Looking to make a picture-perfect pie this holiday season? Start with our basic pie crust recipe, then follow these simple, illustrated steps for making the dough, rolling it out, filling your pie plate and blind-baking. Mastered that? Try your hand at the pretty Spiced Apple Pie with Fluted Round Cutouts, pictured above.
1 Pulse together flour, salt and sugar. Add unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces.
2 Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Those butter pieces are key to a flaky dough, so don't over process.
3 Add 1/4 cup ice water and pulse until dough just holds together when squeezed. (If needed, add up to 4 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do not overmix!
4 Turn dough out onto a work surface and knead just until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, 1 hour (or up to overnight). Dough can also be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
5 On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 14-inch round with a floured rolling pin. Wrap dough around rolling pin; unroll over a 9-inch pie plate.
6 Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate (do not stretch dough).
7 Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, trim the dough to an even 1-inch overhang.
8 Tuck the overhang under itself to create a rim; press to seal. Crimp the rim with your thumb and forefinger, or press with the tines of a fork.
9 To prebake the crust, prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill 10 minutes. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 350 until crust is firm, 15 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and bake until crust is golden brown and bottom is flaky, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling.