How to Make Pie Crust (With Cheese Baked Into It!)

by Iffat Jokhio

Inspired by Pushing Daisies, where Charlotte Charles baked gruyere into the pie crusts that she baked for her aunts. :) (Also check out my pie filling recipes that go with this one - coming soon)

Supplies

  • 2 ½ Cups Unbleached flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons Lard (or room temp. Butter)
  • 13 Tablespoons Butter (unsalted)
  • 7 Tablespoons Ice water
  • 2 Ounces Gruyere cheese (optional)
  • Pie filling (your choice)
  • Egg (lightly beaten)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Gather your ingredients... This recipe makes enough pie dough for one double-crusted pie.

    Step 2

    Prep: cut the 13 tBs of butter into 1-inch pieces and store in the fridge to keep cool.

    Step 3

    In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

    Step 4

    The next step is optional! I like to bake cheese into my pie crusts - it brings the flavours together. You can pair the cheese with the fruit filling - don't use stringy cheeses like mozzarella.

    Step 5

    Using a micro-plane grater, grate the gruyere into the bowl and mix. (I didn't have gruyere this time, so I'm actually using old cheddar in the photo)

    Step 6

    Using a food processor, mixer, or your fingers, cut in the lard. (I use butter instead of lard and still have great results.)

    Step 7

    HINT: The trick to great pie crust is not to over mix it. So if you're using a machine, use it for the initial mix at each step then use your hands for a more gentle mix. :)

    Step 8

    Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter resembles large pea-sized pieces. (remember, don't over-mix!)

    Step 9

    Add the ice-water one tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork. The ice water will work to bind the mixture and form the pie dough.

    Step 10

    I usually go over the 7 tBs of ice water, but be careful you don't add too much water! If the mixture becomes like cookie dough, that's way too much water.

    Step 11

    When the dough comes together in your fingers, it's ready! Bring the dough together with your hands.

    Step 12

    Form two discs (one slightly larger than the other), wrap in Saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.

    Step 13

    The next morning make your pie filling. (I've posted a couple of those recipes for your reference as well!!)

    Step 14

    Roll out the larger disc so that it's even and just about 1/4" thick. Try to roll it out so that you have excess hanging over the edge of your pie dish. (I use a bit of flour on the surface too)

    Step 15

    Gently pick up the dough and lay it flat in your pie dish (avoid air bubbles). No need to grease the dish as you've got plenty of butter in the dough already! Fill it with your pie filling

    Step 16

    Roll out the second disc into a more long-ish shape and cut the dough into long 1-inch strips for the upper crust of your pie.

    Step 17

    HINT: Your upper crust can also just be a solid circle: lay it over your pie & make three radiating incisions in the top to let out the air. Or cut star shapes: using a cookie cutter to form the crust

    Step 18

    Start from the middle and lay down a couple longer strips verically, then add a couple horizontally and weave the pieces over then under in an alternating fashion until your lattice crust is finished.

    Step 19

    Pat down the edges so that the upper crust stays in place. Some people like to trim the excess dough off the edges but I like the homemade look - plus, more crust means more yummy!

    Step 20

    Lightly beat an egg and using a brush generously apply to the surface of your pie. At this point I like to put the pie dish on a baking tray to make sure the drips are contained.

    Step 21

    Preheat your oven to 400F then when you're ready to bake the pie turn it down to 375F. Put the baking tray (and pie dish) in the oven and bake for about 45min-50min.

    Step 22

    If after 45min your filling is not bubbling, then cover the pie in aluminum foil and bake for an additional 20min (or as needed). HINT: you can also bake any extra bits of pie dough to use as garnish.

    Step 23

    Et voila! The finished pie should be golden brown, cooked all the way through, and the filling should be bubbling hot. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and a tall glass of cold milk!