I love PIE! More than most other desserts. Pie was the birthday dessert of choice, not cake. Here is my favorite pie crust recipe that I jotted down from one of my baking lectures in college. Thank goodness I paid attention on pie day!
Yeild 1 8-9 inch bottom pie crust. Double recipe if you need a top crust.
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup flour
7 TBS butter or shortening. Please, don’t use margarine in pie crust.
Dissolve sugar and salt in water. Set in refrigerator to keep cold.
In a mixing bowl add the flour and fat. After some trial and error I would ALWAYS use half butter and half shortening. I cut my fat up into small squares to start with. Then using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter into the flour.
You can use your fingers to rub the butter in, but it makes your ingredients warm quickly from your body heat. The ingredients shouldn’t come above about 60 degrees while you’re preparing the dough. Keep cutting the butter into the flour until the dough looks like flaky or mealy. See Make the Perfect Pie Every Time.
Next pour in the water and gently knead the dough until smooth. You may need to add a little flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Next, roll the dough out and place in a pie tin. You can flute the edges or use a fork to make a nice design and cut off any extra dough. Poke steam holes in the bottom of your crust with a fork. Place the dough in the fridge and allow to chill. This would be a good time to prepare your filling or wipe down the counters. Or prepare cute little cinnamon twists from leftover dough! See below. If you are baking an empty shell, bake at 450 for 10 to 15 minutes.
Quick Tip #1! Do the edges of your pie dough burn? You can buy a nice pie edge protector from a store like Bed Bath and Beyond OR you can make your own with tin foil! They work just as well.
Quick Tip #2! Remember when I talked about shrinkage? Even professional bake shops have problems with shrinkage. It just happens. So here is a problem solver. Place parchment paper or tin foil over the pie dough in the pie pan. Fill with rice or hard, uncooked beans and bake as usual. If you use tin foil you’ll have to remove it for the last few minutes of baking to allow the dough to brown.