Fool Proof Pie Dough (Pate’ Brisee’)
Like many bakers I have tried many recipes for pie dough and sometimes you need to go through a few to get the right one you like.
I settled on an all butter pie dough that taste really good, holds up great in the oven with intricate decorations, and only needs 5 ingredients. This is a classic Pate’ Brisee’. Basically a pie dough with granulated sugar in it.
But getting the best result takes more than just a good pie dough recipe. It’s the way the dough is manipulated that will be “wow” or a ‘bust”.
The egg wash is also important. It is literally the ‘glue’ that hold all those pretty decorations you spent all that time on and gives them that beautiful golden color we all want to see after an hour in the oven.
This dough is great for pies tarts, galettes, cobblers, and intricate cutouts and decorations. See my Apple Slab Pie . It will make 3 rounds which is great when you need more for one pie or you’re making several pies at once. You can never make too much pie dough. There should always be a round or 2 in the freezer for that impromptu Peach Cobbler.
The egg wash is also very important and I’ve tried a few versions of those as well. I’ve seen versions from pastry chefs containing water, cream, milk and even sugar. I’ve found that just eggs make the most beautiful golden brown crust. I also put on 2 thin layers on before putting anything in the oven.
3 3/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 sticks butter cut up in 1/4” cubes and very very cold. Place in the freezer until ready
1/2 cup ice water
In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt, sugar.
Pulse in the butter until it looks like small peas.
Simultaneously add in the water while pulsing until the dough just starts to come together.
Squeeze a little of the dough in your hands. if it stays together easily it’s ready. If it crumbles, add water a tablespoon at a time until it does.
Pull out onto a floured surface.
Divide into 1/3rds and place onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pressed together into a round.
Flatten rounds and wrap tightly and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours until ready to use. Dough can stay in the fridge for 3 days.
For the Egg Wash
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
Make an egg wash by whisking the whole egg and egg yolk thoroughly until a little foamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
TIPS FOR PIE SUCCESS!
- Keep everything cold! That means the butter is ice cold and the water is ice cold
- Dough must be very cold before baking to keep its shape details.
- Mix butter thoroughly into the flour to prevent cracking later
- Use a Silpat for rolling out if possible. You won’t need as much flour to roll it out and dry out the dough.
- Always place the pie dough back in the fridge or freezer after manipulating or gets to warm. This will keep it from getting it a ‘melted’ look and a flat look.
- The dough will be tougher the more you knead it. Gather dough directly onto plastic wrap and squeeze together to form your rounds to prevent too much handling before rolling out.
Egg wash can be saved in the freezer for next time or used in another dish!
Let me know if you have any other tips to share. I hope these help.