I’ve never made a pie crust before. While we made all of our pie fillings from scratch growing up, we always bought the pie crust dough. I was excited to attempt this recipe and researched many variations on whole wheat crust recipes before settling on this combination of ingredients. This one was deliciously flaky and buttery and delicious. It makes 2 crusts, so you can use both in a single pie, or save one in the freezer for later.
Whole Wheat Pie Crust
(makes two 9-inch crusts)
- 2 1/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 t Sea Salt
- 1 T ground flaxseed
- 1/4 t baking powder
- 1 C very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 tablespoon size pieces (keep cold in fridge for as long as possible, even while measuring and whisking dry ingredients)
- 4 T cold milk (you can also use ice water)
Whisk flour, flaxseed, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and then add to the bowl of your food processor.
Add the butter pieces to the processor and pulse the mixture until it starts to combine and looks coarse and crumbly in texture. The pulsing took longer than I expected, so just wait for it – it will happen.
Using the feed tube, slowly pour the milk into the processor as you continue to pulse the dough, adding one tablespoon at a time. You don’t want the dough to get too sticky (but if it does just knead in a little more flour). When you see the dough pull away from the walls of the bowl, stop pulsing and place the dough on a lightly-floured surface.
Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Press the halves into disk shapes and cover with the plastic wrap.
Once the dough has chilled, remove a disk from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes (I didn’t do this and should have – much easier rolling). Remove the disk from the plastic and place it on a lightly-floured surface.
Roll out to about an 1/8-inch thickness (or until the dough is about 10 inches in diameter). It’s easiest to roll the dough, then give it a quarter turn and roll again. You can keep following this pattern until it’s a nice round circle and the dough is even in thickness. Be careful not to make the edges of the dough too thin – you don’t want skimpy edges that will easily burn in the oven. And don’t worry about any cracking or tearing – you can just use scraps that you trim to cover any imperfections.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Gently fold the crust in quarters to move it to your pie plate. Place the dough in your pie plate and unfold and center it in the plate.
Press the dough in the plate and then fold under and softly pinch the edges to form a smooth edge. You can also crimp the edges with your fingers to make the crust look pretty. Use the tines of a fork to poke holes all over the bottom of the crust (this prevents steam from expanding your crust).
Place a large sheet of parchment paper over the crust and fill with pie weights, dry beans, rice or you can even use pennies (make sure to rinse them in warm, soapy water first).
Bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until the crust begins to turn golden. Remove the parchment and pie weights from the crust, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Be sure to keep an eye on the crust, checking every 5 minutes or so to make sure the crust isn’t getting too dark. If the edges starts to get too brown, you can cover them with a piece of aluminum foil.
To seal the crust and give it a nice gloss, brush the entire crust with the beaten egg and put back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
Once the pie is done baking, set it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely before filling. I baked mine the night before I planned to use it and covered it and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
Notes for Next Time:
Ok, so my first pie crust wasn’t my prettiest. I was a little messy with my egg wash, and I probably should have rolled the dough a little thinner so that it stretched more over the edges of my pie plate. I also should have let the dough sit out on the counter for at least 15 minutes after removing it from the refrigerator. It was a little hard when I was rolling it – and I needed a bigger surface on which to roll it. I used my large wooden cutting board, but it wasn’t quite large enough. Always room for improvement!
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