Prep 45 mins
Cook 0 mins
Pie fillings are so wonderful in and of themselves that the best thing to put them in is something flaky and simple. A pie crust should compliment the filling, not conflict with or overpower it.The keys to the perfect flaky pie crust are a gentle touch and really cold water. When you're making bread, you want to knead it good and hard to produce the gluten that makes bread thick and chewy, but gluten is the enemy of pastries. So, the less you handle the flour, the less gluten will be produced and the flakier your pie crust will be. This recipe makes two pie crusts for a 10" dish (either a top and a bottom for one pie or bottoms for two pies). If you only want one bottom, just halve the recipe.
- Fill up a small dish with ice and water. Put it in the fridge and let it get really cold.
- Blend flour and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Cut the shortening into the flour mixture using two chilled butter knives. I stick two clean butter knives in the freezer while I'm measuring out the flour. Then I just slice at the chunk of shortening crosswise until the lumps are the size of peas.
- Holding a fork in your dominate hand, add the ice water one tablespoon at a time, fluffing the dough with your fork to evenly moisten the dough. The amount of water you need varies depending on the humidity. I usually stop adding water once the dough starts to clump up around the fork. You want the dough to stick together relatively easily, but you don't want it to be so wet that it's hard to work with.
- Stick your hands in the bowl and give your dough just three or four hard squeezes to get it to stick all together, then divide the dough into two chunks.
- Wrap the chunks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
- To roll out your pie crusts, wipe down your counter with a damp sponge, then slap a piece of wax paper down on the still damp counter top. This will make the wax paper stick in place.
- Flour the top of the wax paper and your rolling pin.
- Flatten out one of the dough balls onto the wax paper and sprinkle it with more flour. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
- Then just lift up the wax paper and flip your pie crust into your pie dish.
- Paint the inside of your pie crust with an egg white to waterproof it before pouring in your filling.
- Roll out your second crust and put it on top of your pie.