How-to make Pie Crusts

HOW TO MAKE PIE CRUSTS

MEALY/FLAKY PIE DOUGH BY HAND
1. Sift flour on to your work surface and into a large bowl.
2. Cut the fat in to the flour.
3. Dissolve salt and sugar, if using any, dissolve in the cold liquid. Add this mixture to the flour, mixing gently until the dough holds together. Do not overmix.
4. Cover the dough with plastic and chill thoroughly before using.
5. Remember that the re-rolled scraps will be tough and elastic.

MEALY/FLAKY DOUGH BY MACHINE
1. Chill a mixer bowl and paddle attachment for at least 30 mins in the refrigerator.
2. Sift the flour into the bowl, add the cold diced butter.
3. Gently blend the butter with the flour on low-speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal or fine meal, depending on the desired consistency of the finished dough.
4. Dissolve the sale and sugar, if using, in the cold liquid. Add the moisture to the flour. Blend on low speed until the dough just comes together without overmixing, approximately 15 seconds. Do not overmix.
5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly before using.

SWEET TART DOUGH
1. Cream softened butter and sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth and has not lumps.
2. Slowly add eggs, blend well.
3. Add flour, mix only until incorporated. Overmixing will toughen the dough.
4. Cover the dough with plastic and chill completely before using.
5. Scraps may be rerolled once or twice, if the dough is still cold, non-greasy and pliable. If too much gluten develops, it will shrink and toughen.

CRUMB CRUSTS
1. Choose firm, dry cookies or crackers. 
2. Crush the cookies/crackers into fine crumbs using a food processor or rolling pin.
3. Blend the crumbs with sugar and spices as needed. Add melted butter to bind the crumbs. Amount of butter can vary depending on what cookie/cracker was used.
4. Press the mixture into the bottom of a lightly-greased pie shell or springform pan.
5. Bake or chill the crust prior to filling, if needed.