An all-butter pastry dough is easy to handle. It's a little less flaky than a dough made with a blend of butter and shortening, but you'll love the end result—it tastes marvelous.
Keyword: butter, crust
Skill Level: Intermediate
Author: Marilyn Lesniak
2 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
2sticks cold unsalted buttercut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3cupplus 1 to 4 tablespoons ice water
Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl (or pulse in a food processor). Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse) just until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 1/3 cup ice water over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.
Squeeze a small handful of dough:
If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until just incorporated, then test again. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together, with a pastry scraper if you have one, and press into a ball. Divide in half and form into 2 disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Dough can be chilled up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before rolling out.
Recipe can be halved if making a single-crust pie. Use a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt and start with 3 tablespoons water.
If making 2 pies make 2 separate batches of dough.