I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to making pie crust. I have been in charge of making pies for Thanksgiving dinner for a few years now and every year I am making pie crusts, I make myself crazy. When the crust is falling apart and crumbling, or it isn’t big enough for the pie plate or is to dry or too wet I admit, there are times I got super frustrated and gave up and went and bought pre-made frozen or refrigerated pie crusts (which are still good and super easy to use, but really, homemade pie crust is delicious).
So, I called in reinforcements. My friend and neighbor Jerusha has invited us to pie night the day before Thanksgiving at her house for a few years now. Her pies are beautiful. I remember going to her house for the first time for pie night and wondered if I just stepped into a bakery because they were so perfect. The crust didn’t shrink and they look so pretty. Plus they tasted as good as they looked. So naturally I called her up and she came over to show me her secret.
She just uses this simple 4 ingredient recipe and this is what I have been using for the past couple of years as well. There are many recipes out there, but sometimes, simple is all you need.
Some tips before you get started:
- Put your shortening in the refrigerator 24 hours before.
- Place your flour in the freezer.
- Use ice in your water
- Don’t use too much flour when rolling out dough.
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups well-chilled all-vegetable shortening
- 4-8 tablespoons ice cold water
- Blend flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a for or pastry blender until crumbs form. Add a little water at a time and stir until dough holds together. Shape into disks. Roll disk 2 inches bigger than pie plate. Transfer dough to pie plate. Flute dough as desired. Bake according to specific recipe instructions.
- Pre-baking pie crust: Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of unbaked pie dough with fork. Bake crust in lower third of oven, at 425°F, 10 to 12 minutes or until edges and bottom are golden brown.
- Double pie crust: For a DOUBLE pie crust, roll disk for bottom crust, trimming edges of dough even with outer edge of pie plate. Fill unbaked pie crust according to recipe directions. Roll out remaining dough disk. Transfer dough carefully onto filled pie. Trim edges of dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold top edge under bottom crust. Press edges together to seal and flute as desired. Cut slits in top crust or cookie cutter to vent steam. Bake according to specific recipe directions.
I love this recipe because it is flaky and not sweet, it’s a classic recipe and is the same one my grandma used. I wish I would have had her show me how to make it when she was still alive, but I am grateful for friends that share their talents. Pie crust takes a little patience and a not a lot of time. The end reward is worth it!