In Search of the Perfect Pie Crust

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In the bevy of dessert options that exist out in the culinary world today, none tempt my tastebuds quite as much as the pie. Sure, I love a good cake, haven’t passed up many cupcakes, and if a donut is in my presence, it’s not going to be long before it gets in my belly. However, if I had to choose just one type of dessert to eat for all of eternity – it’s going to be pie.

My hands-down favorite thing that my beloved Nana cooks is Sweet Potato Pie. It has been a part of our holiday traditions for as long as I can remember, and I look forward to it every year. I like it so much, in fact, that one year she made me my very own so that I could take the ENTIRE THING home with me from Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy over the next few days (Okay. Two days. I have a problem, I admit it).

Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, Peach Pie, Chess Pie, Lemon Meringue… there aren’t many that I don’t love. You’d think I would be a pie making expert.

Right?

Well. I’m not. See, I’m not a baker. I don’t have the passion for it that I do for cooking. The precision it requires makes me uncomfortable. The time it takes to cool a cake before you can ice it… annoying. The rolling! The flour everywhere! Ugh. No, thanks.

However, it’s time to tackle new tasks! And I will work on some pie recipes since I love them so, I’ve made that commitment to myself. There’s just one tiny problem that I have to work out before that…

The crust.

As much as I love pie, I don’t love the pie crust. And as much as I love my Nana’s Sweet Potato Pie… the crust, not so much (Don’t you dare tell her I said that, people!). I admit that on the very few occasions I have made a pie, I have always used a pre-made refrigerated one. Did you gasp in horror? I hope not. So I decided to find a new recipe for Pie Dough that would be a good foundation for my Pie Quest.

In terms of recipes, pie dough recipes are all fairly standard. Most recipes follow a 3-2-1 ratio  of flour, fat, and water. Flour is … well, flour. No shock there. The fat usually is either butter or shortening. And water is, shocker, water. This is the way my grandmother makes her crust, but I was looking for something that would give me a tad more flavor.

I hit the shelves of my cookbook collection. I did some Googling. I flipped through some food magazines.

And then, like all Food Network addicts know, the answer came to me…

What would Ina Garten do?

I checked the Food Network website for an Ina pie crust recipe and there was one! And it was simple! It’s even called the Perfect Pie Crust recipe! And I had everything on hand! Sure, my butter wasn’t hand churned by French virgins using milk from royal cows but my Food Lion butter was fine!

I was a little hesitant about mixing the dough in the food processor because, truthfully, it always seems like such a pain in the neck BUT IT WASN’T. Holy moly this made making this dough a cinch. No lie. My ten year old did all the pulsing.

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So, I baked a pie using this dough. And oh boy. For real, the best crust I have ever put in my mouth. Totally delicious. Flaky. Slightly sweet. Not bland. Amazing.

So there you have it, folks. Search no more! If you’re looking for an absolutely delicious pie crust – here’s your answer! 

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