Afraid Of Pie Crust? You Shouldn't Be. It's As Easy As 3-2-1

  • To make a flaky pie crust, start by measuring out 12 oz. (by weight) flour, 8 oz. firm butter, 4 oz. ice water. Keeping it cool is key.
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    To make a flaky pie crust, start by measuring out 12 oz. (by weight) flour, 8 oz. firm butter, 4 oz. ice water. Keeping it cool is key.
    Phil Mansfield/CIA
  • Cut the butter into one-half inch chunks. Add water and mix by hand.
    Hide caption
    Cut the butter into one-half inch chunks. Add water and mix by hand.
    Phil Mansfield/CIA
  • Flake the butter chunks into the flour. The chunks should still be visible.
    Hide caption
    Flake the butter chunks into the flour. The chunks should still be visible.
    Phil Mansfield/CIA
  • "Do not overwork the dough," says Chef Higgins. You want a loose, jaggedy ball.
    Hide caption
    "Do not overwork the dough," says Chef Higgins. You want a loose, jaggedy ball.
    Phil Mansfield/CIA
  • Press ball gently into a disk, refrigerate in plastic for an hour or so before rolling.
    Hide caption
    Press ball gently into a disk, refrigerate in plastic for an hour or so before rolling.
    Phil Mansfield/CIA

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Yes, it's been meat all week. So are you ready for dessert? As a preview of Pie Week on Morning Edition and The Salt next week, we bring you this sneak peek of what we learned at the Culinary Institute of America.

Now, lots of people are afraid of making pie crust, but we've got a foolproof formula for you.

At the CIA, Professor of Baking and Pastry Arts George Higgins explains, it starts with 3:2:1. That's three parts flour, two parts fat, and one part liquid. The slideshow above spells it all out.

Once you make the crust above, blend 1 Tablespoon of Minute Instant Tapioca with 8 ounces of granulated sugar and toss with 1.5 pounds of blueberries or cherries. Fill the pie and bake. Higgins credits his wife with this recipe.

For more on pie crust, listen to our story on Morning Edition Monday, where you'll hear Chef Higgins help us overcome some basic beginners' mistakes. Later in the week, we'll have pieces on pie history, pies made during lean times, Linda Wertheimer's chess pie recipe, and more.

P.S: Since many of you asked, Higgins says the amount of salt to add to the dough recipe in the slide show above is 1/4 oz. or 1 teaspoon.

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