Make it Yourself...Freezer Pie Crust

Instead of sharing a pie recipe today, I wanted to share my go-to pie crust when I don't have time to make our favorite crust recipe from Farm Journal.  I have used this recipe since the early 80’s to simplify pie-making.  When I was working full-time, I still liked to bake, but found I wanted to speed up the process.  We just didn’t like the results or expense of refrigerated crusts, and this recipe has been a life-saver. 
I especially like to make a batch before the holiday rush, so I don’t have any excuses not to make a pie, whether it’s a dessert pie, a quiche or pot pie.  I also use this recipe for individual pie crusts and turnovers; sometimes putting up part of the dough in 3-3 ½ ounce patties.  A scale is very handy for making this recipe. 
There are recipes like this that use a whole can of shortening and a 5 pound bag of flour; I think they are too greasy.  If you make this in the larger size recipe, use a dishpan and your hands.  Try the smaller size recipe to see how good they are.                    
      Pie Crusts for the Freezer
5 Regular or 4 Large Crusts
20 Regular or 16 Large Crusts
     3/4         pound  shortening
  3             pounds  shortening
  1 1/2         pounds  flour, all-purpose
  6             pounds  flour, all-purpose
  1                cup  ice water
  4               cups  ice water
  1 1/2      teaspoons  salt
  2        tablespoons  salt
2014 Cost:  $1.76 - 36¢ per 9 ounce crust
2014 Cost:  $7.03 -36¢ per 9 ounce crust
Mix in a very large bowl or pan. Mix flour, salt and shortening together with large rubber scraper and pastry fork or pastry blender until the size of peas. Add ice water a quarter at a time and toss together with a fork or your hands until blended, do not overmix.  Wrap individually in freezer paper or waxed paper and freeze in a large zip-type freezer bag. (Be sure to mark your packages with the size and date).

Make into 3 oz. patties for use in 5" pie plates or for turnovers.
Make into 9 oz. patties for 9" top crusts or regular 9" bottom crusts
Make into 11 ounce patties for Deep Dish or 10" bottom crusts

When you want to make a pie crust, defrost number of desired crust 'patties' on the counter 30 min or so, or in the fridge overnight. Roll out between 2 sheets of waxed paper or on a lightly floured surface and proceed with your recipe.

These will keep for at least a year in the freezer, although mine never last that long! There is something about freezing this dough that makes it so easy to roll out. I use this for dessert pies as well as quiches and savory pies. It turns out perfectly every time.

6 comments:

  1. Isn't it funny how everybody settles down to one favorite recipe and uses it all their lives...... I have my own favorite crust recipe and it is one that calls for vinegar and egg. I've used it for over 40 years. It certainly is a lot less costly to make crust instead of buying it, and you know what's in it!

    I've amassed a lot of extra Pyrex 9" pie plates over years of going to garage sales, and I like to freeze my crusts already rolled out in the plate. I don't crimp the edges, because I fit the plates inside each other for the freezer and that tends to break fluting. I just leave it plain and then flute it right before baking. If I have a ball of dough left, I wrap it tightly and put it in the center of the top plate, to use to make the top crusts, then wrap the whole thing in foil. But if I don't have the freezer space, I do it your way.

    I'm not very good at candy making but that picture of your chocolate covered cherries makes my mouth water. I always enjoy coming to your blog.

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    1. Like your ideas Ilene...you're right...I don't have as much freezer space any more. I used to freeze whole, unbaked fruit pies, couldn't find the space now.
      I have to say, I don't have that many pie plates either. But, any way you make it, homemade pie crust is sure handy to have on hand.

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  2. Hi Ilene, I like your idea of fitting the pie crusts inside each other for freezing. I seem to amass pie plates also, don't have that many though.
    The chocolate covered cherries are really not hard to make. They will make you look like a pro at candy making, lol.
    Always glad to hear someone enjoys our blog. Have a Great Day.

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  3. Thank you Sue and Ilene. After several years of a pie crust moratorium because I couldn't handle the temptation, I'm trying to resurrect the art. Freezing in the pie pans sounds like it would reduce at least some clean up later. Jean

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  4. Would lard work as well as shortening and have the same quality after thaw?

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  5. I usually make lard pie crust when I need just a single or double one, but I haven't experimented with this large-quantity recipe; I don't usually have that much lard on hand, as it's hard to find non-hydrogenated lard.
    Sue

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