Posts Tagged ‘pie crusts’

The Perfect Pie Crust.

That title doesn’t lie. I have been using this same recipe since I was eight years old- that’s over half my life! (Twelve years, to be exact.) You will never need another pie crust recipe after this.

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Of course, I’ve changed bits and pieces of it here and there over the years, but essentially, it remains the same. It’s not my own recipe- if I was developing recipes at eight years old I can assure you I would not be a music major and in fact, be at pastry school. (Or already working full time at Disney, whatever.)

A bit of background: Every year as a child my family would take a fall trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg is best in the fall because everyone else is trying to take last-minute beach trips and then there are the weird, slightly nerdy families like mine that go to a living history museum. I highly recommend it.

On one of those such trips, I purchased a book told from the perspective of a (real) eight year old girl at the time of the American Revolution. This book included a pie recipe, and as eight year old me often did, I dreamed of this recipe until I could go home and make it.

And now I am sharing it with all of you.

This pie crust has it all- flaky layers, golden brown edges, and goes perfectly with apple pie, a la mode.

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Or just apple pie in general. Or just plain crust; pre-baked. I mean what. I don’t eat unbaked pie crusts, what are you talking about?

It stars your basic cast of pie crust characters: Flour, salt, an egg, and some sort of fat. Butter is my fat of choice.  It makes the crust flakier, fluffier, and melt-in-your-mouthier. Simply mix your flour and salt, and cut in your fat. I start with a pastry cutter (or two knives here in Florida) and then I mix with my hands. Once that’s all crumbly and mixed, I drop in water until it’s all together and mixed well.  I chill the dough to congeal the fat and make the dough easier to use, then I roll it and fill it and bake it.
Make this recipe, and ditch the frozen crusts.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup very cold water
Combine flour and salt.  Add the shortening and cut the mixture with a knife or a pastry blender until it is mealy.  Add the beaten egg and 1/4 of the water.  Gradually add the remaining water, if necessary, to make a soft pastry.  Chill well.  On a floured surface, roll out two round crusts about 1/8 inch thick.