Pie Crust

Ok, I’ve got some experience with pies so you can totally trust what I am going to tell you today.

Make flaky pie crust is NOT EASY! But it is not impossible either. After years (yes you heard me) of experimenting I’ve finally come up with the PERFECT PIE CRUST recipe.

Before starting, here is what you have to keep in mind when making pie crust:

1. Use shortening, not butter – butter would just not work!

2. Use ice water and not just “cold water”

3. Add one tbsp of vinegar (or lemon juice) to the pastry dough – This won’t affect the flavor but will result in more tender, flaky baked products

4. Make sure you incorporate all the shortening to the flour until the mixture resembles “coarse meal”.

Ok, said that now we can start!

Ingredients (for 1 double crust):

  • 3/4  Crisco shortening
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp iced water
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp of sugar

In a big bowl place the flour

Then take Crisco Shortening, the butter flavor one was the only I could find at my local CityShop…when you live in China you gotta adapt to what you have

Now slowly cut the shortening into the flour. The process is made much easier by breaking the shortening into small pieces before adding it to the flour.

Now, lots of ppl say you should use a pastry cutter or 2 knifes…well…I haven’t:

1 – Cause I dont have a pastry cutter and I’m not good at handlying knifes…

2 – Cause my grandma, whose pies were the most delicious I have EVER had in my life, never owned a pastry cutter either. She just used to put her hands for a few minutes in very cold water, then really fast mix the shortining into the flour.

I did what my grandma tought me…

it worked just fine!


Moving on…

Add 1 tsp of salt and 2 tbsp of sugar

iced cold water

and 1 tbsp of white vinegar

With a spoon mix all the ingredients together until well  incorporated

Divide the dough into 2 parts ( I made more, so I got 3 pieces)

Place each ball in a zip lock bag

With a rolling pan, flatten it up a little bit

Here you go! Now put the pie dough into a the freezer until you are ready to use it. Even if you are going to use it the same day, it would still need to be frozen for a couple of hours or the dough would be too soft to be rolled out.

When you are ready to make you pie, take the crust out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for about 15 min.

By this time it should be soft enough to roll it out! NOTE: you don’t want the dought to get too soft again, that would defeat the point of having frozen it.

I prefer rolling it on a baking sheet. This makes my life lots easier. Just sprinkle some flour on the baking sheet and on top of the dough to avoid it sticking on the rolling pan.

Once it’s all rolled out in a nice circle trasfer it on a pie pan by simply turning it upside down and gently taking off the baking sheet.

Trim off the excess around the edges, leaving enough dough for you to do something with the edge.

Tada, you pie crust is ready! Fill it up as you like.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone 🙂



About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.