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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.

          1 Reply
          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?

          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.

                2. Try freezing your butter in a stick and then grating it on the large holes of your box grater into the flour. The Cooks Country recipe is excellent - I have used it before.

                  1. i agree, toss it.

                    i always make it with my fingers to avoid such problems (and also because i hate washing a buttery food processor)!

                    this year, i'm trying the CI recipe with vodka in it . . . looking forward to seeing if it's as fabulous as they claim!

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: pigtails

                      pigtails, please do report back with your thoughts on the vodka crust - i've heard mixed reviews and i always like to know what my fellow CH'ers think!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        The vodka crust is amazing. It's unbelievably flaky and tender and EASY to work with. I follow the directions precisely (down to the number of seconds in the food processor) and it works. It will look much wetter than a traditional pie crust (I was freaked out the first time I tried it). It rolls out like a dream-- doesn't crack or split, and you can use a lot of flour in the rolling process and it doesn't seem to hurt the texture. The only down side to the crust is that it doesn't hold a crimp well after it's baked, so I don't bother with fancy crimping anymore, and it does take a little longer to cook and brown. But overall, it's the greatest advancement in pie crust EVER!

                        1. re: chococat

                          I also freaked out the first time I tried the CI vodka crust, thinking there was NO WAY it was going to be a flaky or tender. But I perservered, and it was amazing. I was immediately sold. I use the recipe exclusively now, and I find that adding a bit more flour (1/4c) during the second flour addition and flouring it liberally when rolling it out helps it hold the crimp. I used the crust on 2 pies at Thanksgiving, and got absolute rave reviews - many pointed out that it is almost like a puff pastry, but with substance like a traditional pie crust.

                          For those who have had trouble with pie crust in the past, you should definitely try this recipe - it's easy and virtually fool proof.

                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Regarding the "Is it ruined?", "Yes it is." questions and answers...I think it totally depends on the crust you're making. I've overprocessed dough with sugar and butter it it, chilled it, and had it turn out fine. If you're making the kind of dough with lard or Crisco or butter that you expect to be flaky, you need to have the crumbly kind of dough and certainly not a ball of "soft and creamy" dough. I just finished making two pies with a sugar crust and both were almost sticky and very soft. I patted them into disks between layers of plastic wrap, refrigerated them, rolled them out, and they're perfect.

                        3. re: pigtails

                          I just came from a Thanksgiving gathering where I had the best holiday pie made with this crust. My friend made a pumpkin chiffon pie. The crust was great, almost like puff pastry in texture, and for a refrigerated pie, didn't get soggy at all. My friend said it is soft, that she used a lot of flour rolling it out and that she chilled it in the pan before baking it. She made it with all butter, substituting more butter for the shortening in the recipe.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            i've made a crust for my apple pie and it was bad! i chilled my butter and used my trusty pastry blender. cutting frozen butter is hard, i had to push through the butter through the butter with my other hand. i was told to stop at pea sized and that visible butter is what it is a all-butter dough. i think i didn't cut the butter enough. when it baked, it was fluffy but lots of the butter ran off, resulting a tough crust. i have always used my processor with cold butter, and stir in the iced water by hand. i don't know what i did wrong! help!

                            1. re: jeniyo

                              I don't make pie crust very often, but the recipe in this link - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5757... - was very easy. Uses the mixer rather than the FP, and I was amazed at how tender and flaky the crust was.

                              1. re: jeniyo

                                I haven't tried the recipe myself, so can't offer personal experience other than liking the result! however, my friend said she cut in the butter using her food processor.