Perfect Pie Crust

Perfect Pie CrustOver the years, I’ve experimented with MANY pie crust recipes.  I’ve found that this one is the easiest to work with, and it tastes good, as well.  It calls for lard, which I’ve never been brave enough to use.  I think it’s just a matter of principle for me. I can’t bring myself to buy it because I know it’s so unhealthy.  Ironically, shortening is also unhealthy, so it’s just a stupid hang-up for me.  I substitute shortening for the lard, but let’s be real, no one makes pie because it’s a health food.  

This recipe makes one 9-inch two-crust pie or two one-crust pies.  I’ve doubled and tripled it with great results.Perfect Pie Crust

Perfect Pie Crust
A pliable, tender, easy-to-handle dough
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup cold butter
  2. 1/3 cup shortening
  3. 1/3 cup lard (or substitute more shortening)
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar
  5. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  7. 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk (powdered milk)
  8. 3 cups unsifted flour
  9. ½ cup cold water
Instructions
  1. Cut the butter into 1 centimeter cubes.
  2. With a hand-held mixer, cream together fats. DON’T use your Kitchen Aid or Bosch, as they will emulsify the fats too much. They need to stay chunky.
  3. Add sugar, baking powder, salt, and dry milk, and mix.
  4. Add half the flour, and mix. Then stir in cold water and remaining flour. At this point, you may need to start mixing with your hands.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the pastry very thin.
  6. Gently line a pie pan.
  7. Trim dough about ¾ inch from edge of pan.
  8. Fill crust.
  9. Roll out the other half of dough for the top.
Notes
  1. This recipe makes one 9-inch two-crust pie or two one-crust pies.
Adapted from Lion House Recipes
Adapted from Lion House Recipes
White Apron Blog http://whiteapronblog.com/
Combine 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1 centimeter cubes 1/3 cup shortening 1/3 cup lard (may substitute shortening)

Combine
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1 centimeter cubes
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup lard (may substitute shortening)

Use a mixer to combine the fats, but don't completely blend them. Make sure you still have small chunks in there. They should be about the same size as small curd cottage cheese.

Use a mixer to combine the fats, but don’t completely blend them. Make sure you still have small chunks in there. They should be about the same size as small curd cottage cheese.

Beat in the following 1 tablespoon sugar ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 heaping teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon dry milk

Beat in the following
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry milk

Then mix in 1 ½ cups flour

Then mix in
1 ½ cups flour

Add ½ cup cold water 1½ cups more flour Mix. At this point, the dough will become stiff.

Add
½ cup cold water
1½ cups more flour
Mix. At this point, the dough will become stiff.

You may need to get your hands dirty.

You may need to get your hands dirty.

Sprinkle a light dusting of flour on a clean surface.

Sprinkle a light dusting of flour on a clean surface.

Roll out half of the dough into a very thin circle. Make sure that it's much larger than your pie plate. Gently fold the circle in half once. then again.

Roll out half of the dough into a very thin circle. Make sure that it’s much larger than your pie plate.
Gently fold the circle in half once. then again.

Carefully transfer the folded dough to the edge of the pie plate. Unfold it once, then again. Make sure that it fits down into the bottom of the plate. Trim the dough to 1 inch from the rim of the plate.

Carefully transfer the folded dough to the edge of the pie plate.
Unfold it once, then again. Make sure that it fits down into the bottom of the plate.
Trim the dough to 1 inch from the rim of the plate.

Fold the edge under, and tuck it into the pie plate.

Fold the edge under, and tuck it into the pie plate.

Using two fingers from one hand and one finger from the other, flute the edge of the crust.

Using two fingers from one hand and one finger from the other, flute the edge of the crust.

At this point, this crust could be baked, empty, to be filled with a cream pie, or it could be filled first, then baked. If you wanted to bake this shell as is, do the following:

At this point, this crust could be baked, empty, to be filled with a cream pie, or it could be filled first, then baked. If you wanted to bake this shell as is, do the following:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prick the bottom and sides with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prick the bottom and sides with a fork.

Carefully line the crust with foil, and fill the bottom with dry beans. Place in the oven, and immediately reduce heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes.

Carefully line the crust with foil, and fill the bottom with dry beans. Place in the oven, and immediately reduce heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove foil and beans, and continue baking until it's golden brown. (approximately 10 minutes longer)

Carefully remove foil and beans, and continue baking until it’s golden brown. (approximately 10 minutes longer)

Let it cool completely before filling.

Let it cool completely before filling.

So delicious!

So delicious!

 

If you have leftover scraps of dough, don’t throw them away.  Make yummy pie crust cookies!

Arrange the scraps of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and generously sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. I make my own by combining 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Arrange the scraps of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and generously sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. I make my own by combining
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack.

Remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack.

They're really good just like that, or ...

They’re really good just like that, or …

... put a little homemade jam on top.

… put a little homemade jam on top.

YUM!

YUM!