For many, making pies can be pretty intimidating and, frankly, sounds like too much work. While it takes some time and planning, it is definitely doable and the taste of homemade crust is worth all the work. And I have the best and easiest pie crust to share with you today. This recipe has been in our family for a long time and it always proves to be a favorite. It only takes six ingredient-- how can you not make this!
All you need is flour, sugar, salt, shortening (Crisco-- not butter), vinegar, one egg and some water.
Start by adding your dry ingredients together: 4 cups flour, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt). Now you can use a mixer but I prefer to mix my by hand. It is whatever you prefer.
Then add the 1 1/2 cups of shortening to the dry ingredients. Reminder-- do not use butter, use shortening. Then use either you pastry blender or your mixer on low to cut the shortening into the dry ingredients. Mix it until it resembles course meal,with a few pea size pieces.
Add your wet ingredients: 1 tbsp of vinegar, 1/2 cup of water and 1 egg. Mix all the ingredients together until the dough is crumbly but holds together when you squeeze it. You don't want to over mix it at this stage.
Then turn out the mixture onto your work surface. Just an fyi, it will not look like bread dough. It is going to look a big pile of crumbs.
Knead it together a few times, but again, you don't want to over knead it. Then divide the dough into four pieces and gather each one into a ball. Then flatten them into about a four inch disk. I forgot to mention that this recipe makes four crusts. So you can either make two, two crust pies, four one crust pies, or my favorite option, freeze them! Wrap up each disk in some cling wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Now, this is the point where if you are not planning to use all of the disks, you can put them in the freezer. I like to wrap them in cling wrap and then put them in a freezer bag. You don't want them to get freezer burn! They can last for up to three months in the freezer, which is awesome. Then if you want to make a pie of any sort, you can just grab one out of the freezer. Just take it out of the freezer a day in advance to let it thaw.
If you're not going to freeze them, then it's time to roll them out. Lightly flour your work space and roll the dough into an approximately 14 inch circle. I like to roll my pie dough out on wax paper to make it easier to flip it into my pie pan-- a little secret my mom taught me.
This is the part that can make the whole experience worth it, or make you cry. Place the pie pan in the center of the dough and carefully pick up the wax paper and flip it over. Phew! Glad that's over.
Slowly peel off the wax paper. Then gently move the crust down to the bottom of the pan so it doesn't rip when you put the filling in.
To remove the excess pie dough, use a knife and run the blade around the rim of the pie dough to create a smooth edge. If you want to create a decorative edge, just pinch a "V" shape with your thumb and your forefinger along the entire edge. (I don't have a picture of this, sorry).
And that's it! Now just follow the instruction that go along with your pie recipe to see if you need to bake it before you put the filling in or after. If you need to bake it before hand, prick the bottom of the pie dough all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up or shrinking in the pan. Bake it at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Now you're really done and you can enjoy your delicious pie.
The Best Pie Crust
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp suger
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup shortening
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup water
Happy baking this week!