Shortcut Piecrust

This piecrust is revolutionary. It's a press-in crust, with no rolling or chilling required. Plus, it's buttery and flaky, and so easy to prepare it just may give you the courage to go forth and make a pie on a whim. You can use either granulated sugar or light brown sugar. Both are equally delicious here.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar or packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture looks moist and crumbly.

Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. You can crimp the edges decoratively or leave them rustic. 

If the recipe calls for a prebaked piecrust, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment and fill with dried beans or pie weights. 

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before filling.

Tip: Dried beans or pie weights can be reused time and time again. Mason jars are a great way to store them.

Excerpted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Squire Fox.

Yield: 
Makes one 9-inch piecrust

  • A look at the history of sugar, from art and language to 3-D printing

    Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.

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A history of confetti from The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets edited by Darra Goldstein.