Hot Water Crust

October 21, 2016
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

There's a reasons the Brits swear by this crust: it's crisp as can be, but still has a lot of flavor. But it's biggest pro is it's sturdiness. This crust does for pies what gingerbread does for holiday houses—it stays put, and holds up incredibly well. That means you can go deep dish without fear, and fill it chock full with any kind of filling without worry! You have to work with the crust while it's still warm, so be sure you have your filling ready to go before you start the crust. —Erin McDowell

  • Makes enough for one large (deep dish) double-crust 9 inch pie or about 2 dozen mini pies
  • 2 1/2 cups (10.62 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2.12 oz) bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/3 cup (2.66 fl oz) water
  • 1/2 cup (4.00 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (4.00 oz) lard (or shortening, if you must)
In This Recipe
  1. Have your filling ready to go. In a large bowl, whisk the all purpose flour, the bread flour, and the salt to combine.
  2. In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add the butter and lard and stir until melted. The mixture should be hot—if needed, bring it back to a simmer briefly.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the hot liquid into it. I usually start mixing it with a fork—but a silicone spatula or wooden spoon works too. Mix until the mixture forms a shaggy mass: It should form a ball but not look smooth.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it on a clean, smooth surface until it’s smooth, 2-3 minutes.
  5. You have to work with the dough while it’s still warm—divide the dough as needed for your recipe. You can roll the dough out (between two sheets of parchment paper is best and helps prevent sticking, ripping, and tearing). You can also press the dough into a pan. For deep dish pies, I tend to opt for a combination—rolling the dough out, then patching the holes as needed—just be sure to patch well! You want smooth sides and no chance for leakage.

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I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.