Monday, November 22, 2010

The Perfect Pie Crust

Holiday season to me is also known as pie season. Apple pie, pumpkin pie (which I made yesterday and will be posting soon), pecan pie, sweet potato pie, the list goes on and on.  No matter how great your pie filling is, if the crust is not the right texture, then your pie is not really a pie.  

I don't mind store bought pie crust, in fact I've used it for so many foods other than pie, but there's nothing like freshly made crust, or freshly made anything for that matter. I decided to try a pie crust recipe from The Pioneer Woman, it really is a great recipe and I think it turned out wonderful! 

I usually use lots of unsalted  butter in my pie crust recipe, but she uses vegetable shortening.  I think it could do with a pinch more salt, but other than that it's a fabulous recipe and would compliment any pie or quiche filling. 

You can store extra pie shells in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for 2-3 months.  It's a great way to save time if you are making a pie. You can have the crust already made and stored for when you are ready to make your pie. 

The pie dough has to remain in the freezer for 20 minutes to help it harden up a bit.  If the dough is too soft, you will not be able to roll it, it will certainly break into pieces and will just be tough to work with.  While the dough is in the freezer the shortening in the dough will get stiff and allow the dough to be rolled quite easily.  You will be happy you waited the 20 minutes, trust me. 

This pie crust is flaky, thick and does not get soggy like many other crust recipes.  In her recipe she forms 3 dough balls from her mixture, but if you are using a 9.5 deep dish pie plate, one of those dough balls will be too small for your pie dish. The dough ball actually needs to be cut into halves.  I believe she cut hers into thirds because her pie plate was smaller and shallower than a 9.5 standard pie dish

The awesome thing about homemade pie crust is that it can be stored in the freezer for months and you can also use it for other pastries like my cheese rolls  or pineapple tarts.  I wanted to share this excellent pie crust recipe with you  for all of your Thanksgiving pies.  I hope it will make all your pie dreams come true! 

Cover the pie shell with aluminum foil and place 2 cups of any type of dried beans inside.  If you have pie weights you can use that too.  The reason for doing this step is so that when you bake the pie crust, it wont swell and lose it's shape.  The dried beans/pie weights keep the crust down to keep it's form.  After 10 minutes, remove the beans and foil and bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. 

Yield: 2 crusts 

The Perfect Pie Crust 
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)


  • 1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into halves and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
After 20 min has passed,on a floured surface, roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the counter top use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.  To make the design I made with the back of a fork just follow the pictorial instructions above. 

1 comment:

  1. the pastry is not successful outside USA!we don't have this crisco thing and every other shortening doesn't really work!!and of course flour is not the same!i was a bit disappointed!