A little sugar, plenty of butter, and a bit of folding make for a tender, flaky dough that bakes beautifully and can be used with your favorite fruit fillings. I recommend using a preheated baking sheet and a glass pie plate for making sure the bottom crust is fully cooked and golden brown; see individual recipes for directions on baking.
- 18 tablespoons [255 g or 2 1/4 sticks] unsalted butter, cold, cut into 18 pieces
- Water, ice cold
- 2 1/2 cups [355 g] all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Put the butter in a small bowl and place it in the freezer. Fill a medium measuring cup with water and add plenty of ice. Let both the butter and the ice water sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the flour, sugar, and salt on low until combined. Add half of the chilled butter and mix on low until the butter is just starting to break down, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the butter and continue mixing until the butter is broken down and in various sizes (some butter will be incorporated into the dough, some will still be a bit large, but most should be about the size of small peas.) Stop the mixer and use your hands to check for any large pieces of butter that didn't get mixed or any dry patches of dough on the bottom of the bowl; break up the butter and incorporate the dry flour as best you can. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add about 1/3 cup [80 g] of the ice water and mix the until the dough starts to come together but is still quite shaggy (if the dough is not coming together, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does).
- Dump the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and flatten it slightly into a square. Gather any loose/dry pieces that won't stick to the dough and place them on top of the square. Gently fold the dough over onto itself and flatten again. Repeat this process 3 or 4 more times, until all the loose pieces are worked into the dough, being careful not to overwork the dough. Flatten the dough one last time into a rectangle and cut into 2 equal pieces. Form the piece into 6 in discs and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes before using.