Wednesday, December 26, 2007

MY FAVORITE PIE CRUST

I wish I could remember where this recipe came from. It's at least 40 years old, and I've used it over and over because it's no-fail and not at all fussy. For the past year or so, I didn't use it because of the changes to Crisco shortening. Since they've taken out the trans-fats, the shortening acts more like oil in a pie crust and it's terribly hard to work with. It breaks apart easily, and the pie crust can't be shaped as easily as before. I've tried numerous other pie crust recipes, but none could measure up to my favorite. So I finally went back to it and adapted it. The results were better than expected. By mixing the fat, part butter, part shortening, I can now roll the crust. It still tends to break more easily than the original with shortening only, but I can live with it now. Once you try this recipe, you'll be hooked as I am on the flavor and flakiness. What's also nice is that it makes 4 crusts at one time, which can be frozen and used later.

My Favorite Pie Crust

INGREDIENTS: 4 cups all-purpose flour lightly spooned into cup (I used half White Lily
bleached and half Pillsbury unbleached.)
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening
1 cup cold or frozen unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. white or cider vinegar (I use cider)
1 large egg, cold

DIRECTIONS: Place flour, sugar and salt in workbowl of food processor or large mixing bowl. Add shortening and pulse till it is incorporated into flour and there are no shortening pieces visible. (By hand, cut in shortening with pastry blender or knives.) Now do the same with the butter, but only process until butter is in very small pieces, smaller than peas. In a measuring cup, combine the vinegar and egg. Add enough ice water to make 1/2 cup. Add enough of the egg mixture to the flour mixture to form a ball. Sometimes you will use it all, other times there will be some liquid unused.  (By hand, mix with fork till pastry forms a ball.) Separate dough into four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for several month.

2 comments:

Kathleen said...

Hi Judy,

I was just playing around and looking for a new pie crust recipe, and I stumbled upon your blog. I made your favorite pie crust tonight, and it was delicious! Our family recipe doesn't call for an egg, and I was afraid it might come out biscuit-like, but it was very flaky and yummy! Thanks for the new trick!

Judy said...

Kathleen, Thanks so much for the feedback on this recipe. So glad it worked for you.