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Pie Crust – Store Bought or Home Made

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 crusts

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces all purpose flour
  • ounces butter very cold
  • lard or trans-fat shortening or a combination try 4 oz. fresh lard and 4 oz. butter
  • teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces ice water a glass with ice cubes and then add water

Instructions

  • Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Cut the cold fat into ½" cubes.
  • Toss the cubes of fat with the flour mixture until all the fat is coated with flour.
  • Using just the tips of your fingers (the coolest part of your hands), begin breaking the fat into smaller pieces, rubbing some of the fat into the flour between your thumbs and fingers. This is easiest to do with butter, since it is the firmest fat at refrigerator temperatures.
  • Keep breaking up/rubbing in the fat until the largest pieces are no larger than pea-sized and the rest looks like coarse meal. Be careful not to overwork the fat and flour mixture or you'll end up with paste. Make sure that if the fat begins to get too soft while working with it, put the whole bowl into the freezer for ten minutes or the refrigerator for half an hour.
  • Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of ice water as evenly as you can over the flour/fat mixture. Toss the water and the flour with your fingertips. Try to go in down the sides of the bowl and then toss the flour up a bit. You don't want to start mixing right on top of the water, or you could end up developing too much gluten, making your crust tough.
  • Once you've thoroughly tossed the flour/fat and water, sprinkle on another 2 tablespoons of water and toss together as described above.
  • At this point, take a small handful of dough - it should still look very sandy at this point - and squeeze it gently in your fist. If it holds together and doesn't break apart when you gently press it flat, you have added enough water. You heard right. The dough will still look very sandy. If the dough does not hold together, or it splits apart into sandy chunks when you press on it, sprinkle on another tablespoon of water and toss.
  • Continue adding a bit of water at a time, tossing, and testing by gently squeezing a bit of dough. If you're not sure, err on the side of a little too dry than a little too wet.
  • Rather than dumping the sandy/floury dough out on the counter, it's easier to just compact it in the bowl you mixed it in. So press the dough together in a disc at the bottom of the mixing bowl. Cut in half. Take each half out and shape them into ½" thick discs. Roll each disc between two pieces of parchment paper to a thickness of about 1/8".
  • Put the rolled discs in the refrigerator for an hour. This will let the flour completely hydrate. After the hour, you will notice that if the dough was a little dry before, it is no longer sandy. At this point, you can either use the dough or freeze it for later.
  • To store in the freezer, remove from the refrigerator until pliable. Then gently roll the dough, parchment and all, into a cylinder. Wrap the cylinder in heavy duty plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to two months.

Notes

Who says you can't make frozen pie crust at home? And for the cost of one box of commercial pie crusts you can make a whole lot of fresh ones yourself. Tomorrow, look for my post on How to Line a Pie Pan.