This versatile, tender and flaky pie crust
recipe has been used for years...always with success. You too,
can become the 'Pie-Baker' within your circle of family
and friends. (FYI: This is one of the most requested pie crust
recipes online for 14 years running! With its light and tender
texture and layers of flakiness, it's no wonder why!
Another delicious recipe from our Family-Favorite
Basic Pie Crust 101
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening, plain
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
- Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl.
Cut shortening into the flour with a pastry
cutter, until mixture resembles the texture of tiny split peas.
Do not use your hands to try and mix
it, the heat from you hands will melt
the shortening, causing the pastry to be "heavy", not
light and flaky.
- Once mixture is the right texture, add
the ice water and combine with a fork.
It may appear as if it needs more water, it
does not. Quickly gather the dough
into a ball and flatten into a 4-inch-wide disk. Wrap in plastic,
and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
- Remove dough disk from refrigerator. If
stiff and very cold, let stand until dough is cool but malleable.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough
disk on a lightly floured surface from the center out in each
direction, forming a 12-inch circle.
- To transfer dough, carefully roll it around
the rolling pin, lift and unroll dough, centering it in an ungreased
9-inch regular or deep-dish pie plate. (Or you can fold dough
in quarters, then place dough point in center of pie pan and
unfold dough, whatever is easiest for you.)
- For a Recipe Using an Unbaked Crust: Proceed
- For a Recipe Using a Single Baked Crust:
Prick dough thoroughly on the bottom and sides with the tines
of a fork to help prevent it from blistering and "puffing
up" as it bakes. Bake at 425°F (220°C) for about
15 to 18 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool before filling.
Proceed with recipe's directions.
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie crust. (Double recipe
for a two-crust pie.)
*During winter months, flour can become
"drier", you may need to add more water, about 1 teaspoon
or so per single recipe, but not much more.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/8
of recipe.): 188.9 calories; 60% calories from fat; 13.0g total
fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 118.0mg sodium; 22.2mg potassium; 15.9g
carbohydrates; 0.6g fiber; 0.1g sugar; 15.3g net carbs; 2.1g
Copyright Hope Pryor, please see Terms
of Use. Photograph by Hope Pryor; property of CooksRecipes.com.
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A Pie Baker's Helpful
Assorted Pie Assembly Directions:
- For Baked Pie Crust (also referred
to as Baking Blind): Place rolled-out
pastry in pie plate, gently press against bottom and sides of
pan. Trim overhanging edge of pastry about
1-inch from the pie plate's edge. Tuck this rim of dough underneath
itself so that folded edge is flush with pan edge. Flute the
edge. Prick crust thoroughly on the bottom and sides with the
tines of a fork to help prevent the dough from blistering and
"puffing up" as it bakes. Or, you can line the unbaked
pastry shell with foil or parchment paper, fill with dried beans
or rice, clean pebbles (a French practice) or specialty pie weights
made of metal or ceramic. The weights and foil or parchment paper
should be removed a few minutes before the baking time is over
to allow the crust to brown evenly. Bake at 425°F (220°C)
for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool
before filling. Proceed with recipe's directions.
- For Unbaked One-Crust Pie Shell:
Place rolled-out pastry in pie plate, gently
press against bottom and sides of pan. Trim overhanging edge
of pastry about 1-inch from the pie
plate's edge. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that
folded edge is flush with pan edge. Flute the edge. (Do not
prick the crust before filling
or it will seep under the crust during baking.) Refrigerate while
preparing filling. Pour filling in chilled pie shell and proceed
with recipe directions for baking.
- For Unbaked Two-Crusted Pie:
Double recipe above. Place rolled-out pastry
in pie plate and gently press dough into sides of pan, leaving
portion that overhangs edge of pie plate in place. Refrigerate
while preparing filling. Turn in the desired filling. Moisten
the edge of the pastry with water, then carefully place top crust
over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1-inch beyond pan
edge. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded
edge is flush with pan edge. Flute edging or press with fork
tines to seal. Vent the top crust by pricking with the tines
of a fork or making slits with a sharp knife in several places.
(This allows steam to escape during baking.) Proceed with recipe
directions for baking.
Assorted Pie Tops:
- For a Lattice-Top: Prepare pastry for a two-crust pie, leaving 1-inch
overhang on bottom crust. After rolling circle for top crust,
cut into strips about 1/2-inch wide. (Use a pastry wheel for
decorative strips.) Place 5 to 7 strips
(depending on size of pie) across filling in pie plate. Weave
a cross-strip through center by first folding back every other
strip going the other way. Continue weaving until lattice is
complete, folding back alternate strips each time cross-strip
is added. (Or, to save time, do not weave strips. Simply lay
second half of strips across first strips.) Trim ends of strips.
(Strips can be twisted as they are placed on pie, if desired.)
Fold trimmed edge of lower crust over ends
of strips, building up a high edge. Seal and flute. Proceed with
- For a Diamond Top: Lay or weave second half of pastry strips diagonally
across first strips on filling.
- For a Spiral Top: Begin from center of pie. Twist one strip and coil
it outward on pie, adding length by moistening ends of other
strips and pinching together. Moisten trimmed edge of bottom
crust; place tightly twisted pastry strip around edge, pressing
- Fluting the Edge:
- For a Cutout Edge: Trim overhang even or flatten pastry on rim. use
tiny cookie cutter, thimble or hand-cut tiny leaves, hearts,
circles, etc., from pastry scraps. Moisten rim and place cutouts
around rim, overlapping if desired. Press into place.
- For a Fork Edge:
Flatten pastry evenly on rim of pie plate. Press firmly around
with tines of a fork. To prevent sticking, dip fork in flour.
- For a Pinch Edge:
Place index finger on inside of pastry rim and knuckles (or thumb
and index finger) on outside. Reverse the position if it is more
comfortable. Pinch pastry into V-shape along entire edge. Pinch
again to sharpen.
- For a Rope Edge:
Place side of thumb on pastry rim at an angle. Pinch pastry by
pressing the knuckle of your index finger down into pastry toward
Pastry Tips for Success:
use of a quality brand of vegetable shortening is very important
for a successful pie crust that is tender and flaky. My personal
preference is the brand, Crisco.
- A pastry blender is a great help to cut
in shortening evenly. If you don't own one, purchase one! It's
the "cutting in" of the shortening into tiny lumps
that gives pastry its flaky texture.
- If your hands are unusually warm, then
"cool" them off with a couple
of ice cubes and then drying thoroughly before handling
the dough. The cooler the dough during preparation, the flakier
- Anchor a pastry cloth around a board with
tape and use a cloth cover for your rolling pin to keep the dough
from sticking. Rub flour into both; this will prevent sticking,
yet the flour won't be absorbed by the dough.
- Due to the amount of fat in pastry and
crusts, pie plates or pans are not usually greased.
- Nonstick pie pans can cause pastry to
shrink excessively when baking one-crust pie shells. Be sure
pastry is securely hooked over the edge of a nonstick pan.
- Do not stretch the dough to fit
the pie pan, it will shrink
from the edge if you do. Make sure to roll
it out at least 1-inch larger than the pie pan.
- Do not overwork the dough, less handling
makes a more tender and flaky crust.
- For pumpkin and custard pies, brush beaten
egg over unbaked pastry shell before filling. This helps prevent
the crust from becoming soggy.
- A pair of kitchen scissors makes the best
tool to evenly trim the overhanging edge of the pastry before
folding under and fluting.
- Brushing the top crust with slightly beaten
egg white will give it a glazed look.
- Brushing the top with milk will give a
- Sprinkling the top crust with granulated
or turbinado (raw) sugar will give a delightful sparkling appearance.
- Cutting designs such as apples
and leaves out of excess dough and "gluing"
them onto the unbaked pastry by moistening the underside of the
cut-out, makes another lovely decoration for your "masterpiece".