Many home bakers are intimidated when they think of making pie crust from scratch, so they purchase frozen or refrigerated pie crusts. Although frozen and refrigerated crusts can be an acceptable option in a time crunch when taste and texture aren’t important, there is truly no comparison to a baked-from-scratch crust.
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%