Alan's Pie Pastry, My technique.

Susan Aldrich


I found the recipe in Better Homes and Gardens-November 2010. It is the pastry recipe of Alan Carter, executive pastry chef and co-owner of Mission Beach Cafe. The technique I use for mixing it is one I learned from a cookbook lost to memory years ago. It makes mixing and handling pie crust easier so you almost CAN'T make it tough with overworking it.

If you have ever had pie crust when you were glad to leave the outside edge piece on your plate because its tough and tasteless as cardboard, this isn't that piecrust! You will want to eat every bite.


★★★★★ 1 vote

makes 4 single crusts (8-9 inch pies)
20 Min


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3 1/2 c
all purpose flour
1 Tbsp
1/2-1 Tbsp
kosher salt
1/2 tsp
baking powder
1 3/4 c
cold unsalted butter or use 1 c butter and 3/4 c shortening like crisco
2/3 c
cold water
2 Tbsp
sour cream
1 tsp

How to Make Alan's Pie Pastry, My technique.


  • 1In a very large bowl, combine flour, sugar, kosher salt and baking soda. I sift this together to make sure it is well mixed.
  • 2In a separate bowl combine water, sour cream and vinegar.(I use a liquid cup measure and add the sour cream and vinegar after measuring the water)
  • 3Add some of the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients a spoonful at a time and whisk together with a fork till smooth. Do this till it is thick like a gravy thickening.
  • 4To the remaining flour mixture add the shortening and butter. You can use all unsalted butter if you want (1 3/4 c butter)! It comes out very good! With a pastry blender cut it in till the mixture is crumbly and butter is the size of small peas leaving chunks the size of peas. This mixture will seem to have too much butter if you have made pie crusts the usual way. Don't worry it does work.
  • 5Add liquid/flour mixture all at once to the flour/butter mixture. Quickly stir to distribute. Knead it together a few times. You can mix it a little more at this step because you mixed some of the flour with the liquid, but try not to mix too much. The dough will be a bit soggy. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate a couple hours or more. I have sometimes separated the dough into 4 flattened round discs and wrapped them in plastic before refrigeration to speed up this step.
  • 6*Always use chilled, not frozen or room temperature, butter. Butter should feel like clay to the touch.

    *Acid helps pie dough set up. A little vinegar and sour cream added to the water does the trick.

    *If your pie dough is ugly and lumpy with butter knots the size of peas, it's perfect.

    *You want a generous crust, so don't roll it too thin. About 1/4 inch is good.

    *Always butter the pie dish. Sometimes, especially with fruit pies, the juice sneaks under the crust and acts like glue, bonding the crust to the pan.

    *To prevent shrinking do not stretch the dough into the pie plate over the top of the pie.

    *When making an Apple pie I use a 10" pie plate so this recipe only makes enough for 3 single crusts.

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About Alan's Pie Pastry, My technique.

Course/Dish: Pies
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: American

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