It’s not that bad, really.  For years I slapped a frozen pie crust on all my pies from pumpkin to pecan.  No more!  It is a little extra effort and just four ingredients but what a difference it makes.  Your crusts will be flaker, tastier and better looking than any frozen.  Plus you’ll get mad props for going the homemade distance.  Spoken like a millennial. Ingredients: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon non-iodized salt 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, well chilled, cut up into random sized chunks 3 tablespoons ice water Some extra flour for working A small dish of extra ice water for repairs to misshapen crust edges 1 egg and a tablespoon of ice water, milk or cream, scrambled to make an egg wash. Tools: You will need that rolling pin that you got as a gift, never having known how to use it but not having the guts to throw it away. A bench scraper.  An option, yes, but a lifesaving tool used to get the crust unstuck from your work surface.  Under $10 online and so worth it. A word about chilled butter temperature:  the secret to a flaky homemade crust is keeping the butter chilled  like you do when you make my mushroom galette The butter within the dough needs to hit the oven in chilled bits so that it is the last ingredient to melt into the hot  baking dough. If the butter retains its clumps into the oven the water in the butter bits will steam out in a rush and force pockets of air in your finished crust, hence the flakiness.  Adding melted butter in this recipe or allowing it to melt into the dough kills flakiness. Here are the tips for keeping the butter chilled throughout: 1.  Keep the butter in the refrigerator until the second you need it 2.  Don’t stop working once the butter is in play. Work as fast as you can but don’t panic which causes sloppiness. 3.  Use tools to handle the dough whenever possible, because they are cooler than your warm hands. 4.  Use ice water to add water to the dough. 5.  Keep the egg for the egg wash in the refrigerator until needed. 6.  Use a cool work surface.  Stone is good, and cooler than wood.  My quartz  countertop is perfect. Toss all but the butter in a medium sized bowl and whisk together the dry ingredients to blend evenly. Add the butter and combine. Dump this mess onto your work surface and break out that rolling pin.  Have the extra flour and ice water standing by.  At this point you are not rolling to shape the dough because we have not yet added the 3 tablespoons of water.  You are rolling just to flatten out the butter into strips among the flour dust. Use the roller to squish the chunks of butter onto the work surface without a rolling motion.  As the chunks flatten, begin to roll them out into sheets/strips. Again, the dough will not form/cling together yet, you are just flattening the butter chunks.  You will need to periodically scrape off the butter from the roller with your new bench scraper or a butter knife.  Dust the roller with a little of the extra flour to train the butter from sticking to the roller.  Flip the butter and keep it from sticking to the surface with the bench scraper (good!) or a spatula (hard to do!) Once all the butter is shaped into sheets/strips, transfer this mess back into the bowl. Add the 3 tablespoons of ice water and combine.  Depending on the age of the flour and how it was stored and your local humidity, you may have to add another tablespoon or two of ice water to barely get the dough to start to glue itself together to form a ball in your (cool) hand when you squeeze it in your fist. When combined, re-dump the mixture back onto your floured work surface and roll away. At this stage you are not rolling to make a perfectly shaped crust.  You are rolling just to combine the ingredients.  And it’s okay if you see lots of strips of butter in the dough.  You are done when all is combined, regardless of shape. Critical step, the final Chill:  Use your (cool) hands to shape the dough into a ball, cover it to be airtight in plastic wrap and place it in your refrigerator for 30 + minutes before use.  You can try making this ball ahead by a day or two or freezing it for months.  The flour needs to hydrate during this extra 30 minutes so don’t skip this step. When ready for the final roll have your pie filling and dish ready to go, then… Rolling tips:  Flour the work surface and the dough.  Start in the middle with the roller and repeatedly squish it first, then roll it towards the edges.  The dough will resist a bit more after being chilled.  Herd the dough with the bench scraper flipping and rotating it into keeping a round shape.  It took me making 6-7 crusts until I got the feel of rolling quickly and evenly.  Continue to roll out from the center, and rotating to expand the crust edges evenly. Your goal is to roll it out to a circle that is about 1 ½ - 2 inches larger than your baking dish. However, if at any time your rolled out crust looks like a map of Antarctica, never fear.  Just tear off the errant peninsulas of dough and glue them back into their proper places with a little of the extra ice water.  You will need to dust the repair with some extra flour so it won’t stick when rolling the patch into place. When you have your disk of dough rolled out to 1 ½ - 2 inches larger than your dish, use your bench scraper to loosen the dough from the surface and drag it over to top off your pie.  Crimp the edges either by hand or by fork (see below) then brush it with the egg wash then bake as called for in your pie recipe.  
Homemade Pie Crust
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