January 14, 2015

How to Make Pie Crust

Let's talk pie crust. I wonder how many people avoid making pies because of their lack of success with pie crust. For years, I purchased pie crust or made my no-roll pie crust. I didn't think it was worth the fight, but my husband encouraged me to keep trying. I found that once I tried to make a pie crust every few months instead of once a year, we tasted improvements every time. If I can make a good pie crust, so can you.
I finally made good pie crust after watching Derek's grandma (now age 92 and still making pies) make pies. Quite honestly, I don't know if I make pie crust the way Martha Stewart (or even Grandma) does, but I make a good pie crust and am not ashamed to give it to company.

Single Pie Crust

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 chilled Crisco shortening (only Crisco)
3-6 tablespoons ice water

Double Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chilled Crisco shortening 
4-8 tablespoons ice water

1. Mix flour and salt together. 
2. Cut in Crisco using a pastry blender or giant fork. Most of the flour will mix with the Crisco and form pea-size balls. 
pea-sized balls in pie crust dough
3. Mix in the smaller amount of water into the pie dough. (I use my hands or the giant fork/pastry blender.) Crisco.com suggests making a marble-sized ball with the dough. If it holds together firmly, you're done with the water. If not, add more water, one tablespoon at a time until it passes the test. Do not add more water than the recipe calls for. Work quickly to not over-work the dough. Use your hands to work the dough if needed.
4. Form the pie dough into a ball with your hands (or two for a double crust). Flatten the ball slightly. Any pie dough you are not using immediately, place in the refrigerator. (Cover or use plastic wrap if you will be waiting to roll the dough.) For best results, refrigerate all dough for 30 minutes before rolling.
5. Roll the dough. If the flattened disks are slightly different in size, begin with the larger disk for the bottom crust. See below for more details.

How to Roll Pie Dough

Begin with a canvas pastry mat and rolling pin cover. They make rolling pie crust so much easier. Skip the $30 silicone pastry mat. It's worthless. (I know from experience.) The canvas pastry mat is what you want. 

I also want to mention my rolling pin is larger than typical. It was a gift from my husband many years ago. It works okay, but a standard rolling pin is probably more ideal.

The pictures above match the numbers below.
  1. Sprinkle a larger area with flour. dust the pie dough and the rolling pin with flour. Try to work quickly to not over-work the dough.
  2. Let the rolling pin do the work as you gently (don't press) roll out the dough in all directions. If you have a piece of dough that is misshapen, cut a piece from where you have extra dough. Attach it to where you want more dough using water as your "glue." Roll as usual.
  3. Once pie crust is quite thin (maybe about 1/8" thick) and at least two inches larger than your pie pan, it's time to be done rolling.
  4. Wrap the pie crust onto the rolling pin.
  5. Pick the pie crust up, using the rolling pin.
  6. Place the pie crust in the pie pan. Center as best you can. Use a paring knife, trim dough. Leave a 3/4" overhang.
  7. Tuck the overhang under. Flute around the edge if no top crust is added. (Or add filling. Roll the top pie crust.) 
  8. Flute the edge by squeezing the dough between your fingers as pictured above. (If you need more help, watch someone or a video on YouTube.)
  9. Ta-da! Enjoy your pie once it's baked! 
If you need a crowd-pleaser pie that takes just minutes to put together, try the chocolate chip cookie pie. I made ten of these pies in early December to give to the children's teachers. (Because the pie tins were smaller, as you can see above, I was able to make three pie crusts using a double pie crust. I also was able to get three fillings from a double recipe of the chocolate chip cookie pie filling. It was laborious but doable. I hope you're ready to try your own pie crust now. If I can do it, so can you!

You may also want to try our classic apple pie or no-roll pie crust recipes.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I earn a small percentage at no cost to you. Thank you!
~ Annette
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7 comments:

  1. I have noticed Crisco is now made with soybean oil & doesn't work as well as the original Crisco.

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  2. Great instructions. I have my grandmother's recipe as she wrote it down. She says mix it together as fast as you can so you don't have it in your hands much. Funny, right?

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  3. This is the exact recipe that I use, but I will confess that my crusts don't look NEARLY as pretty as yours. I still have some work to do!

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  4. I struggle with pie crusts. I will try this one for sure. I doubt mine will be as pretty though LOL

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  5. I have been wanting to make a homemade pie crust, I pinned to try later, thank you for sharing!

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  6. You can absolutely tell the difference between a homemade pie crust and a store bought one. I'm really snobby about my pie crusts. :) I seldom make pies because I HAVE to make them from scratch (and it is always so worth it). It's just that everything is gobbled up in two seconds flat. SO I have to make them sparingly. :)

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