I have two pie crust recipes. This one makes four rounds. Which is enough four two double-crust (top and bottom) pies or four single-crust pies (bottom only; such as a custard). Both pie crust recipes come from my Grandma Edna, my Dad’s mother. I’m pretty sure that my Grandma Ruth, Mom’s mother, also used these same basic recipes. I typically make this four crust recipe because it’s never a bad idea to have an extra pie crust in the freezer to be filled with something yummy!
If you wonder about the addition of vinegar in this recipe. The vinegar helps to prevent the formation of gluten which makes for a tough crust.
520 g or 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
225 g or 1 cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes
170 g or 3/4 vegetable shortening (preferably Crisco), cut into small cubes
125 ml or 1/2 cup very cold water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vinegar (white or cider is fine)
- In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry cutter, fork, or fingertips, gradually work the Crisco and butter into the flour mixture for about 3 or 4 minutes until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. You don’t want any large cubes of butter or shortening to remain.
- Break an egg into a small bowl and beat the egg lightly. Add the water and vinegar to the egg and mix together. Pour the egg, water, and vinegar mixture into the flour/shortening mixture. Gently mix everything together with your hands until all of the ingredients are incorporated. You want to do this quickly so the ingredients warm up as little as possible.
- Separate the dough into four equal pieces. Form each piece into a rough round about an inch thick. This makes it easier to roll out the dough for a pie. Wrap each round of dough in plastic and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using the pie crust immediately you’ll still want to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill. If using the dough later in the same day, put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour).
- When you are ready to use the dough to make a pie, remove the dough from the freezer and allow to thaw on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal bench scraper or metal spatula and carefully lift the dough and flip it over. Continue rolling until it’s about 1/8 inch thick and 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
- Gently fold the dough in half and lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. (You can also lay the dough over the rolling pin and use the rolling pin to transfer the dough from counter to pie plate.) Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.
- Now you’re ready to fill your crust. If this is a single crust pie. You will want to crimp the edges of the pie before you fill it. If you need time to make the filling, put the pie crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling. If this is for a double crust pie, you will put the pie plate with the bottom crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling and rolling out the top crust.