Pie crust can make or break a pie. My mother made the best pies and I believe a large part of the reason for that is her pie crust. It was always flaky, and I never left a crumb on my plate. She grew up in a house that had baked treats quite often, and pies were one of the many things that her family enjoyed on a regular basis.
Memories of Pie (made with this pie crust!)
My family has so very many memories over pieces of pie! In fact, cake was never really my thing. We still had cakes for birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions, but, truthfully, I’d rather put candles in a pie and call it a happy day. We have actually been known to do just that!
Going to either Grandma’s house involved pie. My father’s mother had a cherry tree and an apple tree in her suburban Indiana backyard. When we arrived for a visit, there was always a pie for dessert. My mother’s mother had a wonderful garden throughout their lives and made a variety of delicious, baked confections, especially pie. Her particular favorite was rhubarb!
Mom’s favorite pie was coconut cream pie. Mine used to be lemon meringue, but now I’ll go for any kind of berry pie. Joel’s preference is cherry pie. We’ll eat just about every type of fruit pie, though. And nowadays, vegan ice cream is readily available, so it is easy to have our pie a la mode!
Since it is almost fall, apple and pumpkin pies fit the bill. If you are making a pumpkin pie, or other one-crust pie, simply cut the recipe in half. When I was a little girl, my mother would make enough to give me a small piece of dough and a toy rolling pin. I could roll it out and play with it to my heart’s content – and then I’d pop it into my mouth unbaked! That’s how enjoyable it was.
Works with Sweet or Savory
Some folks claim that sugar is necessary in a pie crust, but I beg to differ. This simple recipe complements a sweet pie filling so as not to making it cloying. Likewise, if you prefer a more savory, pot-pie dish, this pie crust will work perfectly. Mom used to even make turnovers using this pie crust recipe. They were quite good.
If you are in need of a filling idea, and happen to have rhubarb, try the cobbler filling in my rhubarb cobbler recipe. It is versatile enough to do double-duty and work in a pie.
The Pie Crust Recipe Card
My grandmother gave this recipe to my mother. Then, of course, my mother gave it to me. Here is the recipe card, in all its beloved glory, written by my mother’s hand, complete with food and grease stains.
And here is the “flip side.”
Pie Crust Recipe Updates
I try to use flour that isn’t bleached. In fact, I prefer to use some form of organic and/or whole grain flour. If you like, gluten-free pastry flour can work in this recipe as well.
For the purposes of this post, I used Spelt flour.
Add the salt next.
After the salt is added, it is a very good idea to mix the flour and salt together with a fork. Then, add the shortening.
Yes, it’s messy! But using your hand to mix and squish it is the best way to go! Have fun with it! After you get it mixed in well, add a little bit of water, one spoonful at a time, up to 1/4 Cup. Many recipes recommend iced, or at least very cold, water. I use cold tap water and it works just fine.
One Pie Crust or Two?
Work that water in until the mixture forms a ball, or 2 balls if making a two-crust pie. Notice that my 2 dough balls are slightly different in size? That’s because the one that goes on the bottom needs to be a little bit bigger when it’s rolled out.
Then, roll it between two sheets of waxed paper that have first been sprinkled with flour. I sprinkle the flour on one sheet, then dip the dough ball into the flour. Then I turn the dough ball over and cover with the remaining piece of waxed paper. You can also use parchment paper if you prefer.
Don’t worry too much about making perfect circles, it will still taste the same. If you are making a one-crust pie, then you only have to roll out one ball of dough, using half the recipe. After placing your rolled-out crust in your pie pan or dish, be sure to prick the dough with a fork prior to filling and baking:
I like to seal the edges of the 2-crust pie by pressing down with the tines of a fork. Here is the pie in the oven.
After 10 minutes at 450°F, I turned the heat down to 350°F for the remaining baking time, which, for this recipe, was 45 minutes. (Make sure you follow the directions for your pie recipe!) You can see the forked edge clearly in this photo.
Finally, the finished product! I love when the filling oozes a bit.
Do you have a favorite pie? Or pie crust recipe? I’d love to know how you like this recipe. It is so simple, you’ll never resort to a mix again!
- 2 Cups Flour I use Spelt or whole-grain pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 Cup Shortening PLUS 2 Tablespoons
- 1/4 Cup Cold Water Or less
- Measure flour into mixing bowl.
- Add salt and mix with a fork.
- Cut in shortening. (I "dive" in with a clean hand.)
- Sprinkle water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing lighly with a fork. (Or continue mixing with your hand.)
- Gather dough together with fingers so it cleans the bowl.
- Press dough firmly into a ball. Then roll it out between two sheets or waxed paper or parchment paper.
Cooking time is approximate as it could vary from pie to pie, depending upon the filling.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate. It is intended here as a guide only. Nutrition information here is calculated based on 8 servings.