No-Fail Perfect Pie Crust

No-Fail Perfect Pie Crust
Making the perfect pie crust is tough. Even the most seasoned cooks, chefs, housewives, and home bakers can have trouble with homemade pie dough. This recipe is for you if you have had nothing but pie crust failures up until now.
I can almost guarantee a perfect pie crust when using this recipe with one important tip: Do not make pie crust in hot weather. What's hot weather? You know, the dog days of summer, a day with humidity so high that you sweat before breakfast, or when your one-window air conditioner has called it quits.
There are four simple ingredients for a two-crust pie crust: 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, 2 cups flour, 1 egg, half teaspoon of salt. Required kitchen equipment includes a large bowl, a rolling pin, and a 9-inch oven-glass pie plate. No need to fret about what particular kind of butter, flour, eggs, or salt to use or obsess about using gourmet equipment. Keep it simple, and keep it out of hot weather.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and blend with your hands until the ingredients do not stick to the sides of the bowl and a firm but pliable dough ball is formed. Divide the dough into two smooth balls and roll out on liberally floured aluminum foil until the diameter is about 11 inches. Lift the foil with the rolled crust and flip into the pie plate. Cut excess dough from the perimeter or pinch it upward to heighten the crust edges.
Use one pie crust for quiche or single-crust pies. Bake a single pie crust for 12 minutes in a 450-degree oven. Fill when cooled. Use both pie crusts for two-crust pies, cutting the top crust into strips for lattice, cookie-cutter shapes, or even words in dough such as 'Happy Birthday.' Fill and bake according to the times and temperatures of the pie recipe.
If, in the end, your pie crust has failed you, it is because you have failed to recognize the importance of that one important tip about hot weather. The butter is melting before you have had time to work it. Learn the signals of 'hot weather' as follows:
  • your dough sticks to your hands or the bowl no matter what you do 
  • the dough won't roll out nicely 
  • the rolled dough won't flip off the foil into the pie plate 
Should this happen to you, do not give up your dough in failure. Roll it up in one big ball, wrap in plastic, and save it in the refrigerator. Try your crust-making skills on a cooler day.
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