Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
If you understand what you’re trying to achieve; it doesn’t matter which method you choose to achieve it. Choose whatever method works for you. You can make pie crust: in a mixer, food processor, by hand, use a wired pastry cutter, etc…
Please take a second and scroll down this page to the information after my recipe; “The Size Of Your Fat (Butter & Shortening) Pieces Determine The Amount Of Flakiness Of Your Baked Crust.” Those examples will help you understand how you create a flaky crust.
Roughly cut up your cold butter.
Measure your flour and sugar.
Add your cold butter into your flour/sugar mixture.
Your goal at the very end of mixing your dough is to retain pea sized pieces of butter and shortening throughout it. Those pieces of butter and shortening will melt out in the oven and create the crisp empty pockets of air that are the hallmark of a flaky crust.
Every time you add a new ingredient and mix your dough, you’ll be breaking down your butter into smaller pieces. Bigger pieces of butter are better than smaller pieces, and really cold butter, and shortening are an essential factor! If you use room temperature butter and shortening, it will blend right into the flour preventing you from achieving a flaky crust.
Mix the butter into the flour mixture using restraint! When you do this, you probably won’t see the butter; it sinks in the flour. Feel with your fingers into the flour to judge the size of your butter pieces (break up any huge pieces by hand). I’ve lifted up the butter in my photograph above; so you can see that you’ll have butter pieces in all different sizes.
(Above photo) Next, add your cold butter flavored Crisco (It’s hard to believe this is good, trust me it is in this application). The artificial fat even looks a lot like butter, but it acts like shortening, according to this article Crisco butter flavored shortening has no trans fat.
Crisco is very soft; you can easily over-mix it into your flour. If you blend it using a mixer or food processor it only takes a second to mix it in. If you can’t see how well blended it is through the flour; put your hand in the dough and feel it.
In a clear liquid measuring cup add your egg, salt and apple cider vinegar.
Add enough ice cold water so you have a total of 1 cup in your measuring cup.
With a fork or whisk, blend your liquids well.
Pour all your liquid into the fat/flour mixture at once. Stir together using a mixer or use a spatula. If you’ve been using a food processor, don’t use it to incorporate your liquids. It works too well, and it will over blend your ingredients no matter how careful you are (I know this from experience, one quick pulse is too much).
Blend the liquid into your butter/flour mixture just until it comes together into a dough. You can see in the photograph above that the dough is just starting to form and pull away from the side of the bowl.
It will look like a shaggy dough, and you should still see pieces of butter. The dough will feel soft to the touch, and it mushes into a ball easily. It’s not wet, but it’s not dry either.
This recipe makes a generous amount of dough (there is enough dough to make 2 double crust pies). For 9″ pies, portion into 12.5 oz. disks, wrap each individually. Chill the dough long enough that the pieces of butter and shortening are hard. If the fat is soft, it will incorporate into the dough, and you’ll lose the flakiness. The hard lumps of fat will become flat when you roll your dough, creating a perfect flake.
Always shape your dough into the form you want your finished dough to be. If you’re making a rectangular pie, pat your dough into a rectangle shape. It doesn’t make sense to shape your dough into a circle if you’re making a rectangular pie (use your logic).
Roll out your dough on a lightly floured cool surface. It doesn’t matter which type of rolling pin you use. Choose whatever works for you; be it a ball-bearing rolling pin, a tapered rolling pin or a wine bottle. They all work! Use enough flour on your table so there’s a layer of it between your dough and the counter surface. If you don’t use enough flour, the dough sticks to the counter and your rolling pin.
I use light pressure and short strokes as I roll out my dough. I’m constantly lifting and turning my dough (even flipping it over) to make certain it isn’t sticking to my surfaces.
Last, I always spray my pan (foil, tin or glass) with a non-stick spray (that does not contain any water) before lining it with dough. It helps crisp up the bottom crust making it easier to serve slices, prevents sticking; plus it makes cleaning your pie pan easier when you done. Bon-Appetit!
- 8 oz . very cold butter
- 8 oz . very cold Crisco butter-flavored shortening
- 25.3 oz . all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1.2 tsp . salt
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 oz . apple cider vinegar
- in Ice cold water to equal 1 cup the amount is my instructions
- Combine flour and sugar.
- Cut cold butter into chunks.
- Add the butter and shortening into the flour/sugar mixture.
- Cut-in with restraint. Leaving pieces of butter as large as peas.
- In a liquid measuring cup, mix; vinegar, egg, and salt.
- Add enough cold water to your egg mixture so the total volume equals 1 cup.
- Stir egg mixture vigorously to blend well.
- Pour liquids into flour/fat mixture.
- Combine gently so the butter remains in peas sized pieces.
- Flatten dough into a disk.
- Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate.
- Raw crusts can be frozen.
Costed Out Recipe
The Size Of Your Fat (Butter & Shortening) Pieces Determine The Amount Of Flakiness Of Your Baked Crust.
This pie dough has huge visible pieces of fat in it. It is how you achieve the flakiness of the crust in the next photo below.
The crust on this pie is achieved by leaving really large pieces of fat (butter and or shortening) in your dough. The fat melts out when baked, and leaves these lovely pockets that are the hallmark for a very flaky crust.
This slab of pie dough has less visible chunks of fat in it. As a result you get a smaller air pocket when the fat bakes out, in the oven.
This dough still has a nice flake, but the pockets aren’t as huge as the first photo I showed you.
This pie dough has the least visible pieces of fat in it.
It’s no longer flaky, but it’s still delicious and very fork tender.
Now that you have a great crust recipe here are some great fillings:
Some wonderful recipes from this book that I’ve personally made and LOVED:
- The Egg Lady’s Oatmeal Pie (best oatmeal pie ever!)
- Aunt Helen’s Pineapple Pie
- Patty Walker’s Easy Nut and Chips Pie (I cut back on the chips & nuts a little)
Some wonderful recipes from this book that I’ve personally made and LOVED:
- Raspberry-Plum Crumb Tart
- Egg Custard Tart with Nutmeg
I use my pie crust and their recipe:
- French Apple Custard Tart
- Cranberry Crumb Pie
- Banana Cream Pie
- Raspberry-Topped Lemon Pie
- Creamy Lemon Pie
- Double-Cherry Pie
- Triple Vanilla Bean-Scented All-Peach Pie
- All Strawberry Pie
- Marionberry Pie with Hazelnut Crumb Topping
- Jumble Berry Pie
- Dahlia Bakery Butterscotch Pies
- Snickers Cream Pie
Here are some pie-focused websites you might enjoy:
Ken Haedrich: The Pie Academy on Facebook, his website, is www.ThePieAcademy.com (I subscribed to his website (for free) and everyday (6 so far) I’ve received a link to a new video/tutorial from him.)
American Pie Council contains prize-winning pie recipes from its’ national pie championship contest.
Emily Hilliad’s website: Nothing In The House