Monday, October 17, 2011

Homemade Pie Crust

Once you've had a delicious, golden, flakey, homemade pie crust, you'll never get store bought again.  I never had store bought growing up.  My Mom always made our pie's from scratch and she taught me how to do it.  I'll be honest, they take practice.  The first ones I made, tasted nothing like my mom's.  So once I even bought the Pillsbury kind that you bake yourself (don't tell)  And I'm sorry to anyone who likes them, but I thought it was disgusting.  (My personal opinion)  Even my worst pie crusts tasted better than that.  So I kept at it and now I think my pie crusts taste pretty good.  They are thin and flakey and yummy.  But it's taken a good 10 years, so don't get discouraged, just keep trying.   By the time you've made  2 or 3 you'll have learned a lot and will probably be better than the first one. Here is the recipe I use and a few tips I've learned over the years.   I got my recipe from Betty Crocker.

One- Crust Pie, 9 Inches

1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c Lard or 1/3 C plus 1 Tbsp shortening
2 to 3 Tbsp cold water

Two- Crust Pie 9 inches

2 cups  all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 C Lard or 2/3 C plus 2 Tbsp shortening
4 to 5 Tbsp cold water

One crust pie 10 inches
1 1/3 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C plus 3 Tbsp Lard or 1/2 C shortening
3 to 4 Tbsp cold water

Two crust pie, 10 inches
2 2/3 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 C plus 2 Tbsp Lard or 1 C Shortening
7 to 8 Tbsp cold water

First decide what size pie pan you have by measuring across it (not around it).  Then decide if you need one or two crusts.  Does your pie need a top?  Like apple or cherry pies? If yes, you'll need two crusts.  Anytime I make a pie, I almost always make two crusts. Its really not any more work, and then you have two pies instead of one.
I use shortening.  I've never used Lard.  Maybe it's better, I'm not sure.  I use shortening.  I've never been a fan of crusts made with butter either, don't like the flavor as much, maybe because I grew up with the shortening kind.

Mix flour and salt.  Cut in Shortening (or lard) until the particles are the size of peas.  This step is very important. You want large pieces of shortening in there, it's what helps it become flakey. I use a pastry cutter, but you could use a fork or blender.

Sprinkle in the COLD water. ( It has to be COLD!  I get mine out of the refrigerator or you could add ice to tap water.  It needs to be cold though.) Sprinkle it in 1 Tbsp at a time until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl.  I mix the water into the flour/shortening mixture with a sturdy spatula so as to not cut apart the shortening any further. Don't add too much water or the crust will be hard, don't add too little or the crust won't stay together.
Gather pastry into a ball; shape into a flattened round on a floured countertop. (For two crusts divide the dough in half first)

Roll the pastry 2 inches larger than pie pan.  I use a metal pancake turner to help lift the dough off the counter and fold it.   Fold the pastry into fourths and transfer into pie dish. unfold and press the dough firmly against bottom and sides of pie dish.
For a one crust pie, trim the overhanging edge for two crust pie, I wait until I have the filling in it and then I add the second crust on top.
For crusts that are baked first heat, oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and Prick bottom and sides throughly with fork.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes.
For pies that you bake the crust with the pie filling, like pumpkin, and apple, DO NOT prick the bottom and sides.  I did that once.  Obviously, the pie filling ran out through the holes and made a BIG mess!

1 comment:

  1. YUMMY - the crust is always my favorite part. I will have to try your recipe! thanks for sharing.