Perfect Pie Crust

I learned how to make pie crust from my grandmother Farish. She made the best pie I've ever tasted. Ever. I like to use a silicone mat to roll out my dough, but any hard surface will do.  Don't panic if your crust doesn't look perfect. Mine never does -- I don't mind if it looks a bit rustic. I care more about taste than presentation.  This recipe makes enough for a 2 crust,  10 inch pie. 

Note. Shortening makes the most flaky pie crust. I’ve tried using all butter and the result is more like a puff pastry dough. The flavor is good but if it over browns at all it is very tough.  

3 cups flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups very cups cold shortening
1/2 to 3/4 cups very cold water (you may need more or less depending on the weather)

In. A large mixing bowl, add the the flour, sugar and salt and whisk to combine. 
Using a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the four to create pea sized pieces. 

 Using two tablespoons at a time, sprinkle surface of flour mixture thoroughly with water. Toss the flour with a fork to incorporate the water. 

The trick to knowing if you have added enough water to the flour is to gently squeeze sections of the dough. If it stays together and you don’t see alot of dry crumbs. If you have a section of doughy that is moist, set it to the side of the bowl and focus on the dry crumbs. Using a tablespoon at a time sprinkle water on the dry areas just enough to moisten. You do not want wet sticky dough. Patience is key!

Gather the dough into a loose mound. Cut the dough in half. Gently shape each piece into a disc and wrap with plastic. Place the discs of dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour before rolling out.   I usually leave mine in the refrigerator over night. 

Prepare your work surface by dusting it generously with flour. Do the same to your rolling pin. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out working from center outward. to about 1/8” thickness.  Don’t use a rolling back and forth motion or your dough will be tough and uneven. 

Fold the rolled out crust in half, lift into pan. Open the dough and shape to the pan so that it is secure against the bottom of the pan. You want excess dough to hang over the edge of the pie pan . Add pie filling and then roll out the second disc of dough for the top crust. Place it on the top of the pie and using scissors, cut off excess dough around the edge and crimp edges with fingers. If there is excess dough, roll out and cut decorative shapes with small cookie cutters to decorate top crust. 

 Bake according to pie directions.

 If you are baking shell only, pierce the dough all over with a fork.  Scrunch up a piece of parchment paper and use it to  line the inside of the crust. Weight the paper down with sugar or pie weights, making sure they fill the pie level with the edge of the crust. with parchment paper and weigh it down with dried beans filling the tin with beans so they are level with the edge of the pie tin . Bake at 450 on the lowest rack the oven for 15 minutes. Or until  a light golden color. If you are worried about the edges burning, cover the edge with foil. 

If you don’t plan to make pie immediately, you can keep these discs in the freezer until ready to use. Let the dough thaw for about 20 minutes before rolling out.

Popular Posts