Thanks goodness for this Easy Pie Crust recipe! I have tried so many different pie crust recipes in my life!
I used to have a love/hate relationship with pie crust. My Mom and my sister both make incredible pie crust, always have. And mine.....
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the first time I tried I was about 13 years old and it was only because my brothers were so thrilled at the prospect of pie that they didn't tease me to death about my pie crust SO tough you could hardly cut it - really. And it didn't get much better over time, although I kept trying. I tried recipes with vinegar which is supposed to make the crust easier to work with, recipes with eggs, you name it.
But the recipe I really like is this simple one below. It is nice and flaky and doesn't compete with the filling for flavour. I finally learned 2 things that made all the difference in my crust making.
I used a pastry cutter that I had received as a wedding shower gift for years. It was one of the wire ones with a wooden handle. The wires were round and not the sharp, cutting ones you see most often now. Also - the screw on the handle was loose so every time I cut into the shortening it would twist a bit. I didn't think much of it at the time until one day my niece was selling Pampered Chef and I decided to replace that pesky old pastry cutter with a sturdier one with cutting blades.
I couldn't believe the difference! All those years it seemed it was the loose pastry cutter that was sort of creaming my dough even though it looked like it was cutting it into the pea size shortening pieces you look for. It seems it was over-working the dough every time.
The other thing I learned was I was adding too much flour in the rolling out process which also made the dough dry and tough. I finally hit on the technique of holding back ¼ cup of the flour called for in the recipe to use in the rolling out process. By the time I have liberally dusted the counter and my rolling pin and sprinkle more along the way to keep the dough from sticking, I have incorporated all the called-for flour and I have a nice piece of pastry that doesn't stick to my granite counter top.
I also use an off set spatula to pass under the pastry to make sure there are no sticky spots and to help me fold the pastry in half in order to lift into the pie plate.
So- you're welcome! All those little tricks only took me about 15 years to figure out! Happy pie-making!
- 2 cups all purpose flour divided 1 ¾ + ¼ cups
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup All Vegetable shortening chilled
- 4-8 tablespoon ice water
- Reserve ¼ cup of flour and mix the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Cut the shortening into 1" cubes and cut in with a pastry cutter until the shortening is pea size and evenly distributed. Use quick, light strokes.
- Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and stir with a fork as you add. After 4 Tbsps or so you will see the dough will start to hold together in a ball.
- When you can pat the dough into a disc, divide the dough into 2 discs with one slightly larger than the other. Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. (Can hold in fridge up to 3 days).
- When ready to roll out, dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Use the larger disc for the bottom crust. Start from the center and roll out into a circle. Turn disc over and rotate frequently to keep it sticking to the counter.
- When the dough is about 12" round pass an offset spatula under the dough to make sure there are no spots stuck to your work surface. Use the spatula to help fold the dough in half.
- Bring your pie plate close to the dough fold. Use the spatula to help lift the widest folded edge of the dough and quickly move it over the pie plate. The fold should be positioned in the middle of the pie plate. Unfold the top of the dough and gently let it settle into the depth of the pie plate.
- Continue to roll out the second disc to be used for the top crust. Once filling is in the pie plate, loosen and fold the dough and position over the filled pie as per above. Crimp the edge and make a few slits around the center of the pie. Bake according to the filling directions.