Nothing tastes better on a fresh in season fruit pie than a homemade pie crust. I was a faithful user of my local grocer’s refrigerator roll-out-of-the-box pie crust…well, lets be honest, at times I still use theirs! But after some gentle coaxing by my dearest one- he has a way of flattering me to get me try a new recipe!- I decided to try my hand at making a homemade pie crust.
Of course, I asked my family for their recipes first. I come from a family of bakers, I started there! Then I did some online searching. I had a good pool of recipes to try and after a little trial and error, ended up with a simple recipe that resulted in a very nice flaky crust that my whole family loves!
I want to share an interesting crust making tip that I figured out along the way- the fat that you use to pull the crust together makes a difference in the flavor and the texture of your lovely flaky pie crust. Pie crusts are most commonly made with butter, shortening or lard. I did not try out the lard- I am making candles with the lard we have left from our pig! My mother-in-love swore by shortening in her pie crust but she also gave me a sincere adoration for butter so I tried my crusts with both.
Butter makes a little more flakiness and gives a little lighter texture to the crust. It lends itself very nicely to a dessert pie-fruit, pecan, pumpkin, chocolate pudding and so on.
Shortening will still result in a flaky crust, it is a little denser in general and a little more hearty of a crust. I love the shortening version of this recipe for my pot pies- yum!
Basic Flaky Pie Crust
2 ½ C flour
½ tsp salt
1 C chilled shortening or butter
¼ C + 2 tbsp ice water
Place flour in to large mixing bowl, add salt and wisk until well combined. Cut ½ of the the shortening/butter into the flour with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Repeat with the remainder of the shortening/butter. Drizzle the water over the flour mixture 2-3 tbsps at a time and toss with a fork until it comes together. Once the dough gathers together into a nice ball, wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. If the dough does not come together into a ball with the amount of water listed in the recipe, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it forms a dough ball.
When you are ready to roll out the dough, cut the dough ball in half. Place the half of the dough ball you are not working with back in the fridge. When working with the butter, you may have to let the dough ball warm and soften just a tad to be able to roll it out well.
Place the half of the dough ball you are working with on a well floured flat surface. Roll the dough to the desired thickness and diameter necessary for your recipe. Repeat with the other half of the dough ball. A word of caution, take your time rolling out your dough. If you have to re-roll the crust more than once, it makes the crust more tough and it falls apart a bit more. Enjoy the fruits of your labor with the recipe of your choice! Follow the recipe’s instructions for baking temperature and time.
My family loves it when I do make a homemade pie crust, it is just a little more love in the food I prepare for them. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do. Leave me a note in the comments- thanks!