Why You Should Make Pie Crust In A Stand Mixer
Yes, you can make a buttery, flaky pie crust in a stand mixer!
Most pie recipes instruct you to make the dough for its crust in a handful of ways. Some will instruct you to make it by hand (either with tools like a pastry cutter, or without them), or to use a food processor.
I never, ever recommend making pie dough by hand. It’s too messy and time-consuming! And while using a food processor is faster, it’s easy to overwork the butter and end up with a flat, dense, crust.
So what do I do?
I make my pie dough with a STAND MIXER. After chilling the ingredients for the crust for five minutes, I throw it all into a stand mixer. I then mix everything on low speed like you would a cookie dough to make the crust.
It takes less than 5 minutes to come together and eliminates TONS of mess and work. Furthermore, unlike a food processor, a stand mixer allows you more control and visibility as the dough comes together—no flat, dense crusts!
The pie dough below recipe is from my cookbook, Weeknight Baking. I now use it exclusively for all the pie recipes on Hummingbird High!
@hummingbirdhigh the easiest way to make #pie dough, i promise! #bakingtiktok #bakinghacks ♬ Happy Pizza – Tom Howe
How To Make Pie Crust In A Stand Mixer
Now that I’ve convinced you to make pie crust in a stand mixer, let’s talk about the basic steps to make it from scratch:
1. Prep the ingredients for the pie dough. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
It’s important to pay attention to the temperatures of the ingredients listed in the recipe! If you make pie dough with butter or water that’s too warm, the dough will be too sticky and hard to work with.
When making pie dough, it’s best to use ingredients that are straight from the fridge, or even frozen in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes beforehand.
In this case, that means slicing the cold butter and freezing it for 5 minutes while you work with the rest of the ingredients. Mix the water, vinegar, and ice mixture and keep it refrigerated while you measure out the dry ingredients.
2. Make the pie dough. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
Because of my stand mixer technique, this pie dough comes together in less than 10 minutes!
To make it, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter all at once and beat on low until the mixture has the texture of a coarse meal for about 3 minutes. Finally, add 6 Tablespoons of water from the water-vinegar-ice mixture and beat until the dough clumps around the paddle.
That’s it! Easy, right?
3. Chill the pie dough. (Chill Time: 1+ hours)
Divide the dough into two even halves, forming them into a flat disc. One of these discs will be for the bottom crust, while the second will be for the top crust of your pie. Wrap each portion tightly in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc.
The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before you use it in the pie recipe of your choice. However, at this point, the dough can actually be frozen for up to 3 months. Just make sure to store it properly to prevent it from absorbing weird odors and flavors in the freezer—learn more in the Troubleshooting and FAQ section below.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here’s everything you need to make pie crust in a stand mixer:
Shopping List For Stand Mixer Pie Crust Recipe
- apple cider vinegar
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- kosher salt
And let’s talk about some key ingredients and their potential substitutions:
- Apple Cider Vinegar: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use a neutral tasting vinegar like distilled white vinegar in its place. However, apple cider vinegar adds a unique flavor to the crust that works well with most fruits!
- Unsalted Butter: You can also use salted butter in its place—there’s no need to adjust the kosher salt in the recipe, either. Technically, vegan stick butter like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s baking sticks COULD work in this recipe. However, vegan butter melts faster than traditional butter, so work quickly!
- Granulated Sugar: In a pinch, you can other sugars like brown or coconut sugar in this recipe. Just be sure to use a sugar that has a fine grain. Avoid coarse sugars like Demerara, raw, and/or sanding sugar. If you’re making a savory filling, you can also omit the granulated sugar completely.
Troubleshooting and FAQ
Can you freeze pie dough?
Yes! To freeze the dough, tightly wrap each portion in a second layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Doing so will prevent the dough from absorbing any flavors or odors in the freezer.
Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, transfer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
Can you use a handheld electric mixer to make this pie crust?
Sadly, no. A hand held electric mixer won’t work for this recipe. Its beaters aren’t strong or fast enough to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients quickly. Everything gets too melty and you’ll end up with a dense, flat pie dough.
Can you halve the recipe to make just 1 disc of pie dough?
Yes! That’s what I did in this chocolate chess pie recipe (which only needs a bottom crust).
To do so, simply divide the recipe ingredients in half and follow the instructions. Just note that the original recipe instructs you to add 6 Tablespoons of the ice water mixture to the dry ingredients. So when halving the recipe, you’ll only need to add 3 Tablespoons. However, I usually find that 4 Tablespoons of ice water brings the dough together better than 3 Tablespoons.
Help! My pie crust wasn’t flaky. What did I do wrong?
The recipe below instructs you to beat the dough only until it clumps around the paddle and/or sides of the stand mixer bowl. If you continue to beat it after it’s clumped around the paddle, the butter incorporates TOO much and your pie crust won’t be flaky. Stop the mixer right when the dough clumps!
Pie Recipes To Make With Stand Mixer Pie Crust
Now that I’ve taught you how to make pie crust in a stand mixer, here are some recipes you can use for its filling:
- Black Bottom Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Blueberry Crumble Pie
- Chocolate Chess Pie
- Easy Canned Cherry Pie Recipe
- Rhubarb Custard Pie
Stand Mixer Pie Crust Recipe
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) very cold water
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces or 227 grams) very cold unsalted butter
- 2 ½ cups (11.25 ounces or 319 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Make the ice water mixture, then refrigerate it. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the water and vinegar. Add the ice and whisk. Refrigerate while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut the butter into cubes, then freeze it. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and place them in a small bowl. Freeze while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Beat on low until just combined, about 15 seconds.
- Add the butter to the dry ingredients and beat into a coarse meal. Add the butter all at once and beat on low until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal, with pea-sized pieces of butter throughout, about 3 minutes.
- Add 6 Tablespoons of the ice water mixture, and beat until combined. Remove the ice water mixture from the refrigerator. With the mixer on low, add 6 Tablespoons of liquid from the ice water mixture all at once.Beat on low until the dough clumps around the paddle and/or sides of the bowl, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stop the mixer immediately.If the dough seems too dry, add more liquid from the ice water mixture 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Divide the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured counter with a rubber spatula. Quickly knead the dough into a rough ball and divide in half with a bench scraper (each half should weigh around 11 ounces or 312 grams). Shape each half into a rough ball.Wrap each ball tightly in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, before using. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.
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