*Like to write? Like to win things? There’s still time to submit your entry for my Group Writing Project
Some of you may know that I love to bake. I am a cake decorator through word of mouth so I bake cakes quite often, but I also love making cobblers and cookies and pies. I have been asked on many an occasion about my pie crust. How did I get it to be so flaky? How did I avoid it becoming too dense? What is my recipe?
First, I must tell you that ingredients themselves have very little to do with whether or not you will get a good pie crust. It’s how you put them together. Here is what works for me:
DO NOT USE A PASTRY CUTTER
Unless you have found a pastry cutter that actually cuts the shortening or butter in, instead of just smashing it. I have yet to find one that does the job right.
Now, I don’t know the science behind why it is so important to get the shortening cut into the flour mixture, creating tiny little granules before you just mash it all together anyway. But for some reason it is VERY important. I have seen it first hand. I went to a friends house to show her how to make a pie crust. We each made the same recipe, side by side. She used her pastry cutter. I used two butter knives. Mine worked, hers, not so much. I mean it still turned out fine in the end, but it was more difficult to work with, more dense and not at all flaky.
Here is my not so secret recipe and exactly how I put it together:
Best Flaky Pie Crust
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 teaspoons cold water
1. In a bowl combine the salt and the flour.
2. Add the shortening, and using two butter knives, cut the shortening into the flour mixture, until it forms very small crumbs, say, like the consistency of bisquick.
3. Sprinkle 4 to 5 tablespoons of cold water over the flour mixture.
4. Use a fork to combine all the ingredients thoroughly until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. If necessary, add more water (a very tiny amount at a time)
6. Knead briefly in your hands to make double sure everything is well combined. Then dump out onto a well floured surface and roll it out to fit a 9 inch pie pan.