Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Perfect Pie Crust

I am not against using pre-made crusts. (I learned my lesson with the Oreo pie crust, and I’ve used graham cracker pie crusts many times in the many pies we've made.) But some pies cry out for a homemade crust, and this is an easy recipe we’ve used successfully for more than 4 years. Since March has 5 Fridays and I only have 4 pie recipes to share for the month, it is now finally time to reveal our classic and simple pie crust recipe, shared with us by Aunt Betty.

It calls for 4 ingredients: flour, water, shortening, and salt.

Stir it all together with a fork, adding the water last. (Adjust number of tablespoons of water according to dryness or wetness of dough.)

Separate into 2 balls – one for top crust, and one for bottom crust – on a floured surface.

Roll out with rolling pin. It helps me to roll horizontally 2-3 times, then roll vertically 2-3 times. 

Just keep going each direction the same number of times until the dough is flattened to the correct size. Reflouring the rolling pin (and dough) may be necessary.

Be prepared to get flour on yourself (though maybe not this much unless you are having a “flour fight” with sisters).

The easiest way to pick up the rolled-out crust is to fold it in half, then unfold it once it’s in place either at the bottom or top of the pie pan.

After placing the bottom crust in the pan, fill the pie with whatever delicacy you’ve most recently cooked up. Oh, the possibilities!

Roll out the other pie crust and place on top of the pie. Trim the edges so they are barely going over the edges of the pie plate. Then do what the recipes call “seal” the crust – use your thumb to push up while using two fingers on either side to press down. Repeating this all the way around the pie creates a nice edge.

Last comes the “venting” step. We want that pie to be able to breathe and not burst! Just use a knife to cut some slits in the top of the pie crust. We usually do a four- or eight-point star.

This is 4 years’ worth of pictures compiled from various pie projects – this recipe has never failed us! (works great for pot pie too)

Aunt Betty’s Pie Crust (for top and bottom crust in 9-inch pan)

2¼ cup flour 
1 tsp. salt
¾ cup shortening
6-8 tbsp. cold water

  1. Stir ingredients together with a fork, adding water as necessary.
  2. Divide into 2 balls of dough. Roll out.
  3. Place in pie pan along with pie filling.
  4. Seal and vent top crust.
  5. Bake according to instructions on pie recipe(s).

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