MY MOTHER’S PERFECT PIE CRUST
By Gloria Pitzer
*As seen in her self-published book… The Copycat Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1996, 12th printing; p. 73)
2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼-lb chilled butter, broken into bits
5 TB Crisco
About 5 TB cold tap water (added as directed below)
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a roomy bowl. Work in the butter and Crisco using pastry blender or two forks. When mixture resembles gravel, and is even in texture, take the bowl to the sink where you will actually drizzle just enough cold tap water around the edge of the bowl, turning it as the water is added, to make one complete rotation – which equals about 5 TB of water.
Quickly mix it only until it comes away from the sides of the bowl. Shape into ball and cover the bowl. Refrigerate it for about an hour (or up to three days if you don’t have time to use it right away).
This rebuilds the shortening particles so that during baking they will break down and distribute evenly with the flour. The sugar also creates the little pockets that create flakes in the layers of pastry once it has been baked.
After dough has chilled, spread a pastry cloth out on a flat working surface. Use a rolling pin cover over your rolling pin, as well. Sprinkle some flour into the center of the cloth and smooth it over the surface. Also rub some flour into the cover on the rolling pin.
Work quickly, rolling out the dough to about a 12-inch circle. Invert a greased 10-inch pie pan or Pyrex pie plate onto the circle. Trim away the dough, with a sharp knife, 1 inch from rim of inverted pie pan.
Set the pie pan right side up and fold the circle of dough in half. Lift it carefully to fit into half of that pipe, carefully unfolding the dough was so that it fits evenly, without much handling!
THE MORE YOU HANDLE THE PIE CRUST THOUGH THE LESS FLAKY IT WILL BE!
Ease the dough into place in the pie pan. Crimp the rim. Prick the crust with the tines of a fork in about 20 or 30 places. Bake at 375°F for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and fill with a no-bake type filling.
Makes two10-inch pie shells or one double crust 10-inch pie.
FOR THE TOP CRUST:
Gather up scraps from dough after fitting bottom crust into place. Roll out again to 10-inch circle. Add filling to unbaked bottom crust. Fold the second circle of dough in half and placed carefully overfilling, unfolding the dough to ease it into place.
Seal rim and cut slits in top crust for steam to escape. Wipe the top crust evenly with Half-and-Half or butter. Bake the pipe per directions for the filling you were using.
THE HOTTER THE OVEN, the more your pie shell will shrink! For best results – and never mind what the other cookbooks tell you – bake a double crust pie at 375°F, until crust is golden brown and the filling begins to bubble up through the slits in the top. This takes about 45 to 55 minutes, depending on the type of fruit you will be using.