Pie season is fast-approaching! Of course you can buy frozen piecrusts, but it's so easy and cheap to make from scratch, especially if you have a food processor. (Don't worry if you don't have a food processor — it's also pretty easy to do by hand. Easy as pie, you might say.)
  1. Measure out 2 cups of flour.
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    Nothing special. Just regular all-purpose flour. If you want to substitute whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the regular flour, that works well too and produces a nutty, slightly sweeter crust.
  2. Cut two sticks of unsalted butter into small pieces. Put them in a bowl and then immediately put the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to use the butter.
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    The colder the better, the flaky or the piecrust, so it's best to wait until the last possible second to use it.
  3. Get a little salt.
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    Preferably a finer grain. This isn't the time for coarse pretzel salt. You'll need one big pinch. Note: if you're using salted butter, skip this part.
  4. Make a little bowl of ice water.
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    You're only going to need a little bit and it's important that it's nice and cold:
  5. Put the flour, butter, and salt in a bowl of a food processor.
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    Alternately, just put them in a bowl.
  6. Pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand.
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    If you're doing this by hand, use your hands to work the ingredients together until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  7. Stream in the water with the machine running, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the mixture comes together. For me, this usually means 3 to 4 tablespoons.
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    If you're doing this by hand, work in the water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture starts to stick together.
  8. The dough should look like this.
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    When you press it, it should stick together.
  9. Dump the dough onto a floured surface.
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  10. With floured hands, pat it into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.
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  11. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap.
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  12. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.
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    Or, freeze it for up to 2 months. When you're ready to use it, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  13. When it's time to make a pie, roll your dough out into a large circle-ish shape.
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  14. To transfer it onto a pie plate, place a flowered rolling pin at one end, and gently roll up the dough, so it's entirely coiled around the rolling pin.
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  15. Pick it up carefully, and gently drape it over your prepared pie plate.
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  16. Press the dough gently into the pie plate so it starts to take shape.
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    Use a knife or a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the excess dough. Save the dough scraps and use them to make a top for the pie, or bake pieces of it topped with sugar for a quick, delicious snack.
  17. If you like, make a little decorative crimps in the side of the dough.
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    The pie will be just as tasty without the crimps, so don't feel like you have to do it:
  18. Now just fill, bake (I usually bake my pies at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes, depending on their filling), and serve!
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