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.
The Best Pie Crust
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening I prefer Crisco
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- Measure out water with a few ice cubes add white vinegar set aside.
- Add flour, salt, and sugar to a bowl. Toss to mix. Add cold butter and shortening using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the fats into the flour until it resembles oatmeal. It's ok to have to larger chunks of butter. Using a fork to bring the dough together, start to drizzle water in a little bit at a time. You can even do a tablespoon at a time, until crust comes together. Get your hands in there and bring the dough together, but do not work with it too much (you don't want it to get warm, it should continue to stay cold, if fats start to melt pop dough in the freezer for a few minutes) place dough on plastic wrap. Wrap tight and form into a flat disc. Place in freezer or refrigerator until ready to roll out and use.
blind baking pie crust
- After rolling out crust and forming it in the pie plate, prick bottom and sides with a fork making hundreds of little holes. Then place foil over crust and fill with pie weights. and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing foil and weights. If you don'f weights the foil alone will do. You can also use dried beans if you have a bag of them, pour them on top of the foil. (I have a bag of dried beans that I use over and over just for this purpose.)
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.