Barefoot Contessa Answers Your Burning Baking Questions | Food Network

Ever wonder how to make the PERFECT pie crust? Ina has you covered!

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Get Ina’s Perfect Pie Crust recipe:

Perfect Pie Crust
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 (10-inch) crusts


12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water


Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

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26 Replies to “Barefoot Contessa Answers Your Burning Baking Questions | Food Network”

  1. I've loved watching your through the years and i thought if anyone could help it would be Ina.
    I'm always confused when a recipe calls for mint. What kind of mint should I use?
    Thanks for your help and your many years of enjoyable and scrumptious eats!! Best of everything to you and Jeffery.

  2. Actually, there is no excuse for using a store bought pie crust. Why don't you just use a canned pie filling as well? Heck, you might as well just buy Hostess fruit pies and be done with it.

  3. One tip I've found useful is to put the salt in the water to lower the freezing temp, then chill it with a couple pellets of dry ice. This ensures your water is very cold, which keeps the pastry short. And that's where the flakiness and tenderness comes from. Yes, you're paying for dry ice, but the results are so worth it.

  4. Ina, I adore you, but you contradicted yourself in your response to the first question. You stated first thing that baking is an exact science, yet you then demonstrated measuring flour by volume. The best way to measure flour is to use a scale and weigh it, preferably by grams. Inconsistent results are caused by measuring in volume, regardless of whether or not the flour is sifted.

  5. I have no idea why, but if people suddenly discover that Ina is a sociopath, I wouldn't be surprised. There's something about her demeanor and tone of voice that strikes me as extremely artifical and vaguely ominous.

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