Even though a food processor makes quick work of the dough, it isn’t absolutely necessary; an inexpensive pastry blender can be used with excellent results. A good, heavy rolling pin is essential; wooden ones come in all sizes, and there are now high-quality silicone rolling pins that prevent sticking without a rolling pin cover. Most department and specialty cooking stores carry pastry cloths and rolling pin covers; they eliminate sticking and minimize the amount of extra flour necessary during rolling which results in a lighter, flakier crust.
The following suggestions will insure that your pie crust is perfect:
- Make sure the butter is well-chilled
- Never ever, under any circumstances, substitute margarine for butter – the crust won’t be flaky and the taste will be awful.
- Use ice water as opposed to cold water from the tap
- Put the crust in the freezer for a few minutes; cold dough bakes flakier and lighter
- Handle the mixed dough as little as possible
- Use a pastry cloth and rolling pin cover.
- Once the circle of dough has been rolled out and transferred to the pie plate, let it sit for a few minutes before fluting to relax the dough; this will eliminate shrinking during baking
Makes 1 double crust pie and 1 shell, or 3 baked shells
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup shortening
4-6 tablespoons ice water
- Mix the flour and salt in the food processor.
- Cut the butter in chunks and add them to the flour mixture along with the shortening. Pulse the processor on and off until the mixture looks like cornmeal.
- Add the water and process just until it forms a ball.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half to a 10" circle on a floured board. Loosely wrap the dough around the rolling pin to transfer it to a 9” pie pan.
For a double crust pie:
- Mix the filling ingredients of choice and fill the shell.
- Brush the edge with ice water.
- Place a second crust on top, pressing on the edges to seal. Trim the top crust so that it is about 1/2" larger than the pie pan, then tuck the edge under the bottom crust. This will insure that there is no leakage of filling.
- Flute around the edge by pressing the edge from the inside out with two fingers and inserting the finger of the other hand inside the two fingers - forming a triangle.
- With a knife, cut a few slits decoratively in the center of the pie or use small canapé cutters to make decorative shapes.
- Bake according to the directions on the filling recipe.
For a baked pie shell:
- Trim any excess dough on the edge of the pie, brush with water, and place strips of leftover dough around the edge.
- Flute around the edge.
- With a fork, prick around the sides and on the bottom of the crust.
- Place the pie shell in the freezer for 15 minutes while the oven heats to 425°.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Cool thoroughly before filling.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 111
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 62% Protein 5% Carb. 33%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 23 mg
Sodium 234 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%