EASY AS PIE . . . a no-fail pastry recipe


It is every baker’s dream.  The ability to whip up the perfect pie with a crust so  light and flaky and  delicious you chase the last crumbs around your dessert plate.    There’s more than a baker’s dozen way of making pie crust.     They all require a certain level of skill and more than a modicum of knowledge of the various types of pastry required for specific pie fillings.

Here is “the little black dress” of pie crusts.  It is suitable for almost every filling.  It is superb for savory pies and fruit pies.   Single crust pies like lemon meringue.   Chicken pot pie or steak and kidney pie.  Hand pies and tarts.  And best of all follow the recipe faithfully and you should be rewarded with perfect pie crust!

This is the secret to perfect pie crust every time.  The flour, butter, shortening, and water most all be VERY cold.  Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or longer before rolling.  And  finally,  don’t stretch the dough when you’re placing it into the pan.

One of the most popular fruit pie to make is apple.  The secret to eliminating the  gap between the apple filling and the baked pie crust is to toss your sliced apples with sugar and let it macerate while your pie crust rests.  Then add the thickener, spices and butter before putting your pie together.

You can prepare the dough ahead.  Form it into two balls, wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.  Defrost in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes two  9-inch crusts.

Bake according to your pie recipe.


: 8
  • 6 ounces (1½ sticks) VERY COLD unsalted butter cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2½ ounces (1/3 cup) VERY COLD vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, diced
  • 3 cups VERY COLD all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (eliminate for savory pies)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup (or more if needed) ice water
  1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade (I like to put the steel blade in the freezer ahead of time). Pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Ad the butter and shortening and pulse 10 to 12 times until the butter is the size of peas(fat peas).
  3. With the machine running pour the water down the feed tube and PULSE the machine just until the water is mixed into the flour. Depending on the humidity you may require a little extra water.
  4. Turn the loose dough out onto a lightly floured board and using a bench scraper or your hands, gather it into a ball.
  5. Cut the ball in half and pat it into flat discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Roll each piece out on a well-floured board into a 12 to 13 inch circle. Roll from the center to the edge, turning a quarter with each roll, flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. A long metal spatula slipped under the pastry is very useful for this maneuver
  7. Roll half the dough over your rolling pin and position it on the pie plate.


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