Confession: When it comes to pie making the crust is the hardest thing to master. I have tried different crust recipes and every time the crust would not turn out well. After experimenting a bit, I discovered the trick to a great crust is: 1.) quality flour, 2.) very cold ingredients- butter, egg, and water and 3.) not overworking the dough. Also, the quicker you make the dough the better it turns out. Have all your ingredients ready to go and then from start to finish should be no more than five minutes.
Cut butter into cubes and place in the freezer or fridge for ten minutes. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, & salt). Once dry ingredients are mixed together cut in butter with a pastry cutter. There should be pea sized clumps of butter blended with flour.
Beat one egg yolk with a fork and add one Tablespoon of cold water to egg. Pour into flour/butter mixture and use a fork to blend together. Try not to over work the dough; we want that butter to stay cold! Add remaining cold water (one Tablespoon at a time) continuing to blend with fork. The flour/butter mixture will form into a dough when pressed together, but still crumble.
Place in fridge for at least thirty minutes until firm and cold.
My Homemade Pie Crust: Yields one 9 inch pie crust.
1 + 1/4 cups of flour
*3 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of very cold, unsalted butter (one stick)
1 egg yolk, beaten
3 Tablespoons of cold water
*For savory pies omit the sugar