Pie Crusts

Everybody has their favorite pie crust recipe.  I'm no exception.  My mom likes the egg/vinegar recipe, my MIL likes the lard/butter/shortening version, and one of my sisters (identity concealed to protect the lazy, um, I mean busy) likes the Pillsbury version.

The one I use the most is a butter/shortening recipe.

Pie Crusts


2 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 c shortening

1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small pieces

1/3 c plus 1-3 Tbls ice water, maybe more, maybe less


1.  Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar.

2.  Cut in the butter and shortening, making sure to bring up the flour from the bottom of the bowl.  Most of the mixture should look like cornmeal, but you should still have some pea size pieces of butter/shortening.  Work quickly to keep the butter from melting.

3.  Sprinkle on most of the water and then cut it using the side of a mixing spoon.  Whatever you do, don't stir the mixture.  We don't want to melt our fats (ugly word, but that's what they are).  You want the mixture to come together when you press against it with the back of your spoon.  If you need more water, sprinke it on now. I live in higher altitude area so I need more water, I usually use 1/3 c plus 3 T of water.  If you live in a more humid area, you might only need the 1 T.

4.  Separate the dough into 2 balls, flatten slightly into disks, wrap each disk indivdually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 min.  This allows the fats to harden and the gluten to rest.  Sometimes, if I'm in a huge hurry, I'll skip this step.  It's much better to let it rest, though.

5.  Roll your dough out, using as few strokes as possible.  Make sure you work in opposites:  Roll up, then roll down.  Roll to the left, then to the right, etc.  This will help keep the dough circular. 

6.  Roll the dough onto your rolling pin and then unroll onto your pie pan.  Pat it in the pan firmly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 min.  I never skip this step, even if skipped the first refrigeration.

7.  Repeat with the 2nd disk.  If this is your top crust, keep the dough wrapped around the rolling pin, wrap and refrigerate.


*** I like this crust for fruit pies, but if I'm making a really rich pie, like the French Silk pie, I will use 1 c of shortening and not use any butter at all.