Pie is one of my favorite desserts. But it has to have a good crust. And outstanding crust, actually. You can thank my mom for making me such a pie snob. She made the best pies! I guess everyone likes their mom’s food best. But really, I think my mom had a special touch when it came to pies.
By the way – my mother was Amish before she was married, in case you didn’t know. Which probably explains why she was such a good cook.
When I was a kid she used to make pies nearly every Saturday. For Sunday lunch, presumably. But the sweet reality was that we often had a slice of pumpkin pie for Sunday breakfast. (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone! 😀 ) It wasn’t just at holidays, either.
I spent Thanksgiving with my sister this year, and
we she made some pies for their Thanksgiving church supper, so I took the chance to photograph a recipe with someone else doing the cooking. It is challenging, for instance, to take pictures of yourself rolling out dough. 😉
It was fun watching her. She can whip up pies faster than anyone I know. Except maybe my mom. I mean, she (my sister) made probably 6-7 pies in less than an hour.
Put an egg and the vinegar into a cup measure. Beat the egg a little with a fork.
Pour the water/egg mix into the flour mix, and gently mix.
The dough will seem too wet for a bit while mixing in the egg/water. In fact, it will seem like the water isn’t going to all get mixed in, but just mix more! If you added the full amount of shortening, it won’t hurt it to mix it. Rest assured – you want it a bit sticky. It makes better pie crust.
When the water is all mixed in, the dough will still be quite sticky, but that’s OK. You will need to use a generous amount of flour while rolling it out, to keep it from sticking. If you don’t use it all immediately, just put it in a plastic bag or tightly sealed dish to keep it from drying out. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week just fine. Just remember to let it come to room temperature before rolling it out.
Note: I use real, old-fashioned lard for my pie crusts. You can find it in Walmart in 1-lb chunks, which is really handy for this recipe. It makes wonderfully flaky crusts. But you can use vegetable shortening, butter, or any solid shortening, really. Different kinds produce different results, so be aware.
2019 UPDATE: Several years ago I started using 1/2 butter and 1/2 lard in my crust recipe. I love the buttery flavor!
For more tips on making pies, read this post: 4 tips for the perfect pie.
Easy, Flaky Pie Crust
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 1 lb shortening
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- water to fill cup with egg
- Mix flour, salt, and shortening well.
- Put egg in measuring cup, beat with fork - add vinegar and fill with water.
- Add egg mixture to flour mixture.
- Mix till water mixture is completely incorporated.
- Dough will be sticky.
- Roll out, using generous amounts of flour to keep from sticking to counter.
- Store extra in plastic bag or tightly sealed bowl.
- Makes 2 double crusted pies, or 5 single crusts.
- Can freeze unbaked pie shells.