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Nov 26, 2008 11:18 AM

Do I need to make another pie crust?

I was too lazy to cut the butter into cubes- instead, I tossed the sticks into my food processor whole. Of course, the dough had to mix for much longer than the recipe instructed, and a portion of it (about half) got really soft and creamy. It's chilling now, but should I toss it and start over? Does overmixing guarantee a tough crust?
Thanks for all your help...

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  1. Start over. Yes, overmixing guarantees a tough crust.
    (In fact, I would incorporate the fat into the flour by hand, but that's just me!)

    2 Replies
      1. re: janetms383

        I've never had any luck making pie dough in a food processor. I prefer my old faithful pastry cutter (which I chill before using, along with the bowl and other ingredients).

        I agree with the other posters--soft and creamy is not what you want to see in a pie dough. Using it for decorative cutouts is a good suggestion--but a whole pie crust made from it won't be tender or flaky.

    1. Yeah, I would start over too. Save that crust in the freezer, you can roll it out and use cut outs of it for decorations on top.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JasmineG

        I love it when I see people thinking outside the box. Great idea for finding a use for the "mistake" and avoiding wasting food. You could also roll it out, cut cookie shapes or make twisted forms and deep fry the dough before sprinkling sugar on top.

      2. not to beat a dead horse, but yes, you need to start fresh.

        1. Last week, Cook's Country TV had a fairly easy recipe for pie crust. You don't have to worry about overworking it. I made this recipe yesterday and I am very pleased with the results.

          No-Fear Pie Crust (paraphrased recipe)

          Cook's Country TV

          From the episode: Easy As Pie

          This pie dough can be pressed into a greased pie plate and placed in the fridge up to 2-days. It can also be wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and stored in freezer up to 1 month. Once baked, the pie shell can be stored at room temperature for up to 1-day, if tightly wrapped with plastic wrap.

          Makes a single layer 9-inch Pie Shell.

          1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
          2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
          1/4 teaspoon table salt
          8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick - 1/4 lb), softened, but still cool
          2 ounces (3-1/2 Tbs) cream cheese, softened but still cool


          1. Lightly spray cooking spray into a 9-inch Pyrex pie plate and set aside until needed. Pie plate must be coated with cooking spray or this crust will stick.

          2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside until needed.

          3. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high, beat softened butter and softened cream cheese in another mixing bowl. Stop mixing once or twice and scrape down bowl and mixing blade with rubber spatula. Beat about 2-minutes until butter and cream cheese are completely mixed.

          4. Set mixer on medium-low and add flour mixture to butter-cream cheese mixture. Beat until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal, about 20-seconds. Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula.

          5. Set mixer on medium-high and beat dough about 30-seconds, until it forms large clumps.

          6. Take 3-tablespoons of dough from mixing bowl and reserve for later use. This will be used to form the fluted rim of the pie crust.
          7. Turn out the rest of the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into a ball and then flatten it into a circle about 6-inches across.

          8. Place the pastry dough circle into the center of the greased 9-inch pie plate. Using your fingers (or the bottom of a drinking glass), press the dough into an even layer on the bottom of the pie plate. You can hold the pie plate up to the light to see if the dough is in an even layer.

          9. Use your fingertips to press the dough up the sides of the pie plate. Make sure the dough is an even thickness throughout the pie plate.

          10. Take the reserved 3-tablespoons of dough and roll into a 12-inch rope of dough on a floured surface. Cut the 12-inch dough rope into 3 even pieces. Roll each of the pieces into an 8-inch dough rope. Lay the three 8-inch dough ropes, end to end, around the top rim of the pie plate. Make sure all pieces of dough on the rim and bottom of pie plate are pressed together into a single layer. Form a fluted dough edge on the rim of the pie plate.

          11. Cover pie plate with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1-hour before baking.
          12. Preheat the oven to 325-degrees F. Use a fork to lightly poke the bottom of the pie crust. Bake empty pie crust (without using weights) on a middle oven rack until golden brown. Baking time 35 to 40 minutes.

          If large bubbles form during cooking, wait until the pie crust is done and cooled. Then press down the bubbles with a kitchen towel.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Antilope

            I also saw that episode, and was intrigued by the pie crust. But, the question I have is can you fill it and bake, such as with a fruit or custard filling? Or is it only good to bake and fill afterwards with an unbaked filling?

            1. re: Antilope

              @Antilope Thanks much for writing out the recipe. Wondering if anyone has actually used it? Can it be doubled? or should one just make 2 batches?
              If I recall correctly, Martha Kostyra (Martha Stewart's mother) had a similar recipe and Martha S. commented that her mother always put sour cream or cream cheese in her doughs, for tenderness & flavor.

            2. I'm tagging on to report the opposite problem: also made butter crust in food processor, cut up the butter, and then after a couple minutes it stopped processing, but it was not yet "a ball of dough" like the recipe said--it was more like some dough (enough to obstruct the spinning blade) and lots of crumbly bits all around. At unsticking it several times, I mashed it together by hand and stuck it in the fridge. Will it be ok?

              I wonder what went wrong. Maybe my food processor is too small?

              5 Replies
              1. re: Produce Addict

                You DEFINITELY don't want your pie crust to be a ball of dough! Even having some dough is a little much. You want it to be mostly all those crumbly bits, then you can pour it all into a plastic bag, mush it together, and refrigerate.

                1. re: JasmineG

                  um, i did that, and tried to roll it out and it was still a crumbly mess that couldn't be rolled into one smooth crust. ultimately i threw it all out and now have a pile of sliced apples and no crust. why do pies bedevil me so?

                  1. re: Produce Addict

                    Add a T at a time of ice-cold water until it sticks together.

                2. re: Produce Addict

                  Some food processor dough recipes call for water to be added at the time of mixing, others add water afterward (using a spray mist or other technique) so without knowing how your particular recipe is written it's difficult to offer suggestions.
                  I might suggest opening another thread on the forum with the specifics of your particular needs outlined, to include recipe steps, and see what develops.

                  1. re: Produce Addict

                    I agree with Jasmine. Did you pulse, or leave the processor running? Always pulse, then check consistency of dough. Add a Tsp. of liquid at a time if it's still too crumbly and not holding together. You want to be able to make a little dough ball with your fingertips, to test that the dough is ready. Moist, a little crumbly is what you're going for. Check out Crisco's video on how to make crust. There are some other good viideos on line, too, about making crust. I think YouTube has some.