I once asked a bunch of people which they liked better, cake or pie? I started a debate that lasted for hours. Both are sweet, both can be delicious, but only pie has that one thing. That crispy, flaky crust. When I make a pie crust, I like to do it the old fashioned way. The way my mom-mom did; without a mixer. She used what’s known as a Pastry Cutter. In my opinion, it allows for a much more tender crust because it allows the fat to be cut into it…literally.
When making a pie crust, the easiest method is the 3-2-1 method. Meaning 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat to 1 part ice water…and a little salt.
1 ½ lb AP flour
1 lb Shortening or butter
½ lb Ice water
⅛ t Salt
Add your shortening and salt to the flour
Using your pastry cutter, cut the fat into the flour by pressing down with the rounded edge and turning your wrist.
Once the fat is incorporated well enough, add your ice water a little at a time. You may not need all of it. In the end you want the texture to be soft, slightly sticky, but not wet.
Wrap your dough and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Overnight is even better.
Once your dough has rested, unwrap it and place it on a well floured surface. Remember you want to keep it cold to keep the fats from melting and making your dough soft and fall apart. Now this is enough dough for 2 full pies, so you’re going to want to cut it in half and freeze the other half. Unless you’re like me and just want to make 2 pies. What the hell, give one to a friend…or not…
Make sure both sides of your dough are well floured and roll it out into your desired thickness. I like mine thinner, so I roll to about ¼”.
Once it’s rolled out, take the dough and lift it over your rolling pin. Using the rolling pin to carry it, place your dough into your pie plate.
Cut off the extra dough, leaving about an inch of dough hanging over the edge for crimping.
Crimp the edge of the pie by pressing with your thumb and pushing with your opposite hand’s thumb and forefinger.
Rest your pie shell in the fridge for about an hour before you bake it. If you’re adding a cold filling like lemon curd or chocolate pudding, bake your crust at about 375 F for about 30 minutes or so. You’ll want to put some parchment in the bottom and pour some dry beans over top to keep it from puffing up.
If you’re adding a baked filling, now’s your time to do so and bake away!
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