Brown Butter Pie Crust

Brown butter pie dough is the secret element you didn't realize your pies were missing, until now. Cooking butter until the milk solids turn golden brown gives this pie crust a wonderful toasted butter flavor (and a few freckles). We especially like brown butter pie crust paired with chocolate, fruit, or nut pies.

40 mins
20 to 30 mins
1 hr 30 mins
one 9" single pie crust
Brown Butter Pie Crust
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  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it melts, separates, and foam forms on top. Watch carefully from this point; the butter will become clear as the solids fall to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown.

    Brown Butter Rye Shortbread – Step 1
  2. When the solids are medium-brown and the butter smells nutty, remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter with the toasted solids into a heatproof bowl. Chill until firm.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Work in the chilled brown butter, leaving some dime-sized chunks intact.

  4. Drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the ice water while fluffing the mixture with a fork. Gently squeeze the mixture between your hands to see if it will stay together. Transfer any lumps of dough that have formed to a piece of parchment; drizzle another tablespoon of water over the dry mixture left behind. Mix until it, too, stays together. Transfer the dough to the parchment along with any crumbs left in the bowl.

  5. Use the parchment to fold the dough over on itself until it comes together. Spritz or sprinkle any dry spots with water, using only enough to make the dough feel damp.

  6. Once the dough is formed, pat it into a 3/4"-thick disk with smooth, round edges, then wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

  7. Dough can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for two days before using; or frozen for up to two months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Browning the butter cooks some of its liquid away, so this dough needs a bit more water than the typical pie crust.