Makes two 8- to 10-inch single-crust pies or one 8- to 10-inch double-crust pie
This dough may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, well-wrapped in plastic, or frozen up to 1 month.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube with the machine running, just until dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces, and place on 2 separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
To Pre-Bake for Tarts:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a 9-by-2-inch tart ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove one disk from refrigerator, and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough into an 11-inch round. Carefully place over the tart ring with dough extending up slightly over the sides. Dock, or pierce, the bottom of tart all over with a fork. Place in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove from freezer, and line shell with enough paper to extend above the sides by about one inch. Fill with dried beans or pie weights; bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and carefully remove parchment paper and beans. Return to oven, and bake until crust is golden all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before filling.
And here are some extra hints, from Martha, whom I think we are all in agreement just may be a Bad Girl, about her pie crust (also found in The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook):
- The amount of water that is required to hold pastry together will vary, depending on the humidity.
- Chilling the pie crust before it is baked helps it to keep its shape and gives it a professional look.
- Evenly brushing the egg wash over the pie crust results in an evenly browned crust.
- Martha likes to use glass pie plates so that she can see whether the bottom crust is done.
- Bake the pie with a baking sheet underneath the plate to catch overflow from the filling.