Single Pie Crust
Recipe courtesy of How to Build a Better Pie by Millicent Souris (Quarry Books 2012)
Makes crust for one single crust pie
Pour all dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix together in the bowl with your hands.
Cut the cold butter into 1⁄4-inch pieces. It is very important that your butter be cold; its ability to maintain its shape is what lends flakiness to the crust. You can freeze it, but I find refrigerated butter to be quite sufficient.
Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients.Incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients by pinching each piece. Do not break up the butter beyond this; it should keep its shape. You are really just introducing them to each other.
As you work, cup your hands and lift all the dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl to the top. Do this a few times so you aren’t stuck with dry
ingredients at the bottom of the bowl. (The butter should not get warm or create tiny little butter pebbles. The goal is for the fat to have presence in the crust. It has a lot of work to do; leave it some backbone.)
Strain the ice water so ice doesn’t end up in the crust. (Ice water is used for the same reason cold butter is: to keep the fat separate through the process.) You can also pour the ice water through a slotted spoon held over the bowl.
To prebake, heat oven to 375ºF. Line pie crust with parchment paper or foil; weight down with raw rice or beans, or pie weights, and bake 15 minutes, covering the edges if necessary to prevent over-browning.
Remove weights and lining, brush bottom with egg white, and bake an addition six to eight minutes, until the crust is dry and browned. Remove from oven, cool, and fill as desired.