Christopher Kimball’s No-Shrink Pie Dough
Christopher Kimball, founder of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, spent decades perfecting this recipe for foolproof pie dough that’s both tender and easy to work with. “We tried to speed up the chilling of the dough by popping it in the freezer,” he says, “but that didn’t give the starch in the dough enough time to get sufficiently hydrated. An hour in the refrigerator was perfect. If we chilled it for more than a few hours, it needed a few minutes on the counter to soften before rolling. Don’t be tempted to skip the sour cream. It may seem like a small amount, but it’s key for a tender crust.”
- 3 Tbs. water
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) (5 oz./150 g) cold salted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
- 2 Tbs. sour cream
In a small microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Microwave until set, 30 to 40 seconds, stirring once halfway through. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Once the cornstarch mixture has chilled, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt, and process until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the chilled cornstarch mixture and pulse until the cornstarch mixture is evenly distributed, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and sour cream and process until the dough comes together and begins to collect around the blade, 20 to 30 seconds. Pat the dough into a 4-inch (10-cm) disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, arrange a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). On a well-floured work surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) circle. Drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish. Gently ease the dough into the dish by lifting the edges while pressing down into the corners of dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) overhang, then tuck the overhang under itself so the dough is flush with the rim of the plate. Crimp the dough with your fingers or the tines of a fork, then chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
To blind bake, line the chilled crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until the edges are light golden brown, about 25 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through the cooking time. Remove the foil and weights and bake until the bottom of the crust just begins to color, another 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before filling. (Once baked and cooled, the crust can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.) Makes one 9-inch (23-cm) pie crust.
Recipe courtesy of Christopher Kimball, founder of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street