Perfect Pie Crust EVERY Time
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The endless search for a good pie crust recipe
I love to bake. I make cakes, muffins, no yeast breads and PIES! I've always taken pride in my pies but always felt a little guilty passing off my "homemade" pies knowing I bought the crust.
I had tried and tried over several years to find various pie crust recipes and they were always disasters. I wasted time and resources and in my frustration always threw out my homemade attempts. Failing time and again I revert to the old faithful frozen crust.
That is - until my aunt shared her pie crust recipe with me!
I am so thrilled with the results that I am compelled to share it with you.
I do not have a mixer or food processor so I use good old-fashioned elbow grease (my hands & a little effort).
Enjoy! And let me know how your pie creations came out. :)
- 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour, (unbleached is okay too)
- 1 tsp. Iodized Salt, (table salt)
- 2 TBSP Sugar
- 12 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks) Butter, salted or unsalted
- 1/2 Cup Shortening, (Crisco is recommended)
- 1/4 Cup Vodka
- 1/4 Cup Water
- Extra Flour, for your rolling surface
What you need
What kind of pie are you making?
This recipe makes one covered pie (example: apple or blueberry) or two open pies (example: pumpkin or sweet potato)
How many pie tins do you need?
- 1 or 2 pie tins
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 small bowl
- Slotted spoon
- Rolling Pin
- Saran wrap or plastic bags (sandwich or freezer bags are fine)
- Sharp knife (if you're doing a lattice top)
For Best Results
Do the following:
- Combine water & vodka and put in the refrigerator or freezer
- Make sure your Shortening is well chilled
How am I doing?
You're at step 7 mixing the dough
It is going to appear dry and you're going to start doubting this recipe. Don't!
Keep working it!
Knead, mix, crush, squeeze, break up the butter, keep kneading.
The dry mix will eventually start looking like dough crumble.
All the butter will be well combined into the mix.
It will eventually look like dough.
Instructions - Part 1
Did you read For Best Results?
- If you haven't done it already, combine the water & vodka into the small bowl and put in the fridge or freezer.
- Put the Crisco in the fridge (do not freeze!)
- Cut cold butter into small slices put aside
- Once that's done combine the flour, salt & sugar in the large bowl.
- With slotted spoon mix the dry ingredients until well combined.
- Add butter slices and cold Criso (shortening) to your dry mix
- Combine the ingredients using your hands.
Holiday Baking Galore!
How am I doing?
At around step 10 you are probably thinking that you don't need any more water & vodka mix.
Don't give up!
It's going to seem really wet but the more you knead the more it combines and reacts to the other ingredients.
Follow the directions. You are doing great!
Instructions - Part II
8. Take your water & vodka mix and pour about 1/3 into your dough batter
9. Knead until well combined.
10. Add another 1/3
11. Knead until well combined.
12. Add the last of the water & vodka mix
13. Keep kneading.
The video is a great guide but I have and never will cut my lattice pieces using a ruler. Just saying.
I think the inconsistencies give your pie a truly home made look.
If you need to make more pies then simply double up the recipe.
If you are making mini pies then divide the dough into 4 or more balls.
I don't understand WHY pie crust recipes say to roll it to about a 1/4 inch thickness. I refuse to take a ruler to it so here's my general rule:
Roll it out. As you lift the dough to flip it does your hand break through or does it break easily? Then it's too thin. Do over.
If you're flipping it and you can handle it like pizza dough then roll it out some more.
It takes practice so don't give up! If you find you've been messing with the same dough ball for a while, roll it back into a ball and put it in the fridge again.
Instructions - Part III
Once you are satisfied that your dough is well-kneaded divide it into two even balls and wrap in saran wrap or plastic bag.
Flatten the ball into fat disks and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Once cooled the dough is ready to be worked with.
On floured surface knead it slightly to get flexibility back. Sprinkle flour on surface and on dough if it feels tacky and flatten if with your palm - flipping it occasionally.
With rolling pin roll the dough, again, flipping it occasionally until you get the right thickness.
Did you know?
- The wrapped dough is best kept overnight before being handled but most of us don't plan that far ahead.
- The wrapped dough will last in the refrigerator for up to three days before it starts to get compromised.
- If you want to freeze the dough I highly recommend rolling and shaping it out in disposable pie tins, wrap then freeze. You will notice the dough is darker when you thaw it for use.
How to make a lattice top for your pie
You really don't need all the fancy bells and whistles to make a lovely presentation for your pies. Take your time. Enjoy the process and remember that the best ingredient isn't on the list because the BEST ingredient is
-- and that's the most important of all.