1cup(2 sticks) unsalted buttercut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled
2 1/4cupsall-purpose flour
8 to 10tablespoonsice water
Pulse the butter, flour, and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse sand, with some small lumps of butter (no larger than pea-sized) remaining. This will probably take 15 to 20 (1-second) pulses.
Feed one tablespoon of ice water at a time through the feed tube of the food processor, pulsing 4 to 5 times after each addition. Stop adding water when the mixture begins to form large clumps and pulls away from sides of the food processor bowl.
Dump the mixture onto a work surface and push it together into a big lump using your hands. Evenly divide the dough in half. Quickly form the halves into two balls and flatten them into 4-inch disks. Place each disk in a plastic baggie or wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 4 days. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 3 to 4 minutes ahead of time so that it just starts to soften and is easier to roll.
Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the disk of dough from the center moving outward, turning it a quarter turn and repeating until the diameter of the whole crust is about 4 inches larger than the pie pan. If the edges of the crust start to split, pinch them together before continuing. Once the crust is rolled out, allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
Carefully transfer the pie crust to the pie pan, flute the edges, and proceed with your pie recipe as directed. (To prebake your crust, see 'Notes' section below for directions. Further details can also be found in the post above the recipe card.)
Eight tablespoons of ice water is usually the perfect amount when I make pie crust, but you could require a tad more. Just pay attention to your dough and stop adding water before it gets too wet.
Please see the photos and directions in the post (above the recipe) for information on how to fold and flute the edges of your pie crust.
Remember...try not to handle the dough too much or your hands will warm it and start to melt the butter, resulting in a less-flaky crust.
Tightly wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap followed by foil or a freezer-thickness plastic baggie, a disk of this pie dough may be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of days before rolling out.
TO PREBAKE A PIE SHELL:
Refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate for 40 minutes and then transfer it to the freezer for an additional 20 minutes.
Place the oven rack in the lower-middle position of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the pie plate from the freezer and press a double layer of aluminum foil into the pie shell, folding over the edges so that the entire crust is covered.
Fill to the top of the foil with pie weights.
Place the pie plate on a metal baking sheet (which will transfer heat gradually from the hot oven rack to the bottom of the cold pie plate in order to prevent shocking the glass).
Put the baking sheet (with the pie plate on top) into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Take the pie plate out of the oven and carefully remove the foil and pie weights by lifting up the corners of the foil.
Prick the empty crust on the bottom with a fork, return it to the oven, and bake for 5 more minutes until light golden brown (for a partially baked crust) OR 12 more minutes until deep golden brown (for a fully baked crust).