So Simple Pie Crust Tutorial

Apple Galette

Previously I posted the recipe that I use for making pie crust from scratch. I shared that I love eating pie-crust, what I didn’t share was, that I like to snack on the dough. I used to totally gross my grandmother out because I would eat clumps of pie dough from the bowl.  She worried that I would get a huge tummy-ache from all of that raw dough sitting in my tummy. Perhaps this why I like to make it from scratch, so I can sample some of the dough. Not that I’m advocating eating pie-crust dough (and every time I take a taste I can still hear my grandma’s warnings against it…) but, it’s a found childhood memory that always comes to mind as I make pie crust. Making pie-crust is my first vivid memory of baking….the rest is, as “they” say ~ history.

Crisco Pie Crust – it varies depending on how much you need – single crust, double crust, etc.. However, I typically make a double crust so that there is left-over dough to make other “crusty” treats like these

– 3/4 cup Crisco*
2 cups flour (all-purpose)
1 tsp salt (less is better than more)
4-8 Tbl cold water (4-6 is usually about right)

Deep Dish Double Crust:
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup Crisco
6-10 Tbl cold water

*(Crisco advises to use chilled shortening… I never do and am happy with the results.)

Grandma Edith's Glass Pyrex Pie Dough bowl, measuring cups & spoons circa 1970s

Step ONE – Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl . Use a fork to incorporate the salt into the flour.

Step TWO – Add the shortening. TIP- If you rarely use shortening, you can buy the sticks.  They are SO quick & easy to use which makes them BEST choice by far!!  They cost a little more, but are more economical in that each stick (total of 3 sticks) is individually sealed so the product stays fresher much longer. Each stick also comes in it’s own storage case. Plus, they take up less room. However, if you use the can (this is the first time in 15, if not, 20 years that I purchased a can), then you have to scoop it out and fill a measuring cup. This is where The Pampered Chef measuring cup comes in handy because #1 it’s clear and #2 you just push out the ingredients (also very handy for other sticky food, like peanut butter)…

block of Crisco/The Pampered Chef measuring cup

Of course, you can always measure the shortening the way my grandmother did, in a measuring cup. Press it in a little bit at at time with a knife, because if you just load it all in at once, there will most likely be air pockets. Then run the knife around the edges so the shortening falls out of the measuring cup. Some will stick to the sides. To remove all of the shortening, add a little flour from the bowl to the measuring cup. The flour will stick to the shortening, making dough crumbs.

TIP: use flour to remove residual shortening from the measuring cup.


Step THREE – Now that the shortening has been added to the flour/salt mixture, use a fork to press the shortening against the sides of the bowl – the flour & shortening will start to mix together as it presses through the tines of the fork.  Keep up this process (takes about 5 minutes) until you achieve a crumbly looking texture like this…

Crumbly Flour/Crisco mixture

Step FOUR – Add the water & mix with the fork. I typically add 4-5 TBL to begin with, then continue adding water JUST until the dough STARTS to stick together.  Be careful not to add TOO much water – This is IMPORTANT!  Once the dough starts to stick together, stop mixing with the fork. It is now time to use your HANDS to help the dough stick together, forming a ball.

The dough should look like this after adding water & mixing with a fork - This is the stage when it's ready to be mixed with your HANDS

STEP FIVE – Sprinkle a rolling mat with a scant amount of flour. Flatten out the dough ball into a circle and roll out the dough into a circle. Be careful not to add too much flour and to roll as minimally as possible – less flour & less rolling makes for a flakier crust. TIP: You can use your rolling pin to pick up the rolled out dough.

Rolling out the dough

Step SIX- Ready to add the filling – not part of crust making, but usually you fill it with something so I added steps 6 & 7.

Step SEVEN-Fold up the sides around the filling.

An example of something quick & simple that you can do with your pie dough

Typically there will be some left-over dough.  My grandma always made mini cinnamon roll looking cookies from the left-over dough… like these; pictured above.


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