Pies, Pies Pies!!! …. A Flaky, Caramel Colored Crust

So… holiday to me means PIE BAKING! To be honest, I usually only make pies around the holidays so I’m still fairly new at it, and haven’t necessarily found my “go-to” recipes yet. BUT…. BUT…. this year may be the kicker.

Better Homes and Garden had an article about this man who owns a bakery with delicious pies. The pictures were BEAUTIFUL.

Holy cow.

I want to go to there.

I always read Curry’s magazine and I think I read the article about 6 times before she just gave me the mag:) Thanks friends! The pie crust recipe was different. Had a lot of butter (normal), a good deal of salt (a little bit extra than normal) and…. sour cream and vinegar!! WHAT?!? That’s a little bit different than the pie crusts I’ve made before but it looked phenomenal. In the article it talked about how he loved a salty crust with sweet filling, that the top looks caramel colored and basically flakes when you look at it! Seriously – YUM. I had to try it out. And really – look at that picture below… isn’t that beautiful?!?

So on Saturday night at 9pm I made a few pie crusts:) And on Sunday ALL afternoon I got the joy of making pies with my sweet friend Caroline! I’m probably going to make a couple more this week and will share them as well! I’ll post the pie crust today, the two pie recipes the next few days and really just continue posting recipes as long as I continue making pies:) Because really, the thanksgiving dinner culminates in dessert:)

Alan’s Secrets for Perfect Pastry:

-Always use chilled, not frozen or room temperature butter. Butter should feel like clay to the touch. (Soften it up in your hands for a while until it is that consistency)

-Do not overwork your pie dough. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour and butter, then stop. As it rests the dough will come together (it’s true!)

-Acid helps pie dough set up. A little vinegar and sour cream added to the water does the trick.

-If your pie dough is ugly and lump with butter knots the size of peas, it’s perfect.

-You want a generous crust, so don’t roll it too thin. About 1/4 inch is good

-Always butter the pie dish (or spray pam). Sometimes, especially with fruit pies, the juice sneaks under the crust and acts like glue, bonding the crust to the pan.

-To prevent shrinking, do not stretch the dough into the pie plate or over the top of the pie.

Mission Beach Café Pastry

Alan’s Flaky Pie Crust

Better Homes and Gardens November 2010 Edition

Makes: 3 portions 

Prep: 20 minutes
Chill: 2 hours


  • 3 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp.  sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp.  kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp.  baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups  cold unsalted butter, cut up
  • 2/3 cup  ice cold water
  • 2 Tbsp.  sour cream (or mostly buttermilk and a little added butter)
  • 1 tsp.  vinegar


Soften butter in your hands until it is the consistency of clay.

In a very large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

Cut in butter leaving pea sized chunks with a pastry blender or a knife.

Combine ice cold water, sour cream and vinegar. Add liquid all at once to the flour mixture. Quickly stir to distribute, do not over mix!

Make sure dough is slightly crumbly. Let dough rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

The finished dough should break, not stretch. Combine it with your hands all together (I had to add a little bit more ice water to make it all come together). Form into discs.

Use at once or wrap and store in refrigerator for several days or in freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator if frozen.


Here’s a pretty cool step by step picture feature that shows you how to make the perfect crust! I’m awful at making pretty edges, but next time I might try a little harder to follow this! Stay turned for baking pies! :)


About jackielopina

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
This entry was posted in Baking, Holidays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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