Classic Pie Crust


This recipe is for a deep dish (9 1/2 inch) single-crust pie. It is perfect with sweet or savory fillings, and once you have the hang of it, you will never buy a store bought crust again.  It's simple and delicious.

Ingredients: 6 oz (by weight) or 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)* 1/4-1/2 tsp salt 3 Tbs cold unsalted butter 3 Tbs vegetable shortening Cold water

Method: Weigh or measure flour. Stir in the salt then add the butter and shortening.  Gently rub the butter and shortening into the flour with your hands or a fork until it resembles large breadcrumbs. This part may take some practice, but the texture of your pastry depends on mixing these ingredients properly.  As much as possible, you want to coat the tiny pieces of butter and shortening in the flour without causing the fat to absorb into it.  Once the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, you can begin adding cold water one tablespoon at a time.  Stir gently with a fork after each addition, and stop adding water once there is no loose flour in the bowl. At this point it should look like a shaggy dough and it begins to form  a ball when you stir. Be careful not to add too much water, as it can cause the pastry to be tough.  Gently form the dough into a ball, but try to handle it as little as possible. (At this point you can wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for a later use.)

Flour a wooden board and rolling pin.  Place the ball of pastry on the board and begin shaping it into a circle, rolling evenly until it is about 16 inches in diameter.  Fold the pastry in half and gently lift it into the pie dish.  Open it up again and try to place it evenly, making sure the pastry is touching the bottom and sides of the dish without any gaps or air pockets.  Fold the overhanging parts inward and crimp with your thumb and forefingers. Follow recipe instructions for filling or baking blind.

*Troubleshooting tip: Make sure you are using fresh flour. Old flour can sometimes be brittle and will not hold together in a pastry recipe