This is my go-to pie crust. After years of “cutting in” shortening and/or butter (“consistency of cornmeal”, WHAT?), sprinkling in ice water, even vinegar and eggs, I tried this recipe and never went back. Why?
- It’s easier and faster.
- It uses vegetable oil–healthier when you eat the amount of pie I sling around here.
- It is easier on the kitchen–no flour on the counter, rolling pin, etc.
- It has the best taste and is flaky and crisp.
I’m sure I could think of more if I put my mind to it. As you can tell, I love this pie crust. It is equally good for savory pies (chicken pot pie, spinach quiche) and dessert pies.
Now the tutorial which follows is pretty detailed for people who make crust on a regular basis, so just ignore all the tedious photographs if you are an old hand at this. I am amazed, though, at the number of people who look at me like I just mastered cold fusion in my kitchen when they see I made homemade pie crust. If I can do it, anyone can. So for those of you who are intimidated by THE CRUST, here it is in all it’s fuzzy pic glory. I did my best.
Here are the ingredients for a two-crust pie:
2 cups flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola here, which is increasingly suspect in terms of health, but I often use olive–use whatever you prefer)
1/4 cup milk
1. Mix together flour and salt.
2. Combine oil and milk in a small bowl. Do not stir.
3. Add oil and milk to flour.
4. Stir it up.
5. Form it into a ball.
6. Divide the ball into two, one slightly larger than the other. The larger (for the bottom crust) is about 8 oz., the smaller (for the top crust) is a little more than 6 oz.
8. Form the dough into 2 hockey pucks.
9. Sandwich the larger puck between two sheets of waxed paper, about 12 inches square.
10. Using a rolling pin, roll from the center up, gently, taking care not to roll off at the ends (this flattens the edges down to infinity–not good. You want uniform width.)
11. Again starting from the center, roll toward yourself.
12. Roll to the left and the right of center.
13. Then roll from the center to 2 o’clock and 8 o’clock, center to 10 o’clock and 4 o’clock, and repeat, gently expanding the circle.
14. Continue to roll out pastry in this way until it is about a 12-inch circle.
15. Peel off the top layer of waxed paper.
16. Pick up the pastry with the waxed paper still stuck to it and invert the pastry over the empty pie pan, paper side up, centering it over the pan.
17. Carefully peel away the waxed paper.
18. Ease the pastry down into the pan.
19. Add the pie filling and roll out the top crust as the first. Drape it over the filling and remove the waxed paper.
20. Fold the top crust over the bottom crust, tucking them both into the pan.
21. Flute the edge of the crust, angling one finger against the tips of the finger and thumb of the other hand, forming the pastry in between. Repeat all around the edge.
22. Brush top of crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
23. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and filling is bubbly.
What’s your favorite pie crust recipe?