Category Archives: Standard Pie Crust

Making Standard Pie Crust

This pie crust isn’t as perfect as oh, say, the Perfect Pie Crust on the site, but then sometimes being perfect takes a little too much time and energy. This recipe is time-tested, and when done well rivals even a “perfect” crust for that elusive combination of tenderness and flakiness that pie lovers live for.

Start by spooning your shortening (or lard) onto a plate. Refrigerate it for a good half an hour or freeze it 10-15 minutes to firm it some.

Cut it into pieces that are reasonable small…no need to go too nuts, then put them back in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Cut the butter into small cubes and return them to the fridge or freezer.

Combine your salt and flour.

Whisk it together.

Now add the butter pieces.

Quickly rub it in with your fingers or cut it in with a pastry blender. Then add the shortening/lard.

Work that in until the mixture look about like this.

It’ll be fairly moist already. It won’t take much water to bring it together.

Add a few tablespoons and bring the dough together a bit with a spatula.

Then dive in with your hands and work it gently until you have something like this:

Divide the dough into two equal portions, pat them into disks and refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them.

This crust freezes perfectly for up to about two months, so if you’re make an open-topped pie, just save the other for another purpose. Multiply this recipe two or three times for a large batch that will see you through weeks of pie making!

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Standard Pie Crust Recipe

I’ve received lots and lots and lots of requests for a pie crust that’s simpler than the one that’s currently on the site. This is an excellent standard pie crust that comes together quickly. Of course it still needs lots of resting, both after it’s made and whenever it’s shaped, to ensure it doesn’t shrink up during baking. This recipe makes enough for a double crust pie. If you’re making an open-topped pie, that’s fine. Just freeze the remainder for next time! Talk about pie the easy way.

13 ounces (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold butter
5.5 ounces (11 tablespoons) cold vegetable shortening or lard
4-5 tablespoons ice water

Cut the butter into small pieces and refrigerate them for at least half an hour, or freeze for 10-15 minutes. Spoon the shortening or lard onto a plate, freeze it 10 minutes, then cut it up and keep it refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to use it. Whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter pieces and cut them in with a pastry blender or with your fingers until the pieces are tiny. Do the same with the shortening/lard until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Add the water and with a spoon or spatula work it in. If a dough doesn’t come together add another teaspoon or two until you can easily gather it all into a ball. Knead it lightly…i.e. fold it over two or three times, tops. Then divide the dough into two pieces, flatten them into disks and wrap them in plastic. Store the disks in the refrigerator for an absolute minimum of an hour. Two or three is better.

The dough will keep in the fridge for up to five days, up to a month, well wrapped, in the freezer. If you make a fair number of pies, double or even triple this dough, portion it, wrap it and freeze it. Thaw it overnight before using.

Filed under:  Pastry, Standard Pie Crust | 17 Comments