Forget what I said about using the crusts in a box. I guess it had been too long since I had made a homemade crust. I had forgotten that they are worth the extra bit of time it takes to make them.
First you need 1/2 cup Crisco. If you know in advance you’re going to make a pie, measure the Crisco and put it in the refrigerator to chill. This will help you achieve a flaky crust. I made this one spur of the moment, so it didn’t chill but still turned out okay. The colder, the flakier though!
Next add 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp. salt to the shortening.
Now you need to blend these ingredients together. I keep telling myself to get a pastry cutter, but then I keep forgetting to remind myself when I’m actually at the store.
Two forks or two knives will do the job, also . . . just not as easily and quickly.
Every recipe I’ve ever seen for pie crust says to mix until it looks like corn meal. I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten mine crumbled that well. Definitely try to avoid chunks larger than peas, although I think I see a couple in this photo. Oops.
You want to have little pieces of shortening, because this is the key to flakiness. If you use a mixer and just mush it all together you’ll have a bread-y consistency, and that’s not what we’re going for.
Think back to elementary science class. Remember when we talked about conglomerate rock? It has little pieces of various kinds of rock within it. That’s the idea with the shortening. The bits of shortening are the small rocks that make up the conglomerate. All those little pieces will melt when you bake it, leaving tiny empty spaces. AKA flakiness!
The next ingredient is 3-6 Tbsp. ice cold water. You can see the canning jar to the right of the bowl. I just filled it with water from the refrigerator dispenser and measured out of it.
Start with 3 Tbsp. and go from there. You want to mix with a fork and just continue to turn the flour mixture on the bottom of the bowl to the top. Bottom to top. Bottom to top. Keep adding water a tablespoon at a time. I used 5 tablespoons.
You want to mix it until the dough will hold together.
The way to test is to form a small dough ball about the size of a dime. Then mash the ball between your fingers. See in the above photo how the dough fell apart in the lower righthand corner? This means it needs more water.
I added another tablespoon and tested again. This time, the dough stayed together; it was just pushed to a different shape. This means it is ready.
Pour all of the dough onto a large square of wax paper.
Use your hands to shape it into a ball.
Then cover the dough with another piece of wax paper (about the same size as the first). Press a bit to start flattening the crust.
Then roll out the crust, going in every direction until you have made somewhat of a circle.
Next peel off the top wax paper,
invert crust onto pie plate, and begin to press the edges.
Work your way around the entire crust until
it looks like this. Now you’re ready to fill it with something delicious.
Happy pie making!
I love you,
P.S. If you let your dog hang out with you while you’re baking, he’ll lick up all the crumbs you drop on the floor.