best-ever all-butter pie pastry
PREP THE INGREDIENTS
Put a few ice cubes in a 1-cup liquid measuring cup. Add 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and cold water to fill. In a large bowl, whisk together 21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Chop 1 cup (2 sticks) of straight-from-the-fridge butter into roughly half-inch cubes.
CUT IN THE BUTTER
Add butter to flour mixture and toss to coat. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour. Turn the bowl and toss the mixture occasionally so you don’t miss any butter. The blender will clog occasionally; clean it out with your fingers or a butter knife. Stop when the largest chunks are pea-size and the rest of the mixture looks like canned Parmesan cheese.
ADD THE WATER
Fish out the ice, then evenly drizzle 1⁄2 cup of the vinegarwater over the flour mixture. (You probably won’t need the remainder, but save it in case your pastry is very dry.) Toss with a fork until you can’t see pools of liquid. Switch to hands: Scoop up as much of the mixture as you can, then smoosh it back into the bowl. It’s OK to be a bit aggressive. Pressure will bring the mixture into a cohesive mass more effectively than water. Rotate the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat, as if kneading. When the dry bits at the bottom are gone, stop.
FINISH AND CHILL
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and, if needed, knead a couple more times. Cut dough in half. Gently pat each portion into a 2-inch-thick disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight before rolling. (You can freeze the dough discs up to 1 year; thaw 1 full day in the refrigerator before using.)