Introduction: How to Make Flaky Pastry Pie Crust-Recipe for a Double Crust for an 8-9″ Pie

Picture of How to Make Flaky Pastry Pie Crust-Recipe for a Double Crust for an 8-9″ Pie

So I figured it was about time to make a pie crust tutorial. I think if my mother-in-law hadn’t shown me how it’s done, I wouldn’t be so good at it! It’s not that it’s a hard recipe or anything (it’s super-easy) but if you’ve never seen each stage of the crust’s being, you might think something is going wrong and end up adding too much water, kneading (don’t knead!), or other crust-destroying things.

Ingredients

    2 cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    2/3 cup shortening
    ice water (somewhere between 4-12 Tablespoons, probably)

Step 1:

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Find your flour, a medium bowl, a sifter, and a measuring cup.

Step 2:

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Measure 2 cups of flour into the sifter.

Step 3:

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Add 1 teaspoon of salt.

Step 4:

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Sift, sift, sift! I love sifting.

Step 5:

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Now find some shortening (there’s no trans fat anymore… like that makes it good for you or something. hah) and a 1/3 cup measuring cup.

Measure in 2/3 cup of shortening.

Step 6:

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Now here’s where we cut in the shortening. Some people use two knives, some people use two forks, but I use my fingertips. Just pick up some shortening and flour and crumble it. Don’t use your palms or whole hands… that will melt the shortening and destroy your crust. Don’t knead. Just crumble. Move your fingers like you have dried Elmer’s glue on them and need to get it off.

Step 7:

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As you do this, each little morsel of shortening will get covered in flour… it should look like tiny sticky balls of dough. Not one big lump.

Step 8:

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Do not worry about some lumps being different sizes… that doesn’t matter. If you overwork it though, that WILL matter. Now get out a fork and some ice water.

Step 9:

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And measure out a few tablespoons of water into the flour mix. How many you end up using will depend on your location and the weather… seriously, humidity plays a big part. You can pretty safely start with 4 or 5 tablespoons of ice water, then mix quickly with the fork. Then add 1 or 2 at a time before mixing again.

Step 10:

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This is what it should look like when you’re finished with the water. Starting to stick together, but not wet or sticky at all. I had to use 10 Tablespoons of water today, but I think my mother-in-law usually ends up somewhere in the 4-6 range.

Step 11:

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Now push the pieces together to make a lump. Don’t knead! Just push until everything sticks together.

Step 12:

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I don’t think I could make pie crust without my trusty Pampered Chef pastry roller and mat. They’re fantastic! I’ve considered selling Pampered Chef things just because of these products.

Step 13:

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Divide your dough in half, and shape each into a ball. Roll a ball out flat… and circle-ish…

Step 14:

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And then fold it into quarters. Why? Because this makes it so much easier to lift and…

Step 15:

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Place in your pie pan.

Step 16:

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And open it up.

Roll out the other ball and save it till you’re ready to top your pie. Cover both crusts with a damp towel until you’re ready to fill the pie and seal everything up.

Comments

ayelean (author)2013-09-29

i'm probably much older than your mother-in-law and I use basically the same recipe as you do. I just do things a little bit different. I have very warm hands so I don't touch the dough any more that is absolutely necessary. I always use a pastry blender and over the years I have probably bought every bride I know a pastry blender! My pie crust is one of my shining accomplishments, with a lot of praises! The other thing I stress is ICY cold water. i put several ice cubes in a glass and add water, I measure my water from this source. I sprinkle the water and use a fork at the same time just bringing the dough together. I've never used your pampered chef gizmo but it looks good! I'm a rolling pin gal, but the rest is pretty much the same. I've done crusts with butter flavored shortening and part butter and all butter for various projects but always the same technique. Another trick I use for a really gorgeous pie is to brush milk on the top of the pie before baking. Some I sprinkle with sugar. If I have cream I will use that instead of milk for an almost carmel like glaze. No one leaves my crust on the plate after eating the filling! Good luck to you my young friend you have a lifetime of compliments ahead off you!

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