Once you’ve decided which kind of pumpkin you’ll use, it’s time to turn your attention to that all-important pie crust with laserlike focus. It’s both literally and figuratively your foundation for this traditional holiday treat — and it becomes a whole lot easier to whip up when you have a little extra guidance.
First, read over your recipe carefully — you’ll want to know exact ingredient quantities and be prepared for the next step before you get to it. Give yourself plenty of lead time before you need your crust ready, too; it needs resting time and chilling time, and you don’t want to rush these processes — they’re integral for a delicious crust.
One of the most important, universal tips for making pie crust is to use cold ingredients. This is non-negotiable when you want a perfectly flaky crust, as using warm ingredients can make the dough heavy and bready (and just not as delicious). Here’s how to get everything nice and chilly:
- Toss in some ice cubes with your cold water to get it even colder.
- Cut up your butter ahead of time and put it into the freezer for up to 30 minutes — you want it nice and frigid, not frozen solid.
- Use a food processor instead of making your crust by hand to save time and energy. Just add all of the ingredients before you process — including the water — to avoid overprocessing the crust.
- Chill your finished dough in an airtight container overnight for best results.
If you’re fairly new to baking, or perhaps haven’t made pie crust before, we recommend taking a look again at Sally’s Baking Addiction. McKenney’s recipe is super easy, super flaky and super delicious. She also provides a video and step-by-step photos to help you at each stage of the crust-making process. If you’re not sure you’ll have the time or energy for this part, you can always buy a premade crust and use this simple Pillsbury recipe for the filling, or even buy a Keebler ready-made graham cracker crust.
Finally, though it technically comes first, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got some important equipment on hand to make that pie crust perfect. First, you need a high-quality Farberware Rolling Pin and a non-stick silicone pastry mat. The rolling pin is absolutely mandatory for getting the dough stretched out to the perfect thickness, and the mat simplifies the process of getting your crust into the right size and shape. You’ll also find yourself a lot less frustrated during the rolling process thanks to the non-stick surface — if you’ve ever rolled out some cookie dough on a counter without quite enough flour down, you'll know what we’re talking about.
Because we eat with our eyes first, as the saying goes, it’s also worth investing in a Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Pie Crust Protector Shield for the big baking event. It’ll keep your crust edges from browning too quickly in the oven as your pie bakes — and it’ll protect that delicate pastry from cracking or breaking before you’re ready to serve up some slices.