I’ve really been into pie baking lately. I don’t know why, I mean I’ve always loved baking, but usually I bake cakes and cookies. Pie not so much, because for so many years pie crusts were challenging for me. I guess it’s just a matter of practice (and patience), as I’ve gotten older pies have become easier for me.
But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until your sixth decade to learn to make pies! My daughter-in-law makes beautiful pies!
My mom always made her pie crusts using just Crisco shortening for the fat. She followed the recipe on the can and her crusts were beautiful, flaky, and delicious. Unfortunately, using that recipe never worked for me. Oh, it tasted great, I just had a heck of a time with the rolling and transferring to the pan!
Then years ago I had a dear friend who also made delicious pies…and she had a secret…her secret was to measure the fat using a tablespoon instead of a 1/2-cup measure. And with every tablespoon, instead of leveling it off, round it a little. Well, that was a revelation for me! As soon as I started adding that small bit of fat to my pastry recipe, my crusts became easier to handle.
So, here is my recipe for a 9″ to 10″ SINGLE pie crust with the extra fat already added to the recipe, no need to use my friend’s tip. For a double-crust pie, just double the recipe. And if you use the food processor method, it is a snap!
Some Gr8 Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust:
The recipe, as written, makes one crust for a 9" to 10" single crust pie. Double the ingredients for a double-crust pie. You should have dough left over to be able to make a few decorations for the top of the pie if you like.
Also, you can use all butter, as the recipe is written or feel free to make it half butter and half shortening or all shortening. The combo of shortening and butter will yield a bit flakier crust, but sometimes, all butter is better!
Pulse the flour and salt together in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, to combine.
Add the very cold cubes of butter (or butter and shortening, if using) and pulse until mixture is crumbly and mealy, with pieces no bigger than peas.
Continue adding water and pulsing carefully until dough just stays together when pressed in your palms. It will still look crumbly in the bowl. Do not over process or the pastry will be tough rather than flaky.
Remove dough from food processor and press together into a ball. If you made the one-crust recipe, form pastry dough into a 5" disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for an hour. If you doubled the recipe, divide dough into two 5" disks, wrap in plastic and chill for an hour, or up to 2 days.
Pierce bottom and sides with a fork, lay a piece of parchment paper in the crust and add beans or pie weights. Bake at 425º F for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Sprinkle a smooth surface with flour and flour your rolling pin. Roll out the circle of dough to about 1/8" thick. It should be about 2 inches larger around than your pie plate.
Fold it in half, then fold in half again so you have a triangle. Lift it carefully and place it in the pie plate so the point of the triangle is at the center of the pie pan.
Unfold the crust.
Using a kitchen shear trim the edges so the overhang is about an inch. Then fold that under and pinch the crust so you have a decorative edge.
Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.
Then lay a sheet of parchment paper in the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the pie weights and parchment and bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
The crust is now ready to fill with some deliciousness!!
Pie Crust is the ultimate Do-Ahead. You can refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days OR you can freeze the dough for up to 3 months.
If you are the pie person in your family or group of Gr8 Friends at the holidays, make your life easier and prepare your dough ahead of time. One of those nights when you find yourself with nothing else to do (that happens???), whip up a couple batches of pie crust pastry! Just form the dough into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, place in resealable plastic freezer bags and freeze.
A day before you will be baking, move the dough from the freezer to the refrigerator. When you are ready to roll out, leave the dough out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour until it becomes pliable enough to work.
Even if the dough has just been refrigerated, it may be too cold to roll. Just let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
This week was one of my favorites here at Great 8 Friends! We started with a delicious appetizer. Stuffed Mushrooms are always a crowd favorite, add prosciutto and Parmesan and you have an elegant and delicious palate pleasing pouf of goodness!
Kyle reprised her Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi recipe. This is a Gr8 easy, elegant dinner. Perfect for a quick family dinner or wonderful for company. (I make a double batch of the nut crust and freeze it to have for a second dinner.)
And one of my favorite breads has always been focaccia (but really, I think ALL breads are my favorites!) I mean, what’s not to like?!?! This is my tried and true Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia recipe.Be a Gr8 Friend!