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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food Recipe: Pie Dough & Graham Cracker Crust by Chris Nieto


A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients.

Pies are defined by their crusts. A filled pie (also single-crust or bottom-crust), has pastry lining the baking dish, and the filling is placed on top of the pastry, but left open. A top-crust pie, which may also be called a cobbler, has the filling in the bottom of the dish and the filling covered with a pastry or other covering before baking. A two-crust pie has the filling completely enclosed in the pastry shell. Flaky pastry is a typical kind of pastry used for pie crusts, but many things can be used, including baking powder biscuits, mashed potatoes, and crumbs.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water


Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and stir briefly until mixture is aerated. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut butter into dry ingredients until it is in pea-size pieces that are slightly yellow in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.Drizzle in 4 tablespoons ice water and mix just until dough comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if necessary, but do not overwork the dough or it will become tough.)Shape dough into a flat disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then use in the pie or tart recipe of your choice.

For quicker prep, you can make this dough in a food processor. Combine all dry ingredients and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until it is in pea-size pieces. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse again. Add more ice water if the dough seems too dry, shape into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate.


  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)


Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.

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