If you’re looking for the perfect pie crust for sweet or savory applications, here it is…my Great Grandmother’s recipe taught to my mother and then taught to me. It’s not too complicated or fussy, but it is the perfect flaky layer to complement anything from Strawberry Rhubarb Pie to the Bacon Spinach Quiche in tonight’s Brunch Favorites class.
In order to fit everything in to one class sometimes I prep a few things ahead, like this pie crust. It’s perfectly okay to pick up a store bought crust and I know many folks do just that, so I focused on the other techniques for making crepes or scones in the Brunch Favorites class. Our original family recipe calls for shortening because I’m sure butter was not as readily accessible back then. Now I am making an effort to use less processed oils and fats, so I use butter in this crust. Either will work fine and the choice is yours (although let’s not tell my Mama I’m changing her recipe!).
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
6 – 8 TBS ice cold water
Simple so far, right? It’s all in the technique. Combine flour and salt in large bowl or in food processor. Cube butter or shortening and add to flour. If using a bowl, cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a knife. Work quickly to keep the butter from melting. If using a food processor, quickly pulse 7-8 times just to combine. The mixture should resemble coarse gravel. Slowly add water to form the dough. Squeeze a small amount in your hand to see if it easily comes together without being sticky. Turn dough out onto plastic wrap, press together to form a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let rest in fridge for 20 minutes.
When ready to use, lightly flour counter top, and roll out in a large circle to fit 9 inch pie dish. You should have enough for one bottom crust with extra hanging over the sides that you can roll up and crimp with your fingers.
This recipe makes enough for a single pie crust (bottom only). At this point, follow your recipe instructions for using either an unbaked pie shell or blind baking it before filling it.