Pie dough is made from just few ingredients: flour, fat, salt and liquid in slightly different ratios. The flour used is typically all-purpose flour but I use cake flour in all my pie recipes. Pie dough is classified by the kind and method of the fat incorporated in the dough. The key is to keep all ingredients cold. The mixing methods and how the gluten in the wheat flour is developed will result in different textures.
The difference with Puff Pastry is that from the onset we do not want to create gluten and thus butter is incorporated in the beginning.
Pâte Brisée or Pâte à foncer is a French classic that is made without sugar and is perfect to use with moist fillings (appareil) as the fat particles are small and more evenly distributed throughout the dough. Due to an absent of sugar, the colour tends to be pale and it is shrinking when is baked. Thin layers will melt in your mouth with every bite with crispy on the edge and tender in the middle.