Julia Child’s Pastry Dough, Pie Crust Recipe (Pizza Dough, etc)
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Looking for the best homemade pie crust recipe? Julia Child’s pastry dough recipe is the best for homemade pies, turnovers and flaky pizza crust!
Whenever there is something that I need a recipe for I look in my Julia Child cookbooks. Without fail there is always a recipe with the best explanation of how to make it. Out of all of the cookbooks that I own, hers are the very best. She not only provides recipes, but teaches you techniques and tips along the way. I, along with many others, refer to her cookbooks as The Bible of Cooking. It’s like having your own personal chef instructor in the kitchen with you! Amazing!
As I mentioned yesterday, Little Finch and I made Pastry Dough for our Calzone Wanna-Be’s. This recipe for Pastry Dough is from Julia Child’s “Mastering The Art of French Cooking” Volume I. My little girlie and I had a lot of fun making this!
Everything you need to make the perfect pie crust!
- all-purpose flour – I suggest sifting your flour through a fine mesh stainer before using, even if the package says the flour has already been pre-sifted.
- salt – I prefer to use Kosher salt rather than iodized salt, for a more true, richer flavor
- sugar – granulated white sugar
- butter – most recipes call for unsalted butter, but I chose to use salted butter or sweet cream in my recipes. Choose which butter you prefer
- shortening – there are two types of shortening you can use. All vegetable shortening or regular shortening which is prepared from meats fats and vegetable shortening.
- a scant half cup of iced water
Let’s Make It Together!
And there you have it! Once you are ready to use the dough, roll out with rolling pin and use to your hearts desire! This dough was the perfect combination of flakey and moist (sounds oxymoron I know, but it’s true!)
Decorative Pie Crust
Once you’ve rolled out your pie crust, it’s time to decorate! My favorite tools for creating beautiful pie crust shapes are with the pastry wheel roller and plunger cookie cutters!
Pie Dishes and Plates
One thing to consider when buying beautiful pie dishes is the depth of the pie dish. The very first pie dish I owed was a glass Pyrex pie dish that is pretty shallow. I like this pie dish for pies that I don’t want to be super thick/deep or if I don’t have a ton of filling, and need it to be a smaller pie.
On the flip side, I have a beautiful 9″ Emile Henry pie dish that I use a lot, but it is very deep – and store-bought pie crust doesn’t fill the entire dish to the edges, as you can see here in my quiche recipe. When I use this particular pie dish with homemade pie crust, I adjust the size of my crust by making it larger in diameter).
I first shared this recipe on Gathered In The Kitchen in 2011 – this little guy was such a cute little helper. I miss the days of my kiddos sitting in Bumbo seats helping me cook! I hope that your kitchens are full of memory making with those you love!
Hope you bail on the store bought dough and give this a try! Happy baking, friends!
Here’s The Recipe
Julia Child’s Pastry Dough, Pie Crust Recipes
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks chilled butter cut into 1/2″ slices
- 4 tbs chilled shortening
- a scant half cup of iced water, plus droplets more if needed
- Place 2 c all-purpose flour in a bowl
- Add 1 tsp salt
- Add 1/4 tsp sugar
- Slice 1 1/2 sticks of butter into 1/2″ slices
- Add to flour mixture
- Add 4 Tbs chilled shortening
- Start chilling a glass full of water with ice and set aside (you won’t use the ice)
- Rub flour, butter and shortening together rapidly between the tips of your fingers until the fat is broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes. Do not overdo
- Remove ice and keep 1/2 c of water
- Add water and blend quickly with one hand, fingers held together and slightly cupped, as you rapidly gather the dough into a mass
- Form into a ball
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface
- With the heel of one hand, not the palm which is too warm, rapidly press the pastry by two-spoonful bits down on the board and away from you in a firm, quick smear of about 6 inches. This continues the final blending of fat and flour
- Smear out about 6″
- Gather the dough again into a mass
- Knead it briefly into a fairly smooth round ball
- Sprinkle lightly with flour and wrap in waxed paper. Either place the dough in the freezer for 1 hour or until firm or refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight (we put ours in the freezer)