Simple, Easy, Basic Pie Crust

Just in time for holiday baking.
Pie crust is really very easy to make. I know many cooks and cookbooks stress how hard it is, but if you have a good recipe and use ice water, it is not at all difficult
Over the years, too many to count, I have tried several pie crust recipes. This is without a doubt the best. It is from a Farm Journal Pie Cookbook 1965 edition.

When I make pie crust, I try to make two or more at the same time. They freeze well baked or unbaked. Much better than the frozen ones you buy in the store and just as handy. If you want to just unfold it and put it in the pie pan, roll it out, lay a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on top and fold it gently in fourths; slip into a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. I usually just roll mine into a small disc and freeze. You can put more than one in the same bag.

Lard Crusts are very good, but difficult to handle and Lard is getting hard to find.
This will make you a flakey, tender crust.

Pie Crust
pastry for a two crust 8 or 9 inch pie
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening (a good all vegetable shortening)
4 to 5 Tablespoons ice water (A couple of ice cubes in some water while you get everything else ready)
One Crust Pie
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 1/2 Tablespoons ice water 

10 inch 2 crust pie
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
6 tablespoons ice water

For all pie crusts: Whisk together the flour and salt, cut in the shortening until small pea size pieces. Add ice water a spoonful or so at a time, how much water will vary with the weather. Just enough to make the dough stay together.
Roll out on floured board till size needed. Thinner is better. Roll from the center out, not all the way across so your edges do not get to thin.

If using for a baked pie shell, prick all over with a fork. Chill while the oven heats to 450°. Chilling will help it not bubble. If desired you may add pie weights or beans on a piece of foil to crust, but I have found chilling the dough will keep it flat. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired shade of brown. (I usually stick it in my freezer while the oven is heating.)

For unbaked crust, place in pie plate and add filling according to your recipe. 

For a  easy lattice crust:  taking pie crust strips at each end, twist lightly in a spiral and lay across pie all in one direction. Taking more twisted strips lay in the other direction. It will look similar to a woven lattice crust with a lot less work.

5 comments:

  1. Myrna's 2 crust recipe costs 69¢. Refrigerated pie crust was on sale today for $2.69 (it is regularly $2.99) - and it's not nearly as good!

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  2. I just made my first batch of pie crust with lard. It was more difficult to handle for sure. It was good, but I don't know that I would mess with it too often.

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  4. I'm pie crust challenged! My Mom makes the absolute best pie crust ... looks perfect like yours, Myrna. I'll have to try it again. I have all of the fixings for your Mom's pumpkin pie. I think I'll try making one.

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  5. Lori
    Do try the pie crust, you won't be pie crust challenged any more. This is such a easy dough to handle.

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