Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

3-2-1 Pie Dough (Pate Brisee)

Combine flour and fat in a mixing bowl and rub the fat between your fingers until you have small beads of fat and plenty of pea-sized chunks (if you're making a bigger batch, this can be done in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment — but remember not to paddle too much after you add the water, just enough so that it comes together. Add the ice water gradually and a good pinch of salt, and mix gently, just until combined — if you work the dough too hard it will become tough. Shape into two equal discs and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until ready to roll.

The dough can be used raw with other ingredients as with an apple pie. But often you'll need to bake the shell first, as for a quiche or when cooking a liquid batter. This is called blind baking.

To blind bake a crust, you need to fill the shell with something heavy to prevent the crust from buckling up. Pie weights are made specifically for this, but a layer of aluminum foil and a pound of dried beans reserved for just this purpose does the job well. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Weight the bottom of your shell with pie weights or beans and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the weights or beans and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and cooked through, another 15 minutes or so.

This recipe has not been tested by NPR.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Michael Ruhlman