Pre-Made Pie Crust
You can't have pumpkin or pecan pie without a pre-made pie crust made by you, and only you. What's best about it is you can make it ahead of time, and pop it out of the fridge or freezer whenever you're ready to fill. It's pretty much the perfect holiday time-saver. This recipe first appeared on FoodNetwork.com.
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie crust
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup ice water
Digital kitchen scale
Place the butter in the freezer for 15 minutes, along with two identical 9-inch metal pie pans.
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and use one-second pulses to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the texture looks mealy and the butter has formed uniformly small pebbles, about 10 one-second pulses. Pour in the water and pulse until you can no longer see large pieces of butter and the mixture holds together when squeezed, 5 one-second pulses. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and draw the plastic up around it, squeezing and pressing the dough into a ball. Flatten into a 1-inch-thick disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Dust the top of the disk with a small amount of flour and top with a second sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out into an 1/8-inch-thick circle. If the dough is too firm to roll at first, give it 5 minutes on the counter to soften, but not much more or the fat may start to melt.
Remove the pie pans from the freezer and invert one. Lay the dough, still sandwiched between the parchment sheets, over the inverted pan and peel back the top sheet of parchment. Place the second pan over the inverted pan and press down gently to shape the dough. Flip both pans over, lift the top one out and peel away the second piece of parchment. Set the top pie pan back into the other to create a pan-dough sandwich. Invert the pan-dough sandwich and trim away excess dough. Freeze the pan-dough sandwich, upside down, for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
When ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven with a second rack just beneath it. Place a sheet pan on the lower rack. Heat oven to 300°F.
Place the inverted pie pans in the oven directly on the top rack. Bake until the crust begins to set, 1 hour, then crank the oven to 375°F, and continue to bake until you can see the edges of the crust turn deep brown, 20 to 30 minutes. (The final baking time is highly dependent on the color of your pie plates; darker plates will accelerate cooking, so begin checking after the crust has been baking at 375°F for 20 minutes. If you use light metal plates, expect this second baking time to be closer to 30 or 40 minutes. Do not under-bake the crust.) Remove from the oven, flip right side-up, remove the top pie pan, and cool completely before filling.