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All-Butter Pie Crust

All butter, all good. This is a perfect recipe to have on hand whenever you're in the pie mood. And it exemplifies everything pie stands for: Simple is best -- but simple doesn't mean it's easy. And it certainly doesn't mean it's anything less than great.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/2 cup water (you won't use all of this!)

Make the crust: Fill a measuring cup with 1/2 cup water. Plop a few ice cubes in the water and place measuring cup in the freezer while you make the dough.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2 or 1 tbsp. sized cubes, and toss them into the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, pick up fingerfuls of fat and flour, and press together the fat, dropping it back into the bowl. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with a few larger pieces strewn throughout.

Grab the measuring cup from the freezer, and pour a thin, steady stream of water into the fat and flour for about 4 seconds. Using the same technique as before, toss the fat and flour together. The mixture should feel tacky and only slightly damp, with a few coarse crumbs still there. Grab a handful of dough, form it into a ball and toss it into the air, letting it land back in your palm. If the dough holds its shape in your hand, it is done. If not, continue adding water by the teaspoon.

Divide the dough roughly in half, form each half into a ball, and shape each ball into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap, and roll the wrapped dough along its side like a wheel to make a perfect circle. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. 2 hours is better. 4 hours is fantastic. 8 hours... you've outdone yourself. This is always preferred. Always let your dough discs sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes before rolling.

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