Pie Crust from Scratch
Even the most experienced cook can be intimidated when it comes to making pie crust, but you don’t have to turn to the premade product. Preparing a pie crust from scratch is fast and does not require any complicated equipment. Follow these steps to achieve a tender, flaky crust, as well as several ways to embellish the edges for a pie that’s as pretty as it is tasty.
Basic Pie Crust
Makes 1 (9-inch) regular or deep-dish pie crust
- 2 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 tablespoon cold all-vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup ice water
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add butter and shortening, and using a pastry blender, cut in fats until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork just until mixture comes together and starts to form a ball. (You may not need to use the full 1/2 cup of water.)
- On a lightly floured surface, knead mixture until it forms a smooth dough. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim excess dough from edges, and decorate as desired.
- Double the recipe for a double-crust pie.
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STEP 1: Cut cold butter and shortening into flour mixture until it looks like small, coarse crumbs.
STEP 2: Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir with a fork just until mixture starts to form a ball. You may not need to add the full 1/2 cup of water.
STEP 3: Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, and shape it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
STEP 4: On a large, lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough to a 12-inch circle. Use your hands to shape the dough into a circle, if needed.
STEP 5: Gently peel the paper from the dough, and transfer to a pie plate. Let the dough fall into the pie plate rather than stretching it into place.
STEP 6: Press dough up sides of pie plate to edges, and trim any excess. Smooth dough to an even thickness within pie plate, and press top edges of dough to rim of pie plate for decorating.
Forked: Lightly dip the tines of a fork into flour, and press into edges of dough.
Fluted: Pinch dough between your thumb and forefinger, and press the rounded end of a spoon into the dough to create a ruffled edge.
Checkerboard: Make 1-inch-long cuts, about 1 inch apart, into edges of dough. Fold alternating pieces of dough in toward center of plate.
Crescent: Use a spoon to imprint two rows of half-circles into dough.