Saturday, December 1, 2012

Easy as Pie

I am going to weigh in on the subject of pie crust.

My grandmother made an excellent pie crust.  My mother made an excellent pie crust.  For the longest time I thought it was too difficult to even attempt so I used ready made.  But I have reformed.  I have claimed my rightful heritage.  In fact, when I reach that great bake-off in the sky, I am going to be serious competition for both Gram and Mom.

I have a couple of recipes that I use.  The one I will share today was taken from Health Magazine, the November 2007 edition.   It makes one double crust pie.  And, hey, it came from Health Magazine.  The word ‘health’ is right in the title.  That proves that it is good for you!  Eat as much as you want!

All the ingredients and all the utensils should be very cold.  The recipe actually calls for use of the food processor.  I don’t use it though.

Combine: 2 cups all-purpose flour*, 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add: 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, and 7 tablespoons of trans-fat-free shortening.  Combine until the mixture resembles crumbs.
I like to start with a pastry blender.  Mom used two knives.
*Can’t beat King Arthur flour.

DSCN2234I finish by pinching it between my fingers—the grandma method of choice.  I do believe pie crust is a ‘feeling.’
Sprinkle: 1/3 cup cold water over the flour mixture, about 2 tablespoons at a time.  Toss with a fork to mix.

Light tossesDSCN2235

Form the pastry into two balls and flatten into disks (3/4 inch thick, or so).  Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

DSCN2236Mine is going into the freezer today.  I’ll make the pie in a couple of weeks.  Maybe you can see the smears of butter in the dough.  This is perfectly fine.  Remember…think Health.

Rolling out:  Place a disk on a 12 inch sheet of plastic wrap.  Dust with flour and roll out with floured rolling pin.  Invert into a 9” pie plate and peel off the plastic wrap.  After filling, moisten the edge, roll out the other pastry and top.  Seal edge and trim any excess.  Slit top for steam vents.  Brush top with milk for a golden brown finish.  It can also be sprinkled with sugar before baking.

So after the holidays I will weigh in on the subject of pie crust and other delicious things in quite a different sense...but I will enjoy my delusions while I can.


  1. Thank you. I did win a blue ribbon as a teenager on my pies...but also converted to pre-made pie dough. Now you have motivated me to try homemade.

  2. This looks good, real good. But for the record -- and B, I don't care if you do read this -- B makes the best pie crust this side of heaven.

  3. Sounds a little like mine, but mine isn't as healthy! I use all butter, and a food processor. I love the taste of homemade!

  4. I'm too lazy to try. Sounds good though.

  5. I don't have the pie crust gene. I had my little sister try and teach me when I was home a couple of months ago -- I'm still not "pie crust confident". Yours looks perfect.

  6. I think I used to make better pie crust than I do now. The more I learned about how other "experts" do it, the more I fretted over it and changed a good thing. I now use all butter. Should I go back to Crisco? Such a dilemma.

  7. Thank you so much for the recipe and tips! I have never been able to make a really great pie crust, but maybe I can now! There is hope! I appreciated your comments on my blog this morning!

  8. Making good piecrust is one legacy I got from my mom. No storebought in this house!

  9. Looks like you have a blessed pie hand!


I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.