When I was just starting to learn how to cook for my family, I wondered who ever came up with the expression easy as pie?? Had they ever actually tried to make pie? I was really good at making a crumbly mess, or something that looked ok but tasted awful. Why was this so hard?
I tried a myriad of different recipes and since I wasn’t a huge fan of pie crust anyway… I probably wasn’t the best judge to begin with. Miss Suzette served her recipe for pie crust with me about 15 years ago, and it was the first time I actually ate the crust instead of leaving it untouched on the side of my plate. Thankfully she shared her recipe.
I really like’s Sue’s recipe but I found that it had a tendency to shrink, a lot (as demonstrated by the pictures), so over the years I have experimented a bit and came up with a recipe that tastes great, is easy to work with, and doesn’t shrink… as much.
This really is my go to pie crust recipe. Almost without fail when I make a pie, even if it is someone else’s recipe, I still use this crust. It is light, flaky, and tastes great every single time.
One trick that works well to keep the shell from shrinking so much is to blind bake your shell with pie weights. Since I don’t have official pie weights, I just use a piece of parchment paper or aluminium foil to line the crust and make a layer of dried beans in the bottom of the shell. It takes a little bit longer to bake, but the crust holds it’s shape better.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 Tbsp ice water
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture. Add the beaten egg, water, and lemon juice. Mix a few times with a wooden spoon.
You can mix completely with a wooden spoon. I prefer to dump out the loosely combined mixture onto a silicone mat and use the palm of my hand to knead the liquids into the dough.
Form the dough into a loose ball. Cover with plastic wrap. I press the dough into a square shape that is tight against the plastic. Then, wrap the dough one more time and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Divide the dough into two halves. Refrigerate the dough that you are not working with. Generously flour your work surface and roll thin to your desired size.
Drape the dough over your pie pan leaving a 1" rim around the perimeter. Shape the edge as desired. Prick the bottom and sides of the unbaked shell with a fork.
When you are ready to bake, place the pie shell into a 400° F preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shell is puffed and the edges and bottom are starting to brown.
This recipe makes 2 9" pie shells.
If not using all of the dough, form into a ball, cover it with two layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days or freeze. Thaw before use.