Mealy pie dough (pâte brisée) is the best all-butter pie dough for using on the bottom of pies to avoid that soggy bottom (no one likes a soggy bottom) or for making the perfect hand pies.
This dough is similar to making shortbread. The butter coats the flour and just melts in your mouth when you bite into it. Make a big batch ahead of time, portion and freeze for when you need it! Don't buy frozen pie crusts every again.
Mealy Dough VS Flaky Dough?
Mealy pie dough is best for using for pies that have a liquid or custard filling like pumpkin, or apple pie filling because it won't get soggy. The pieces of fat in the flour are very small, making the fat distribution denser which repels liquids.
The pie crust bakes up very crisp so you don't get that soggy layer under your filling. Nothing worse than biting into some pumpkin pie and the bottom is all gummy. Yuck.
Mealy pie dough is also the perfect pie dough for hand pies because it's very sturdy and easy to work with but still very tender and crisp when you eat it.
You can use flaky pie dough for a bottom crust but flaky is suited for pies that have cooked fillings like mousse, no-bake cream pies, or pies with pre-cooked fillings to avoid that soggy bottom crust.
How To Make Mealy Pie Dough Step By Step
Pro-tip - The best way to make mealy pie dough is to use a stand mixer or food processor. This works the cold butter into the flour and makes the mixture mealy without needing to use your hands. If you use your hands, the butter can melt pretty fast and your crust will get tough.
Step 1 - Combine the flour, salt, and butter together in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (a mealy texture).
Step 2 - Add in your egg and cold water and mix until the flour is moistened. That's it!
Step 3 - Remove your dough from the bowl and press it into a flattened disk. This will make it easier to roll out later. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes but overnight is best. This resting allows the flour time to absorb the water and for gluten to develop which makes the crust easier to roll out.
How To Use Mealy Pie Dough
Once your mealy pie dough has rested it's time to roll it out! Take your dough out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit. It might take 20 minutes or more. You want the pie dough to be pliable enough to roll out but still firm.
You can test the dough to see if it's ready by bending it. If it bends without cracking then it's ready to roll out.
To roll the dough, begin by pressing down a few times with your rolling pin to thin the dough out. Then, working from the center, begin rolling the dough out into a large circle.
To transfer the dough to your pie plate you can simply lift the dough up with your hands and transfer it to the pie plate. Or you can dust the surface with flour and roll it up onto your rolling pin and unroll it into your pie plate.
Trim off the excess dough, flute the edges.
Depending on the type of pie you are making, you can bake the crust, par-bake it or fill it with pie filling and apply a flaky pie crust for the top of the pie.
Remember to always freeze your pie dough for 15-20 minutes before baking to prevent shrinking!
You can freeze any leftover dough to use for another pie!
How To Bake A Single Crust Pie With A Liquid Filling
Mealy pie dough is perfect for baking pies with a very liquid filling like pumpkin pie or other custard pies. This is how you prep your mealy pie dough for a single-crust pie with a liquid filling.
- Make your filling and let it cool (this is a good thing to do the day before you make your pie).
- Make your mealy pie dough and let it chill for one hour or overnight (you can make it the same time as your filling).
- When you're ready to bake, let your dough warm up at room temperature just until it's pliable and able to be rolled out without cracking.
- Roll out your dough to ⅛″ thick and place it into your pie pan. Press it gently into the bottom of the pan.
- Trim off the excess dough but leave about ¼″ excess dough all the way around to account for shrinking.
- Pinch the edges to make them decorative or use a fork to make decorations.
- Freeze the pie dough for 20 minutes (or more).
- Brush the pie dough with egg wash to promote a shiny and brown crust (optional).
- Fill your pie crust with the pie filling and bake until the pie crust pulls away from the edges of the pan and is golden brown. Trust me, do not take the pie out of the oven until it shrinks or the center of your crust will be doughy.
Double-Crust Pie With Mealy Dough And Flaky Dough
If you're making a double-crust pie like apple pie or cherry pie then you'll want to make a batch of flaky pie in addition to the mealy pie dough. Make both pie doughs the day before as well as your filling to allow both to rest and for the filling to cool.
- Prep your mealy pie dough as instructed above and trim off the extra crust (leaving that ¼" of extra dough all the way around.
- Fill your pie crust with your cooled filling. Do not over-fill or it will spill out of your pie.
- Brush the outside edges of your mealy pie dough with egg wash. This is the glue that holds the two pie crusts together.
- Depending on the pie you are making, you can now create a lattice top like I make with my apple pie or you can create a single crust. If making a single crust, don't forget to cut a few vents in the top to allow for air to escape.
- Press the two crusts together and then cut off the excess dough. Don't forget to leave that ¼" of dough all the way around to allow for shrinking during baking.
- Flute the edge or press it together with a fork.
- Brush the entire surface of your pie crust with egg wash to make it nice and shiny. If you skip this step, your crust will have a hard time browning and will look very dull.
- FREEZE your pie for 30 minutes to set the dough. While your pie is freezing, you can preheat your oven. Move your oven rack to the lowest place in the oven.
- Bake your pie until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pie pan indicating the center of your crust has baked. If the pie edges start to brown before your pie has baked, you can cover them with foil or a pie crust protector.
How To Prep Pie Crusts And Freeze Them
Do you want to prep a lot of pie crusts to use for the future? Mealy pie dough is perfect for freezing.
After your pie dough has rested, you can roll it out and put it into your pie plate. Trim off the excess and flute the edges. Don't forget to leave about ¼" of extra dough all the way around the edge of the pie plate to avoid it shrinking too much.
Then you can freeze the whole thing to use later (instead of buying a pre-made frozen crust) or you can freeze it for 20 minutes and then bake it up. Freezing the dough also helps keep it from shrinking.
You can stack multiple pies by place a square of parchment or plastic wrap in between each pie. Use disposable pie tins for easy baking.
Need more pie? Check out these other recipes
- pie weights
Mealy Pie Dough
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces cold butter grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg cold
- 1 ounce ice water
- Combine together the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
- Add in your cold butter and mix on low until the mixture resembles a coarse mealy sand
- Add in the egg and water and mix on low until the dough sticks together
- Flatten the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or overnight before using it. Let the dough warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes or until its pliable but still firm before rolling it out.