This is the pie crust I made today for our Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie. It's always best to make pie crusts a day or two before you make the pie, so the gluten can relax. The secret to flaky pie crusts is not only the ingredients but also having them at the right temperature. Pie Crusts are the one thing that needs cold ingredients, the colder the better. And they must be mixed as quickly as possible. The idea is to coat the fat rather than mixing it in. A food processor is a really wonderful help in making a good piecrust, because the short pulses coat the fat rather than mixing it in.
Butter Pie Crust for One-Crust Pie
INGREDIENTS: 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. sugar
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk, cold
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
DIRECTIONS: Pulse flour, sugar and salt in food processor (or mix with whisk in large bowl). Add butter and pulse till mixture is like cornmeal, with maybe some of the butter like pea size (or cut in butter with pastry blender). Combine the water, yolk and vinegar in a small cup or bowl and slowly add to the flour mixture. In food processor, pulse till it comes together. By hand, toss with fork as you add the liquid. This is where you have to be attentive. Don't add any more liquid than the flour needs to hold it together, so don't be too quick to add liquid. Once it comes together in a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. I make my dough several days ahead. You can also freeze this; put it in the fridge the night before you need it. This dough has a nice flavor and is tender and a little flaky, but not as flaky as a shortening crust.