Friday, November 9, 2012

How to make the perfect PIE CRUST

I have such warm memories of my childhood holidays and many of them revolve around time spent at my Grandma's farm. My sister and I and our cousins  would romp through the pasture.. down to the back of the berry bushes and look for tadpoles in the small pools of water.

My grandma was a 'down home' cook. She fried her own chicken (which she had raised) and did a lot of canning. But, my favorite memories are her pies. She made every kind of pie you could imagine from mince meat to green tomato along with all the favorites.  I made it my goal, as a young wife, to learn how to make pies just like Grandma. Unfortunately, I never learned  how to make her pie crust before she died.

Years later a young mother brought a homemade pie to a church Pot Blessing and the crust was so good that I asked for the recipe. I've been making it ever since and shared the recipe with many women over the years.

Perfect Pie Crust (Makes 2 full pie crusts)

4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 c. Crisco shortening (don't use generic brands.. it really does make a difference)
1/2 c. water
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the shortening. Here I am using my Kitchen Aid but you can use any large bowl and a pastry cutter or a large fork to cut in the shortening. When I use my Kitchen Aid I use the whisk until the dough resembles very, very small peas.  But don't whisk it too long or the dough will start clumping together too soon.

  Next, I run 1/2 cup water into a measuring cup, break the egg straight into the cup and add the tablespoon of vinegar. Mix it together and then add to the flour/shortening mixture. I change attachments on my Kitchen Aide at this point and use the mixing paddle to gentle mix it together just until it starts clumping together and clearing away from the side of the bowl.

 I wet my rolling board with a wet wash cloth and place two pieces of Seran wrap next to each other so that it will cover a large surface and then I sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the Seran wrap.. not too much...maybe 3 tbsp. or so.. just enough to dust the seran wrap. I take a handful of dough (the dough will make 2 full pies with top and bottom crust) and place it on the seran wrap and then flip it over so that there is a small amount of flour on both sides of the dough. I put one more piece of Seran wrap on top of the dough. So, now you have Seran wrap (2 pieces) underneath the dough and one piece on top. I then use my rolling pin and roll it out thin.

Next, I take the top layer of Seran wrap off of the dough and place my right hand
underneath the bottom layers of Seran wrap and lift up the crust so it can be flipped it into the pie pan.

(The Seran wrap is still on both sides of this dough in the picture because I'm not baking pies today. I just wanted to show you how easy it is to roll out a pie crust with this method. )

Peel off the last pieces of Searn wrap and gently press the dough into the pan. Cut off any excess dough around the edges and flute your edges and your done.

 If you decide to not bake your pie crust right now you can leave all the Seran wrap on when you initially roll out the dough. Fold it in 1/4's and then put the dough into a large gallon freezer bag. You can then either keep it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for at least a month. 

I made up quite a few batches of dough,  rolled them out and then froze them for the holidays. It makes the baking process much easier when the dough is already made. 

And there you go!


  1. Thanks so much. My mother died at 61 of a sudden heart attack and there were two questions at least that I never got to ask her. One was how she made her pie crusts. Thanks for this recipe and also the pictures. I am going to pin this on my Company Food board and try it.

  2. Looks yummy! I have a question: does the saran wrap bunch up when you're rolling it out? I use wax paper when I roll mine out, and it sometimes (well, always!) bunches up and wrinkles. It leaves wrinkles in my crust too.

    1. No. The seran wrap will not bunch up like the wax paper. I've used wax paper before and it doesn't work nearly as well as seran wrap.

  3. Thank you, thank you!! No one in my family can make anything that requires a rolling pin, lol. I'm determined to learn to make a pie crust. Thank you for the step-by-step pics and detailed description! :)

  4. I enjoyed this tutorial. I don't put vinegar in my pie crusts, but will try this. Also I do it by hand. I keep thinking of all the dough stuck to the beaters (nor do I have a kitchen aide anyway!) I have been buying pre made pie crusts in box lately, I find I make pies more readily, but they are expensive. Maybe I should make a batch up ahead of time. :-)

    1. I tried every pie crust recipe I ran across. I even tried one with 7 up. If you try this recipe be sure to let the crust brown. My mother undercooks hers and it's not nearly as flavorful.

      I love having a few pie crusts in the freezer.. esp. in the winter when loved ones and friends are sick. I can throw together a chicken pot pie so quick!

  5. Thanks for sharing your pie crust recipe. It looks and sounds delicious.
    I love your idea of making them up ahead of time and freezing them.....

  6. I might have to try that recipe!
    It's nice to find out there are people who are still making homemade pie crusts. Making homemade pie crusts is an artform! But I've noticed even people on the tv cooking shows have started using ready-made refrigerated crusts.

  7. My recipe is a bit different but I do the same thing between saran wrap too! ha! Love it!

    I'm not trying to spam your blog! Honestly!


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