Saturday, June 16, 2012

Flaky Pie Crust

The secret to any great pie is its pie crust.  There are so many different pie crust recipes out there and I have tried many over the years but this one is my tried and true and I use it for everything.  I keep telling myself I should experiment again with others but this one just ALWAYS makes a perfect crust so... why bother?

Ingredients: (makes top and bottom crust for 1 nine inch pie)

2 1/4 cups flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 lb. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter (I keep it in the freezer before making the crust), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup cold Crisco vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
3 oz. cold water + 2 tsp. squeezed lemon juice


1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse to combine.

2.  Cut up the cold butter and the shortening and add it to the flour mixture.  Be careful not to take too long or over handle.  Keeping the butter cold is essential.

3.  Pulse until course crumbs form, about 30 seconds.  It will look like this:

4. Slowly pour the water and lemon juice through the top of the processor as you pulse until moist crumbs form.  It will look like this:

5.  Pour the mixture out onto a work surface.

6.  Form 2 disks that are 4-5 inches in width.  Again, be careful not to over handle the dough.

7.  Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

8.  When you are ready to roll out the dough, choose a work surface that stays relatively cool.  A marble surface is great, if you have it.  If not, a plastic cutting board should be fine.  Sprinkle the work surface and your rolling pin with flour.

9.  Roll out the dough into a 11 inch round.

10.  Roll the dough halfway onto your rolling pin and drag it over the pie plate, unrolling it to fit into the plate.

11.  Trim the edges so there is a half inch overhang.

12.  Refrigerate the crust while you make the pie filling.  Put the pie filling in the bottom crust, roll out the top crust, and then seal and crimp the edges. Paint the top of the pie with egg white, cut slits to release air, and sprinkle with course sugar if you choose.  You can use any leftover dough to make cutouts (as shown in the picture above).

If you are doing a lattice crust, cut the rolled out top crust dough into 3/4 inch strips.  Lay half in one direction, leaving 3/4 gaps in between pieces.  Lay the remaining strips perpendicular to the others, also leaving a 3/4 inch gap.  Cut the strips to be flush with the bottom crust, brush between bottom crust and strips with lightly beaten egg white, and then crimp to seal.   Here is what it will look like (before sealing and crimping).

Stay tuned for my blueberry peach lattice crust pie recipe!