Reduced-Butter Pie Pastry

Fall 2002

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Let's face it: it's tough to make a great pie pastry without butter. However, it is possible to make a very fine pastry with a little less butter. The trick is first lubricating the flour with a little oil before adding the butter. By doing this, you can make a delicious, easy-to-roll pastry with 5 tablespoons butter instead of the more typical 8 tablespoons. This pastry works great for any fruit pie and for quiches as well. With the latter, you'll want to eliminate the sugar.

"easy to make "
Reduced-Butter Pie Pastry

Makes: One 9-inch pie shell, for 12 servings

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  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4-5 tablespoons ice-cold water

Try this recipe with:


  1. Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse to mix. With the machine running, add oil in a thin stream; stop the machine when all the oil has been added. Scatter butter over the dry ingredients. Pulse 6 or 7 times, breaking the butter into small bits. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons water over the mixture. Pulse again until the pastry starts to resemble damp, clumpy sand; don't over-process. Press some of the pastry between your fingers: it should hold together easily. If it doesn't, add a little more water.
  2. Transfer the dough to your work surface and gather it together in a ball. Knead twice to distribute the butter. Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a 3/4-inch-thick disk; pinch the edge together if it cracks. Wrap in the plastic and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes before rolling.


Per serving: 127 calories; 7 g fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono); 13 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 0 g fiber; 49 mg sodium; 17 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Health & Diet Considerations
Low carbohydrate
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
1 hour or less
8 or more
Fall 2002
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