Egg white is used to seal the crust so filling want make the bottom soggy.
I made pie crust every day for weeks until I got it right and consistent.
Ratios are key:
Fat 80% (you can use less, but I wouldn't recommend less than 70%)
Water 25% to 30% (water is tricky because flour absorbency varies by lot, type, and brand)
Salt 1% (DISSOLVE SALT IN ICE WATER)
Sugar 7% (for sweet pies only)
I estimate 20 grams of flour per 1" of pie plate. When calculating flour don't forget to add 2" inches for sides and 1" for tucked and crimped edge. So for 9" plate, flour will be calculated for 12".
Flour matters. I prefer 55/45 blend of all purpose to pastry flour.
The organic unbleached all purpose flour I like is protein 10-10.5%; ash 56%; hard red winter wheat; malted
The organic unbleached pastry flour; protein 10%; ash 52%; soft white wheat
I prefer Central Milling flours.
Butter matters. Higher fat butters work best. But don't use a pliable brand like kerrygold. It's too soft and makes a greasy crust. I prefer Pulgra.
Cultured butters will work well, but some brands like Vermont Creamery with 86% butterfat can be greasy. I like Trader Joe's cultured butter, but it's salted, so reduce the amount of salt if you try it.
Dissolve the salt in the ice water--do not add it to the dry ingredients.
Making dough by hand is the best way. Using a food processor or pastry cutter will chop the butter into bits to small to make a really flaky crust. Butter needs to be flakes. It takes me all of 5 minutes from start to finished dough.
Cube the butter and chill it. Toss butter into dry ingredients to coat the butter. Then use the heel to flatten butter cubes into flour.
Use a rolling pin to roll over butter and flour. This will create long butter flakes. Use a bench scraper to cut up butter flakes. Repeat rolling and cutting several times until nearly all the flour is incorporated into the butter.
Make a well in the center and pour in salted ice water. Use bench scraper and with a folding and cutting motion, cut flour into the water until water is absorbed,
Now here's where you need to have total faith that the dough with come together. This is similar to rough puff pastry technique, but it works beautifully for pie crust.
Roll dough into a rectangle 1/2" thick. It will be crumbly. Have faith. Use bench scraper and fold crumbs into tri-fold.
Turn it a quarter turn using bench scraper. Yes, it will be crumbly. Have faith. Roll it again into a rectangle 1/2" thick. Tri-fold. Quarter turn. Yes it will still be crumbly...don't lose faith. Repeat this two or three more times. I swear the dough will come together in 4 to 5 turns.
Divide, wrap, and chill the dough at least 2 hours. I prefer overnight.
Let dough sit out for about 20-30 minutes before you roll it to make your pie. The cold butter will be hard, so it needs time to soften.
Tips on pie:
Roll the dough, do not stretch it. To prevent stretching, turn the disk after each pass of the rolling pin. If the dough sticks to the counter, you'll be stretching it, not rolling it. A stretched dough will be tough. So turn the disk with each pass.
Brush off excess flour after dough is rolled.
Freeze the dough in the pie plate for 10 minutes before filling and baking.
Place oven rack on lowest position.
Preheat the cookie sheet. The heat from the sheet will help bake the bottom faster, and reduce the chance of a soggy and/or half baked bottom.
Bake hot. I bake hand pies at 375 degrees. Whole pies at 400 degrees.
Use an egg wash for best browning.
Pie dough freezes beautifully. Make extra. Roll and cut into circles. Freeze 20 min on a cookie sheet. Then stack with wax paper between circles. Wrap stack well and put in freezer.
To use, place a frozen disk over the pie plate. The dough will gentle sink into the pie plate as it thaws.
I'm totally obsessed with pie