini chop style food processor and the single recipe fits in it perfectly so I have not tried doubling the recipe. I imagine that it would work just fine though.

Lisa said...

For anyone curious, using the linked pie crust recipe (x2 for 2 crusts) and dividing this recipe into 8 servings rather than 6 = 560 calories per serving. :)

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