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Perfect Pie Crust

Perfect Pie Crust

Old 11-12-2017, 05:13 AM
  #1  
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Default Perfect Pie Crust

It's that time of year for making pies, so I thought that I'd post my favorite pie crust recipe. It's very light and flaky. It was passed down to me by my grandmother and I've never found a better recipe. It's supposed to make a double crust, but I think that pie pans were smaller then. I usually double the recipe and then have leftovers for a morning tart, or turnovers.

2 Cups all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup Crisco Vegetable shortening
4-6 Tablespoons ice water

Sift the flour with salt in a large bowl. Measure the shortening using a large measuring cup filled with one cup of water. Add the shortening to the measuring cup until the water reaches the 1 3/4 mark. (Make sure that the shortening is completely submerged in the water.) Remove the shortening from the water and to the bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour using two knives, one in each hand, cutting them against each other like scissors. You can also use a pastry cutter, but whatever you do, DON'T use a food processor for this step. Cut the dough mixture until it is made up of mostly, very, small pieces. A few pea-sized pieces are OK. Add the ice water to the bowl, one tablespoon at a time, while tossing the dough with the knives. Stop adding water when the dough just barely holds its shape. Don't overwork the dough. The dough will still look pretty crumbly. (Not like those stiff slabs of dough you see on the TV cooking shows.) Too much water will make the dough tough, so be careful with this part.

Dump the dough out on to a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it up tightly are refrigerate for at least an hour. When you are ready to roll it out, lay out a piece of parchment paper, or plastic wrap on your rolling surface and dust it with flour. Have another piece of paper, or wrap ready to place on top of the dough. Place half the dough on the paper, dust with a little more flour and put the other piece of paper on top of the dough. (Put the other half of the dough back in the refrigerator to keep chilled.) Roll out the dough to desired thickness, using a light touch. Again, you want to be careful not to overwork the dough. The should be somewhat delicate, fragile and probably be a little difficult to work with, but that's OK. Carefully remove the top piece of paper and flip the dough into a pie pan. Remove the bottom piece of paper from the dough. Fill with whatever filling you're using. Repeat the roll out steps for the top crust. You don't have to brush the top with anything, but my grandmother always brushed hers with a little milk and sprinked it with sugar.

Questions or other tips welcome.

~ C
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:38 AM
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That seems like a great recipe. I'm a pastry cutter girl myself vs the double knives. Chilling the dough, I think, is probably the most important part of the recipe. Thanks for this.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:49 AM
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This is my favorite method, too, though lately I've been replacing part of the shortening with butter. I also use organic shortening.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:10 PM
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My "go to" recipe is quite similar but I use a 1 to 3 ratio of shortening to flour.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:43 PM
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Have you ever heard of using vodka instead of water? It is supposed to make the crust very tender and flaky.
Crisco is hard to beat, but I don't use it anymore; butter for me. More difficult to work with, though. My pie crusts usually end up looking "rustic" lol.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tropit View Post
It's that time of year for making pies, so I thought that I'd post my favorite pie crust recipe. It's very light and flaky. It was passed down to me by my grandmother and I've never found a better recipe. It's supposed to make a double crust, but I think that pie pans were smaller then. I usually double the recipe and then have leftovers for a morning tart, or turnovers.

2 Cups all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup Crisco Vegetable shortening
4-6 Tablespoons ice water

Sift the flour with salt in a large bowl. Measure the shortening using a large measuring cup filled with one cup of water. Add the shortening to the measuring cup until the water reaches the 1 3/4 mark. (Make sure that the shortening is completely submerged in the water.) Remove the shortening from the water and to the bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour using two knives, one in each hand, cutting them against each other like scissors. You can also use a pastry cutter, but whatever you do, DON'T use a food processor for this step. Cut the dough mixture until it is made up of mostly, very, small pieces. A few pea-sized pieces are OK. Add the ice water to the bowl, one tablespoon at a time, while tossing the dough with the knives. Stop adding water when the dough just barely holds its shape. Don't overwork the dough. The dough will still look pretty crumbly. (Not like those stiff slabs of dough you see on the TV cooking shows.) Too much water will make the dough tough, so be careful with this part.

Dump the dough out on to a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it up tightly are refrigerate for at least an hour. When you are ready to roll it out, lay out a piece of parchment paper, or plastic wrap on your rolling surface and dust it with flour. Have another piece of paper, or wrap ready to place on top of the dough. Place half the dough on the paper, dust with a little more flour and put the other piece of paper on top of the dough. (Put the other half of the dough back in the refrigerator to keep chilled.) Roll out the dough to desired thickness, using a light touch. Again, you want to be careful not to overwork the dough. The should be somewhat delicate, fragile and probably be a little difficult to work with, but that's OK. Carefully remove the top piece of paper and flip the dough into a pie pan. Remove the bottom piece of paper from the dough. Fill with whatever filling you're using. Repeat the roll out steps for the top crust. You don't have to brush the top with anything, but my grandmother always brushed hers with a little milk and sprinked it with sugar.

Questions or other tips welcome.

~ C
This is my mom's recipe that I always use, too, but I don't roll the dough out between papers, just on the counter or table. I flip it over once or twice until it's big enough, then roll it up onto the rolling pin to unroll it over the pie pan. If you handle the dough gingerly, and use ice water and refrigerated crisco, you don't even need to chill the dough before rolling it out. It'll still be flaky. My crisco stays in either the refrigerator or freezer all the time.

Last edited by JustAbitCrazy; 11-12-2017 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Garden Gnome View Post
Have you ever heard of using vodka instead of water? It is supposed to make the crust very tender and flaky.
Crisco is hard to beat, but I don't use it anymore; butter for me. More difficult to work with, though. My pie crusts usually end up looking "rustic" lol.
Vodka? Interesting. I wonder what it does, chemically, to the dough.

~ C
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tropit View Post
Vodka? Interesting. I wonder what it does, chemically, to the dough.

~ C
I saw this on american test kitchen, I think I remember them saying it evaporates faster than water making the pie crust flakier.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:17 AM
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Would you believe I photocopied this recipe with pictures in the early 1970"s and it is still in my recipe box? Back from my Home Ec Days in middle school. That is what a winner I thought this recipe and those exact instructions were. Still use it to this day.... Thanks for the memory.....
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Garden Gnome View Post
Have you ever heard of using vodka instead of water? It is supposed to make the crust very tender and flaky.
Crisco is hard to beat, but I don't use it anymore; butter for me. More difficult to work with, though. My pie crusts usually end up looking "rustic" lol.
There is an organic shortening that is very much like Crisco. I have been toying with the idea of using lard, but it sounds so gross.
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