Pie Crust

Are you ready for this? I didn’t go back and count but I think this will break my record for pictures posted. Hopefully, if you have never made pie crust before, your fears will be gone and you will give it a try. Or you could see all these pics and go running with your thumb in your mouth to your local grocery store to buy the Pillsbury Pie Crust. Which I have to admit I have used on occasion, but always have excruciating guilt after using it.
I come from a long line of pie makers. My mom and grandma can make pies in there sleep. My great grandmother was a pastry chef in Harbor Springs for the high society back in the day.
Unfortunately some of the pie making skills have not trickled down to me. I am a horrendous cream pie maker… and my my meringue is not pretty. On occasion I choose to try and tackle a cream pie again…butterscotch cream pie is Kenny’s favorite, but I usually just ask my mom to make him one when she is in town.

I was about to post my recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie…when I realized that possibly some of you may never have made your own pie crust. So I decided to give you a pictorial.

This is the recipe my mom, grandma and great grandma have used for years. With the exception that my great grandma used lard. I have tried many other pie crust recipes and none of them turn out as well for me nor are they as ridiculously simple as this one. You can make from 1 to 4 crust at one time just multiplying the ingredients by the number of crust you are making. For some reason any more than 4 crusts at a time seem to not turn out as well.

EASY PIE CRUST

printable recipe
for one crust
1 cup all purpose flour(+ extra flour for dusting counter top)
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup ice water
1/4 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
The easy way to remember the recipe is that it’s halves….1 cup flour, 1/2 cup shortening, 1/4 cup water…see I can do math. (I aced fractions. Algebra…well you don’t need it for baking now do ya! You better not tell me I do, or you might just get a pie in your eye.)

First you want to put all the dry ingredients in the bowl together and mix together. Then add your shortening and cut it in with a pastry cutter.
Keep cutting the shortening in until the mixture is fine and crumbly. It will take you a few minutes be patient. Sing your self a song or two and then the time will fly.

Now take ice water…literally water that you put an ice cube in and drizzle it over the crumbles.

Take a fork and gently pull it together.

Get your hand in there and form yourself a ball.

Secret to flaky pie crust #1….DO NOT over work your dough. After you add the water you want to fiddle with it as little as possible.
Now wrap it up in plastic wrap…see that box there in the back ground that would be the never ending box of plastic wrap from Costco…I bought it 25 years ago and it is still rolling out plastic wrap for me each and every day. OK maybe not 25 years how about 2. Still that is a dang long time to be using the same box of anything!

Now place it in your refrigerator next to a bottle of beer. Pie crust likes beer. But if you don’t have any beer it will be just fine. You can leave it in the fridge up to a week. You could even freeze these precious disks of dough in your freezer for up to 2 months….just make sure you put them in an airtight Zip-loc bag if you are going to freeze them.

Now after you have refrigerated your dough for at least a 1/2 hour, take it out and put it on a well floured work surface. Make sure the pie plate and rolling pin are out and ready before you get your hands all floury and sticky.

Give your crust a flip so that it is well coated with flour before you starting rolling it out.

Now start rolling, applying even pressure as you roll. You want to roll in one direction and then turn our pin and roll in the next.

Now roll your crust up on the pin and give it a flip on it’s tummy.

This can be tricky. Make sure when you flip it that there counter top has plenty of flour on it, so when you start rolling again, your crust won’t stick, to the counter top.

There he is a successful flip of the crust. I think this was the trickiest part of rolling out the dough.

Secret #2 the quicker you are the better, because the longer you work with the dough the warmer and stickier it will get. Making it hard to transfer to your pie plate.

Lift it up and make sure there is enough flour on the counter. Then lay your crust back down and roll until crust is round and thin. HOW thin? Hmmmm. About the thickness of cardboard. Maybe a little thinner. I have never measured. Note to self: measure pie crust thickness next time I make it.

There it is. Beautiful and smooth and ready to put in the pie plate. You can set your plate on top to make sure your crust will be big enough.

Now the tricky part. Getting the pie crust up off the counter in to the pie plate.

Put your rolling pin on the crust and roll the crust up over the pin so it is draping over it like so.

Now roll it out over the pie plate…like so. Voila!

If you like a thin lip of crust around the edge of your pie trim off all but a 1/2 inch over the edge. But if you are like us crust loving freaks just leave it all hanging there and roll it up into a mountain of crust around the edge of your pie.

There is really no right or wrong way. I give my crust a nice firm press all around the plate, this ensures there are no air pockets and that the crust is fitting perfectly into the plate.

Roll it up and give it a pinch between your thumb and pointer finger…all the way around and then maybe for good measure all the way around this time in the opposite direction…

How did my mothers hand get in this photo?

Here’s another pie crust pinching perspective. There’s her hand again…

Wiggly, wavy….love that.

Oh it really is easy, after you do a couple you will be a pro….

I promise.

If you are making a pie with a bottom crust only that is baked ahead of time. Like for example my Fresh Strawberry Pie. You need to take a fork and poke holes all over in the bottom and along the sides of your crust before you bake it.

If you do not poke the holes before baking your crust you it will shrink up and fall down into the bottom of your pie plate. Don’t ask me why. I just do as my grandmaw did it.

I go the extra measure and take tin foil and make a little covering for the crust…this is a step my mom never did and you could skip…It keeps the crust from getting overly browned.


There he is. A fully baked crust for your Fresh Strawberry Pie. (recipe will post this afternoon) I will refer you back to this recipe in the future as I share more of my pie recipes with you. Remember if you have never made a pie crust from scratch be patient with yourself. It is well worth the extra effort. And if you mess if up, it’s not like you just wasted a bunch of expensive ingredients. Toss it in the garbage and start over or let your kids play with it like play dough while you give it another try.
LuvYa,
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NOTE: The distilled white vinegar is a later addition to this recipe. After I made 1/2 a million pies this past Thanksgiving I tried and tested a few other pie crust recipes and I found if I added just a little bit of vinegar to the ice water it made the dough more workable and flakier. There is always remove for improvement!
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Comments

  1. 1
    Barbara :

    Love this pie crust. I'm never able to move the shortbread dough to the form like you did it. I wonder if you using crisco makes a difference. Why aren't you using butter?

  2. 2
    Friberg Clan :

    Next time I want to bake a cake..will you make me a pie crust? That is way to many steps for this cook!

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