How to make delicious pie crust

Pie. What comes to mind when you hear this simple, three letter word? Delicious smell, golden crust, melts in your mouth, comfort food… and the list goes on. The wonderful thing about pies is that they can be eaten all year round and can be made as a savoury dish or as a sweet dessert. However, the idea of making your own pie from scratch can be daunting.This blog post will prove that making a pie is not so tough after all! Here is a quick and easy guide on how to make your own delicious pie dough. Let’s start cooking!

Easy peasy pie crust dough

Ingredients:

  • 350 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 280 g butter
  • 6 tablespoons ice cold water

Method:

  1. Pulse together the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.
  2. Then cut the butter into little cubes or sticks; ensure the butter is chilled and firm.
  3. Now add the butter into the food processor and pulse until it looks like a coarse mixture with pea-sized butter pieces. Why? The little blobs of butter will melt down in the dough creating steam; the steam will create little pockets of air that result in a flaky pie crust.
  4. Add ice cold water and then quickly pulse again. Add enough water until the mixture holds together when you feel it. If you find that the mixture is still very crumbly, add more water. Tip! Don’t add too much water, you don’t want a very sticky dough.
  5. Divide the dough into two balls. Place each ball in cling film and allow it to chill in the fridge for about an hour. (One ball of dough is for the base, the other for the top layer.)
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and remove the cling film. Lightly flour your countertop as well as your rolling pin. Roll the dough out (away from you), rotating the dough continuously so that it does not stick.
  7. Roll out the dough until it is more or less the size of your baking tin. Wrap the dough around your rolling pin and then unwrap onto your baking tin. Remove the excess dough around the edges using a pair of scissors or a knife. Leave a border of about 1 cm around the edges so that you can fold the edges to seal the rim. If you wish to make a crimp-looking edge, use your knuckles and your fingers to create a wave effect around the edges.
  8. Place the tin into the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow the dough to chill and set in its new shape.
  9. Now for blind baking! This is basically just pre-baking the pie dough so that the shell is ready for its filling. Place some baking paper inside the shell and add items of weight (things like beans or lentils) inside. This is to ensure that when the dough cooks, it remains in its original shape.
  10. Bake the dough in the oven at 190 degrees celsius for 30 minutes. Remove the baking paper along with the weights and pop the crust back into the oven for 5 minutes to allow it to golden.

Now you can add any filling you desire, whether it’s sweet or savory… the choice is yours.

Tip! If you want to make a very saucy pie, for example a chicken pie, you can place the filling at the bottom of the dish and the pie dough on top. Pies can also be bare (with only the pie shell) or you can add some pieces of pie dough on top of the filling to create a pattern.  Alternatively, you can add a solid layer of dough over your filling as well. There are so many options, you can choose the one you like best.

Here are some delicious pie filling ideas:

Savoury fillings:

  • Beef, mushroom and caramelised onion pie
  • Beef cheek and stout pie
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Zucchini, onion and ricotta pie
  • Pork pie
  • Taco pie

    

Sweet fillings:

  • Chocolate pie
  • Apple pie
  • Choc chip pecan pie
  • Gooseberry and custard pie
  • Pumpkin and ginger pie
  • Meringue and pomegranate pie
  • Lemon meringue pie
  • Mud pie

There are no rules when it comes to making a pie filling, just combine ingredients you like and it should turn out great. A daunting thing to make that’s actually easy as pie!

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