Makes one 9-inch piecrust
all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling the dough
cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
3 to 4
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, sugar, and salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size clumps of butter remaining.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the water. Pulse until the mixture holds together when squeezed but is still crumbly (add more water, a little at a time, as necessary). Avoid overprocessing, which will make the dough tough.
- Place the still crumbly mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape it into a 1-inch-thick disk, using the plastic wrap to help. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. (The dough can be frozen at this point for up to 2 months.)
- Place the disk of dough on a floured piece of parchment or wax paper. Using your knuckles, make indentations around the perimeter of the dough (this will help prevent cracking when you roll the dough out).
- With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle (work from the center outward, and use the parchment to rotate the dough). Flour the rolling pin, parchment, and dough as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Loosen the dough from the parchment and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Fit the dough into the plate (avoid stretching). Trim the dough to a 1-inch over-hang and tuck it under itself to create a thick rim.
- With the index finger of one hand, press the dough against the thumb and fore-finger of the opposite hand; continue around the perimeter of the crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days before using.
- See step-by-step photos of how to make piecrust.
- How to parbake and prebake a piecrust: Line the chilled crust with a piece of foil, leaving an overhang all around. Fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Remove the beans and foil. For a parbaked (partially baked) crust, bake until dry and set, 5 to 8 minutes more. For a prebaked crust, bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes more. Let the crust cool completely before filling.