Foolproof Pie Crust

Pie Crust

This recipe is one my mother in law gave me.  My mother in law is a very imaginative cook, willing to try almost anything.  Some of her recipes are amazing, others not so much.  I have found this an excellent recipe.  I’ve made it many times.

For 4 single-crusts

4 cups Flour

1-3/4 cups shortening

1-tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1-tablespoon vinegar

1 egg

½-cup ice water

 Preheat oven to 450 deg F.

Shift flour, sugar, and salt together.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender until pieces are the size of small peas.  In a separate bowl, beat together vinegar, eggs, and ice.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of liquid over part of flour mixture; gently toss with a fork; push to side of bowl.  Repeat until all is moistened.  Divide mixture into 4 or 8 parts based on which recipe you used.  Handling as little as possible, form each portion into a ball.  NOTE: DO NOT KNEAD DOUGH!  (I use my Bosch mixer to make it.  It only takes a minute or so to mix.)  Chill portions to be used immediately in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before proceeding.

For each crust:

(I use a special zippered pie measure pouch specially made to create 9” piecrusts.)  Layer two sheets of saran wrap on work surface and lightly flour.  Flatten dough ball on top by pressing with edged of hand 3 times across in both directions and lightly flour.  Cover with two more sheets of saran wrap.  Roll from center to edge until 1/8 inch thick.

To bake single crust pie shells:

Fit pastry into pie plate; trim ½ to 1 inch beyond edge; fold under and flute of pastry as desired.  Prick bottom and sides well with a fork.  Bake at 450 deg F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

For double crust pies:

Trim lower crust even with rim of pie plate.  Cut slits in top crust.  Lift pastry by rolling it over a rolling pin; then unroll loosely over well-filled pie.  Trim ½-inch beyond edge.  Tuck top crust under edge of lower crust.  Flute edge of pastry as desired.

If edge of crust browns too quickly; fold strip of foil around rim of crust, covering fluted edge.

This recipe can also be made ahead of time.  Just put the crust balls in individual freezer bags and freeze.  When you need a crust, pull out a bag and microwave the crust for one minute then you can start rolling it.

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Augustina Van Hoven

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