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Pie Crust help, please!

Last post Fri, Nov 15 2013 10:17 AM by Kassy. 7 replies.
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  • Wed, Oct 20 2010 1:55 PM

    Pie Crust help, please!

    I'm not so good at making pie crust.  The process is time-consuming and yields poor results, so I've always bought my crusts.  Last week I paid $3.25 for two pie crusts, which is unacceptable (!)  I've got one of those pampered chef roll-out mats, a marble rolling pin, and even an antique glass one I can fill with cold water, so I'm not short on equipment, just know-how.  Has anyone got a great recipe with some key techniques they can pass on?  Thanks a bunch in advance!


  • Wed, Oct 20 2010 2:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Pie Crust help, please!

    Your recipe is probably okay, but working pie dough can be tricky. Here's what I do:

    First, if you use butter, make sure it's COLD. Also, make sure you use COLD ICE water. You want whatever fat you're using to melt in the oven, not while you're preparing it. Melted fat leaves the air pockets in the crust that makes it flaky. Work the fat into your flour until it's about the size of peas. You want the fat evenly dispersed, but not too fine.

    Add ice water one Tablespoon at a time. Adding it gradually will ensure that you don't end up with a hard crust. Not enough water will result in a crumbly crust, but too much water will result in a rock hard crust. You'll know you have the right amount of water if your dough just starts to cling together if you clump some together in your fist. You want the dough to just stick together, not as much as a bread dough consistency. If it sticks like bread dough, you've added too much water. It's okay if a few crumbs fall out of the dough while you're rolling it out. A few crumbs is okay, but a lot means you didn't add enough water.

    I roll out my crust dough between two pieces of waxed paper. If the paper crinkles, just lift it up gently and straighten it out. Using two pieces of waxed paper makes it WAY easier to pick up and put into the pie plate. Don't overwork the dough when you're rolling it out. Working the dough develops a protein called gluten that makes crust taste tough. When you're ready to move the crust to the pie plate, just lift off one piece of waxed paper, turn the dough over so the other piece of paper is now on top, and lay the crust down. When you get it situated, gently peel off that other piece of paper. Voila.

    If your crust gets too brown while you're baking it, cover it with foil. I usually pull off a piece of aluminum foil, cut a circle out of the middle, and set it on top of my crust. That way the edges are covered to prevent over-browning, but the center can cook right.

    As with anything, practice makes perfect. I'm off to find a video for you, so you can visualize all the tips I've written about. It's easier for me to SEE instructions than imagine them, LOL.

    Oh, and the humidity and heat in the air while you're making pie dough will mean you add different amounts of water each time you make it. A higher humidity will usually mean you add less water. That's why it's so important to add water 1 Tablespoon at at time, because you never know exactly how much you'll need.



  • Wed, Oct 20 2010 2:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Pie Crust help, please!


    Here's a video that shows what the pie crust should look like when you've worked in the butter and added the right amount of flour. Hope this helps!

    PS. The lady in the video says that the dough should be refrigerated for 30 mins. before you roll it out. I've never done that, but I'm gonna try! (I learned something new today!)


  • Thu, Oct 21 2010 2:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Pie Crust help, please!

    That is so cool, thank you! 

     I'm sure I was over-watering my dough and then overworking it to compensate. 

  • Thu, Oct 21 2010 9:17 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Pie Crust help, please!

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager

  • Fri, Oct 22 2010 7:43 PM In reply to

    • gayla50
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 24 2007
    • Western North Carolina
    • Posts 8,491

    Re: Pie Crust help, please!

    I make a simple pie crust

    the key is to be cold .. I even chill my flour .. and  I use Lard ( shock please dont throw rocks or frown )

    dont over work it ,

    I make up alot of them at once ....

     single crust

    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

    1 tablespoon sugar

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening ( lard ) chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes .

    3 tablespoon unsalted butter , chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

    1/4 cup - + ice cold water

    1 large egg yolk

    1/2 teaspoon vimgear

    mix the flour sugar and salt until combined . I use a pastry blender and quickly cut in the lard and butter .  you want pea sized pieces if you use a pastry blender be sure to clean the wires of the blender.

    in a small bowl mix the water ( no ice cubes ) the egg yolk and vinegar .. then add to the flour mixture a tiny bit at a time just enough to make it come together ..  some time it enough some times not enough (slowly add 1 teaspoon at a time ) . when it comes together wrap in wax it sticks to plastic wrap .. then chill at least 1 hour and or up to 2 days ..  let it set out about 10 minutes and roll it out .. use that big old rolling pin that what it for ...

    if you need a double crust 

    2 1/4 cups AP flour

    1 1/2 tablespoon sugar

    1/2 salt

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup 1 tablespoon vegtable shortening ,chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces

    5 tablespoon butter chilled and cut into pieces

    1 large egg yolk

    3/4 teaspoon vinegar

    above directions  cut in half and work on  one half at a time .

    I got these from a friend many years ago it is by far the easiest pie crust I use ...  it generous  it rolls easy and  it is good for almost any pie ... 

    hope this helps .


    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Frugal Food and Cooking and in Slow Cooker Foods

    Purpose is what gives life a meaning
  • Fri, Nov 15 2013 7:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Pie Crust help, please!

     I am bumping up an old post on making pie crust.


    $ Dollar Stretcher Community Manager $
  • Fri, Nov 15 2013 10:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Pie Crust help, please!

    Brandy: I too use the Hillbilly Housewife recipe. It's simple and almost no-fail. My kind of recipe!
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