Easy Peasy Pie Crust

I have a secret.  I have been cooking for quite a few years now.  I have made boeuf bourgignon, I have made full thanksgiving dinners, I have even made pumpkin bread pudding with vanilla creme anglaise and a spicy caramel apple sauce!  I have not, however, made a successful pie crust.  It's just one of those things I struggled to master.  Until now!  This is my husbands grandmothers recipe.  This recipe is simple, and creates a perfect, flakey crust.  I would encourage you to give it a try, and use it as your go to recipe this year for the holidays!
For this recipe you will need shortening, salt, all purpose flour and water.  You will want ice cold water, and cold shortening.  Why the cold water and shortening?  You want things cool because it keeps the shortening from melting and fully mixing with the flour.  When you bake your crust, the fat melts and the liquid steams the pockets made when the fat melted.  This is what makes a heavenly flakey crust.
Here is our shortening measured out and ready to be chilled.  I just stuck mine in the freezer until I was ready for it.  It was nice and cool and as far as I could tell perfect!

You will want to measure your flour and salt in a mixing bowl, and then add your chilled shortening.  Then you will want to take a fork or pastry cutter and incorporate the shortening into the flour.  You will want the shortening to be in pea sized lumps.  I know you may want to just mix it all together, but resist that urge!
I was tempted not to follow this next piece of instruction.  I just kept thinking it couldn't really matter how you added the water.  However, I went ahead and did it anyway.  The directions say to sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of the flour and shortening mixture.  Gently toss, and push to one side of the bowl.  Then sprinkle the next tablespoon over the dry part; toss; push to moistened side.  Repeat until all flour mixture is moistened.  Again, resist the urge to mix it well.  Just a gentle toss and push it to the side.
 Next you will want to gather the dough up and form a ball.  At this point you would divide it if you were making a top and bottom crust.  I was just doing a bottom crust.
You will want to flour your workspace, smush down your dough, sprinkle flour on it and then start to roll it out.  I always flour my rolling pin as well.  Another great piece of wisdom this recipe held was to always roll from the center of the dough to the edge.  Great advice!  It helped me keep this round versus some funky rectangular shape.
Take your pie pan/plate and set it upside down on your dough.  Cut around it.  In retrospect after doing this I had a lot of dough overhanging.  I was just guessing!  On the plus side though it is easier to take dough away than to add it back!
This is hopefully how your dough will look now!  A fairly evenly rolled out round circle of dough.  Ready for the next step?  It may change your life...really.
Set you rolling pin on one edge of your dough, and wrap it around your rolling pin.  Put your pie pan/plate in place, and then unroll the dough over your pie pan/plate!  Ingenious!  How many times have you made a dough only to have it get all broken, cracked, and otherwise disfigured before it even reached it's destination?!  I can't have been the only one!
Almost done!  Just push the dough down, and trim up the edges.
TA-DA!!!  To get the cute edges you push the dough against your finger.  It sounds confusing, but I promise it isn't!  Click here to see how to do this, and fancier crusts.

That's it!!  Some pies will require you to prebake this crust, and others allow you to just add the filling and bake.  Another piece of advice is to use a fork to prick some holes in the bottom before baking either way.  It prevents big air bubbles from forming.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and even more I hope you get in the kitchen and try it out!  Coming soon...pumpkin pie filling to go in this lovely shell!  Stay tuned!

Oh, and here's a printable of the recipe...enjoy!

Growing Home


Proverbial Homemaker said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I can't make a pie crust to save my life. Maybe I should try this though. :)

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