Monday, May 3, 2010

My Pie Crust Recipe

At least one person has asked me for my pie crust recipe. The one I use the most, which has always worked for me, is from a book titled, "All About Home Baking" by General Foods Kitchens, published in 1960. This book used to belong to my Aunt Jean, but evidently she left it behind with Grandma Crabill when she got married, and when I was asking for cookbooks Grandma gave me this one. So here is the recipe:

Flaky Pastry

Tender, flaky pastry is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Measure carefully and follow instructions.

2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shortening
7 Tbsp. cold water

Combine flour and salt. Cut in about 1/2 cup of the shortening, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add remaining shortening in several pieces, and cut in until mixture is the size of large peas.

Sprinkle with water, a small amount at a time. Mix lightly with a fork until all particles are moistened and cling together when pastry is pressed into a ball. Amount of water may vary with flours. Cover with damp cloth and let stand a few minutes.

For 2-crust pie: Roll out 1/2 of the pastry very thin (less than 1/8 inch thick) on lightly floured surface. Press into a 9-inch pie pan and trim pastry at edge of rim. Roll out remaining pastry very thin and cut several 2-inch slits or a fancy design near center. Fill pie shell. Moisten edge of bottom crust. To adjust top crust, fold pastry in half or roll loosely onto rolling pin and center on filling. Open slits with a knife. (Well-opened slits are important to permit escape of steam during baking.) Trim top crust, allowing it to extend 1/2 inch over rim. To seal, press top and bottom crusts together on rim. Then fold edge of top crust under bottom crust and flute. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees F) for 50 to 60 minutes, or as recipe directs.

For pie shell, prepare half recipe of Flaky pastry, roll out, press into pie pan, trim 1 inch larger than pie pan and form a standing rim, then flute it. Prick pastry with fork, pricking all over and very thoroughly around the bottom curve of pan. Bake at 450 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool before filling.

One of our favorite things to do with leftover crust is to roll it out, then put butter and cinnamon-sugar on it and bake for about 10-15 minutes. This is something I learned from my Grandmother Yow, who made a lot of pies in her time. My husband always thinks it's a special treat when I do this.


  1. I can't wait to give this a try when my counters are done. I talked Rich into insetting a marble pastry board into the tile--it will be perfect for rolling out pie dough. HE thinks I did it to make him rolled sugar cookies...

  2. My grandma used to do the same cinnamon sugar treat with her left over crust. One of my fondest childhood memories. Yum!