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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pie Crust Recipe


This delicious crust can be prebaked for cream pies or used unbaked for filled pies, or it can even be used for chicken pot pies. The recipe makes enough dough for 4 9" pie shell bottoms for cream or meringue pies or 2 pies with both a top and a bottom for fruit pies.
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening (you can substitute lard, butter or combination of the three solid fats)
1/3 to 1/2 cup cold water
1 TBSP vinegar
1 egg, beaten
Pie crust recipes require flour, fat, liquid and salt. Flour provides structure and bulk of the crust, fat adds moisture and helps keep the crust flaky, liquid helps keep the dough to be pliable and the salt will enhance the flavor and also help brown the crust. I advise to chill the shortening and water before you begin to make the crust. Having cold fat will help the dry mix to blend well with the fat. One great tip is to pinch the fat into the mix with your hands in the end the fat lumps should be no bigger than small peas.
Add vinegar to the chilled water and slightly beat the egg and mix into the water / vinegar mix. Now use the water mix to pour into the dry mix slowly. Mix gently with a fork until the dough is wet and can be formed into a ball. Handle the dough as little as possible to prevent over blending the fat lumps. Small bits of fat are desirable. At this point split the dough into 4 balls. Wrap each in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. This will help provide the crust with a lighter texture.
Now to make the crust start by dusting a clean dry surface with flour. Remove one ball of dough from the fridge. Flatten the dough slightly and dust the doughs top before rolling the dough out with a rolling pin. Start at the center of the dough and roll outwards. You can perform this step with dough between plastic wrap if you prefer. Roll out dough into a circular shape approx. 4 inches wider than pie pan and about 1/4 or 1/8 thick.
Placing the dough into the pan can be tricky. It is best to fold the dough in half and then into quarters. Pick it up gently and place into the pan so the center point is in the center of the pan. Unfold the dough into the pan and it should be perfectly centered. If any cracks or holes appear pinch it back together from the outer edges. Press into the pie pan, Crimp edges

The crust can be frozen now or you can fill with your filling


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