Until I learned how to make a pie crust, I could not call myself a baker. I got out books from the library, studied the science and practiced with Lorraine’s fantastic recipe (Reg’s mom). I played around with the recipe and came up with my own version and am finally sharing it with you!
The Recipe & Technique
In a food processor (or big bowl, up to you) add 2 cups flour and 3/4 tsp salt. Pulse. Add 1/2 cup cold cubed unsalted butter and 1/2 cup shortening. Pulse.
You really just want little pieces of butter and shortening at this point, coated with the flour. Do this as quickly as possible.
Combine 1 egg, 2 tbsp cold water and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Add all of it to the flour mix but try to get a little bit everywhere.
Pulse until the dough just comes together. If it is too dry, add some water. The key is not to overwork the dough. It does not have to be a perfect ball. It just has to be moist enough to come together.
Work the dough together by hand on a lightly flour surface until it just comes together.
Cut in half and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. Do not skip this step! The key to flakiness is the cold fats inside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. I like to flip my dough over, turn little turns with it as I roll it out so it does not stick and there is minimal cracking. If the cracking is really bad right away, your dough is too cold. Let it sit at room temp for a while. BTW, my marble rolling pin made rolling this out so easy thanks to its weight!
Put the dough in the pie plate and push down without tearing the dough so that it is pressed up against the pie plate. You want to make sure there is some overhang.
Trim the pie dough and add your filling.
After rolling out the other half of the dough, do not let the extra pie dough go to waste. Get out a cookie cutter or use your knife to make some decorative touches.
Add the top piece and trim. Fold over top piece and crimp edges.
Use an egg wash and then sprinkle with some coarse sugar. Bake! And watch it go golden and oh so flakey…
Debra She Who Seeks says
When I was a kid, women were judged by their pie crusts. We all knew WHOSE crusts were tough, tasteless or unappetizing. My Mom made the best pie crust in the world!
I’ve saved this to try at some point. Pie crust is another of those things I’ve always wanted to make from scratch instead of buying. My grandmother would rub milk into the crust top of her apple pies instead of an egg wash. I love the way they turn out and will probably stick with that. 🙂
Suzie Ridler says
Debra, that is so retro and interesting! How lovely your mom was such a good baker. My mom hated baking, LOL.
Laura, rubbing milk into the pie crust will make it extra flaky, it is a good effect. Sure, go for it. Stick to family tradition for sure!
Randal Oulton says
Milk into the crust wasn’t for flakiness, it was for browning the crust (same as an egg wash was.) It was cheaper than butter or eggs, and remember, this was Canada, margarine was illegal back then so there was no alternative to butter, so you brushed with milk.
Sandy aka Doris the Great says
My mother always made an amazing pie crust; me not so much. Thanks for the recipe and tips. I’m gonna try again.
Suzie Ridler says
Randal, I guess with all that butter, I didn’t need help browning and the egg wash does the same thing. Milk did make my crush flakier when I used it.
Sandy, isn’t that amazing your mom made such great pie crusts. You are most welcome, I hope it helps!
I just did it and it’s perfect! First time ever!! I also doubled it so I can freeze some! Thank you for this!
Suzie Ridler says
Oh you just totally warmed my heart, yay! I am so glad it turned out. 🙂 Thank you for commenting.