Perfect Pie Crust
The secret to making a perfect pie crust is not only in the recipe really but in the method of making it.
Most importantly – you will see a big difference in the quality of your crust based on the fat you use.
Fat: The more high ratio your fat the better the crust.
My grand mother would use 100% lard (animal fat) and to her making a pie crust with butter is a NO No! She lived until 89 and lived healthy.
I, on the other hand; never use lard for making my pie crust. I use all butter or some times half butter and half veg shortening. I’d be lucky if I live to half her age..!
- The amount of water in your pie dough plays a very important part in the final texture. Too much water will make your crust very tough and too little will make it very crumbly.
- Avoid the fat / butter from melting into your flour. I usually place my bowl with the flour, chilled butter into the fridge for at least half hour before I start to work it into a dough.
- Always use chilled iced water to maintain the temperature of the dough.
- Always chill your pie crust for at least half hour before you bake, this will avoid the sides from shrinking.
- Always let the pre-baked crust cool for 15 minutes before you add the filling in, this will avoid the liquid from being absorbed into the crust.
Here’s what you will need:
Single Pie Crust (if you need only the bottom)
150 grams / 1 1/4 cup – All Purpose Flour
120 grams – Fat ( lard, veg shortening or butter) – chilled and cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
50 to 60 ml chilled ice water.
Double Pie Crust (if you need the top and bottom)
250 grams /2 cups All Purpose Flour
200 grams / 1 cup unsalted chilled butter cut into small cubes
2 tsp salt
120 ml / 1/2 cup chilled ice water
Method: – here’s how I do it.
Place the flour, salt and chilled cut butter and veg shortening into a bowl and place the bowl in the fridge for about half an hour or more.
Use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour.
I’m using all butter today.
Soon you will have a crumbly mixture.
Add the chilled water in three batches. Gather all the crumbs into a ball.
Wrap in cling or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
I place the chilled ball of dough between two parchment papers.
If it’s too hard give it a few minutes on the counter or it will crack too much.
You want you dough chilled but still easy enough to roll.
Usually about 15 to 30 minutes is good.
Roll as large as you need for your pie pan.
Take off the top parchment paper and flip the dough over the pie pan
Take off the second parchment paper and form the dough to the pan like so..
Place it in the fridge to chill again.
Use a fork to prick the dough all over before baking it – this will allow air to pass thru avoiding steam to be trapped at the bottom.
Some recipes like custard based ones require a pre-baked crust to avoid the crust from absorbing all the liquid. You can use pie weight to bake the pie crust, I don’t always use pie weights , I just prick my pie crust more than usual. — works for me..!
To prebake your pie crust, preheat your oven at 170C/340F, bake with weight for 20 minutes, remove the pie weights and bake further for another 10 minutes. I usually bake mine without pie weights for about 20 to 25 minutes, if you prick as I do, you will find that dough does not rise.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before you add filling and continue to bake.
And here’s an Apple pie made with the Double Pie crust recipe above.
So, now you have the basic pie crust, next I will share with you my mushroom quiche recipe that uses this crust.
I hope you find this post helpful.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.