Pie Crust Recipes are a dime a dozen, but I have never found one that is as no-fail as my grandmothers. This no-fail homemade pie recipe will produce a tender, flaky crust, and is easy to work with. Although it requires more prep, I feel that this homemade pie crust is easier to work with than frozen because the frozen variety is dried out.
The success of a homemade pie crust lies not only in the recipe and correct ingredients, but also in your touch and feel. In order for a pie crust to work, it has to have the right level of moisture in it, otherwise handling it will be difficult. The consistency should be like Play-Doh. If it feels dry, add more water. If it feels too wet, add more flour. It’s that simple, folks.
My mother has made this recipe my entire life, and she got it from her mother. Who knows where it came from before that. That said, you’ll notice the measurements of the ingredients are a bit less precise than modern-day recipes. That doesn’t matter though because it’s delicious and easy.
Let’s talk about the tools you’ll need for the perfect pie crust.
Get a Deep Dish Pie Plate
There are two types of pie plates; regular and deep dish. I rarely use my regular because let’s be honest, the thicker the pie the better.
Make Sure You Have a Pie Cutter
A pie what? A pie cutter. It’s like 5 rounded blunt knives attached with a single handle. It blends or “cuts” the ingredients together to form the coarse crumbs of the dough noted below in the instructions.
Foil or Pie Crust Protectors
When it’s time to bake the pie, you’ll want to protect your crust edge using foil or pie crust protectors. The crust edge be the most exposed part since the rest will be under the filling. Having a burnt crust will basically ruin your day. Let’s avoid that. 😉
A Decent Rolling Pin
Any rolling pin will do, really. But once I got a weighted rolling pin, I noticed better thickness consistency in my rolled out dough. Heck, I used to use an empty wine bottle in college. So, any rolling pin will do, I just prefer a heavy one now, just sayin’.
Ok, lets get down to it. Get ready for people to rave over your pies.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
Prep time 20 min
Yields 1 Pie Crust
*Refer to notes below if making a bottom and top crust
2 heaping cups of flour (+ 1/4 cup more for dusting)
1 scant cup of vegetable shortening such as Crisco (Use fresh, otherwise you’ll taste it.)
1 tsp salt
6-7 TB icy water
Deep Dish Pie Crust: If you are making the bottom crust ONLY for a deep dish pie, this recipe is enough. If you are making a top for your pie, such as lattice or a solid top crust, I usually double the ingredients.
Regular Pie Crust: If you are making pie in a regular pie plate, you will have leftover dough. If you need a top crust for your pie, I usually do 1 1/2x the recipe.
In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add shortening. Using pie cutter, “cut” in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 6 TB of ice water. Now is the time to get your clean hands messy. In the bowl, gather the dough together and gently knead until you form a dough ball. If the dough still feels dry, add 1 more TB. If the dough feels too wet, add flour until consistency of Play-Doh is met. DO NOT over knead.
Rolling Out the Dough
Remove dough from bowl and place onto floured surface. Roll out with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of 1/4″.
Once the dough is rolled out, use a large spatula to loosen it from the floured surface. (I have a huge grilling spatula that I use to loosen it all the way to the center so it slips right off.) Now it’s time to transfer the rolled out dough to the pie pie plate.
Transferring the Dough to the Pie Plate
Instead of fussing with picking up the whole sheet of dough and risking a tear, you can roll it over your rolling pin and transfer it easily. Here’s how: Place your rolling pin over the rolled out dough.Gently grab a corner of the dough and bring it over the rolling pin. Roll the pin with the dough, essentially forming a tube with the dough around the pin. This will enable you to pick up the dough sheet along with the rolling pin and unroll it into the pie plate without tearing.
Shaping the Dough into a Crust
Once you have transferred the dough onto the pie plate, you’ll want to evenly shift and cut any excess dough off until you have an even amount of surplus dough hanging off the edges. You can patch the spots where more dough is needed from any extra dough you have removed.
Roll over the excess dough and form a rough crust edge. Using your thumb and index finger on one hand, pinch the dough and press your index finger from the other hand into the center of the pinched dough to create a scallop. Repeat until you’ve reached the diameter of the pie. You can also use the tines of a fork to make a more rustic crust edge.
Baking the Crust:
If you are partially baking the crust now and adding the filling later, you’ll want to read on.
Line your crust with double thickness of foil from the inside out. Add DRIED beans (such as navy beans) to the bottom of the crust. Yes, I know this sounds strange, but the weight of the dried beans will prevent your crust from bubbling up and getting puffy on the bottom. Don’t worry, the beans won’t add flavor, just toss them when you’re done. You could also buy pie weights if you want to avoid the whole bean thing in the future.
Make sure you use foil or pie crust protectors to shield your pretty crust from getting burned. These can be removed the last 10 minutes of the baking time to brown the crust.
Bake the crust at 400 degrees for the first 15 minutes, and lower to 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
If you are adding filling now, this is the time to do that.
Make sure you use foil or pie crust protectors to shield your crust from getting burned. These can be removed the last 10 minutes of the baking time to brown the crust.
Follow your pie recipe instructions for temperature and bake time.
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