Butter pie crusts are often known as Pâte Brisée. Pâte Brisée is a pastry dough that uses butter as its fat unlike many other pastries and pie doughs that use of lard or vegetable shortening as their fats. This all butter pie crust can be used for various different sweet and savory pastries, pies, tarts, and more. This crust is light and flakey once baked because the melted fat causes steam to form. This steam helps the dough rise and create tiny airy layers. Pâte Brisée is the standard base recipe for countless pastries. Once you start making this all butter pie crust, you will find yourself using it for several recipes which is why it is important to have a solid foundation and understanding of the recipe.
Pâte Brisée can either be made by hand or by using a food processor. I prefer making it by hand because I find that my dough is often overworked and not as flakey when I make it in the food processor, however making it in the food processor is much easier than making it by hand.
TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes (plus chilling)
YEILD: Enough dough for a single crust pie
8-10 tablespoons butter (Add more/less depending on how flakey you want your crust)
1 ¼ cup flour (150 grams)
2-5 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt
METHOD 1 (by hand):
Cut your cold butter into cubes or thin slivers. Place in the freezer while you measure out your dry ingredients.
Combine your flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Get your ice water and set it aside.
Take the butter out of the freezer and add it to the bowl with the flour mixture. Work quickly and toss the butter pieces in the flour to coat them fully. As you toss the pieces, start smashing them with your index finger and thumb or pastry cutter. Repeat this until all the butter pieces are roughly the size of chickpeas. It is completely fine if some of them are a little bigger. Make sure to work quickly to prevent the butter from melting from the heat of your fingertips.
Drizzle in your water 1 tablespoon at a time and start mixing it in with the butter and flour mixture. You want to add in as little water as possible. Once the dough just starts sticking together you want to stop adding water. If majority of the dough sticks together, transfer that part to your saran wrap, then dip your fingers in the ice water and sprinkle that over the remaining flour and butter in your bowl to get it to stick together.
Once all your dough comes together, it may look a little shaggy (and that is perfectly normal), wrap it in plastic wrap and pat it down into a round disk. Let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour (preferably longer) or up to 3 days. It will hydrate in the fridge. Remove it from the fridge right before you are ready to roll it out.
METHOD 2 (food processor):
Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor.
Cut butter into cubes (make sure it is still very cold and firm) and pulse in the food processor until chickpea sized clumps form.
Add in ice water, one tablespoon at a time and quickly repeatedly pulse until the dough just comes together.
Remove from the food processor form it into a disk or hemisphere.
Cover with saran wrap and chill for at least an hour or up to 3 days before rolling out. Remove it from the fridge right before you are ready to roll it out.
You can freeze this dough if you aren't using it in the next 3 days after making it. The dough can last for up to a year in your freezer. Defrost it in the fridge overnight before using it.