Makes one 9-inch piecrust
11/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pastry flour
11/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound, plus 2 tablespoons European-style butter (like Plugra), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and kept cold
1/4 cup cold water (may need an additional tablespoon if dough is too dry)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk
1. Combine all dry ingredients and cubed butter in a mixing bowl and begin to work together with your fingertips until it forms pea-size pieces.
2. Stream in the water and lemon juice and continue mixing until the mixture has come together and all of the flour is wet. If mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of water, then turn mixture out onto a table and make sure everything is combined. The mixture will look somewhat crumbly but should hold together. Form into a 6-inch disc. Cover in plastic wrap and chill it for at least two hours before rolling out.
3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut out a 12-inch circle, and place it in a 9-inch pie plate. Make sure the dough is resting on the bottom of the pan, and in the corners.
4. Fold the extra dough hanging over the edge of the pie pan underneath the edge to make that part of the crust thicker for crimping the edge.
5. For a classic crimped crust, gently push a fold of dough out toward the edge of the pie plate with the index finger of one hand, and pinch the fold between the thumb and index finger of your other hand. For bigger crimps, use your thumb to push out.
6. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork several times to prevent the bottom from puffing up during baking. Place pie shell in the refrigerator or freezer to chill well before blind baking.
To blind-bake your pie shells:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (350 for convection). 2. Remove shell from refrigerator or freezer, line with a lightly sprayed piece of aluminum foil (sprayed side down) that is big enough to line the entire cavity and that allows a little extra so you can grab and remove the foil after baking.
3. Fill the cavity with dried beans (It doesn't matter what kind, they won't be edible afterward. Save them for your future pie baking projects as "baking beans.")
4. Bake the pie shell for about 40 minutes, rotating halfway. (I know this seems like a long time, but the pie shell should be pretty thoroughly cooked.)
5. After 40 minutes, take a peek at the interior of the shell by lifting up the foil and checking the bottom of the shell. The inside of the shell should appear fairly dry, and perhaps taking a little bit of color. If it still appears translucent or doughy, return it to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes more, until the interior has dried out and it is lightly golden brown. Allow to cool.
Optional finishing detail:
Once the shell is cool enough to handle, you can fancy up your pie. Lightly brush the crimped edge with milk just until moistened. Carefully sprinkle a coarse sugar (demerara or turbinado). The sugar should stick only where the milk is. Avoid letting sugar slip between pan and crust, which can cause it to stick to the pan.
– From Hungry Pigeon pastry chef and co-owner Pat O'Malley