I hate–not abhor–making rolled pie crust. Not because I don’t love the flakiness of the final product, because I do. I hate the process. Ugh. Not a talent I possess.
My mom’s Dutch Apple Pie recipe uses a pat-in-the-pan crust that is very good. So, why not for other pies? (I’d been wondering for years.) I mean, it won’t work for say, a peach pie topped with a lattice. But for creamy pies, it’s perfect. Genius, actually.
In The Joy of Cooking (affiliate link), there are numerous recipes for pat-in-the-pan crusts. I use them all the time, and the Shortbread Crust is by far my favorite. Another favorite pat-in-the-pan crust is Dorie Greenspan’s Sweet Tart Dough. It’s AMAZING, like this one. It’s hard to pick a favorite!
This crust is definitely good for any pie or tart that needs a pre-baked or partially baked crust, particularly if there is a fruit or cream filling, which I suppose it just about every pie or tart! The crust gets a quick brush with egg white and is popped back in the oven for a few more minutes. This helps “seal” the crust so it doesn’t get soggy.
Here are a few of my recipes that I recommend using with this crust:
Four Layer hocolate Cream Pie (the recipe has its own crust, but you could certainly substitute it)
Orange Ricotta Cheesecake with Orange Curd
Creamy No Bake Key Lime Pie
Oatmeal Pecan Tart (gluten-free version of the crust)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- a little cream or milk--may need more or less depending on how the dough holds together
- 1 egg white, beaten
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. Using your hands, a food processor, a pastry cutter, or two knives, work/cut the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture should look like cornmeal with a few larger lumps of butter.
- Break up the egg yolk with a fork and add to the flour/butter mixture. Pulse for a few seconds at a time if using a food processor, or if making by hand, stir with the fork until the dough comes together in a ball. You may need to add a little cream at this point if it's too dry.
- Don't overwork the dough--it will become tough. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes.
- Pat the crust into a 9" or 10" pie or tart plate. Prick all over with a fork and chill for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until it starts to become lightly golden.
- Remove from oven and brush the inside with the beaten egg white. Return to the oven and finish baking until crust is golden, about 5-10 minutes more.