Making a simple pie crust should be easy, shouldn’t it? I mean it only calls for four uncomplicated ingredients: flour, Crisco shortening, salt, and cold water. Then you fill it with something tasty.
So why do so many of us find it so darn intimidating? For me, personally, it’s the perfectionist in me whispering that I didn’t roll it out just right. It’s a little lopsided, with a thicker crust on one side and thinner on the other. Or perhaps it tore down the center as I was trying to situate it in the pie plate.
But then the practical side butts in and says, “Who really gives a care?!? All that matters in the end is that it tastes good!” And you know what? It’s true. We’re not trying to win any blue ribbons here, and keeping it real in the kitchen is all about trying new things and having fun while doing it. Sometimes you’ll nail it, and sometimes it will flop horribly, but a little success rarely comes without a lot of failure — trust me.
Ready to give it a shot? This is the Crisco pie crust recipe that we’ve traditionally used in my family, most often at Thanksgiving for my homemade pumpkin pies.
As an aside… I always thought it was my step-grandmother’s creation, so imagine my surprise when I recently saw the exact recipe printed inside a box of Crisco shortening sticks! I’ve adapted it slightly to make enough dough for two deep dish pie crusts.Print
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups Crisco shortening, chilled
- 9 tablespoons ice cold water
- Sift flour and salt into bowl. Cut shortening into 4 or 5 pieces and drop into stand mixer bowl.
- Using the flat beater, turn to stir speed and cut shortening into flour until particles are size of small peas, about 30 seconds.
- Add ice cold water one tablespoon at a time until all particles are moistened. Use only enough water to make the pastry form a ball — depending on a variety of factors, you may not need to use the full amount. Watch dough closely as over mixing will result in a tough crust.
- Form dough into two equal size disks and chill in refrigerator 15 minutes.
- Roll to 1/8″ thickness between pieces of waxed paper until you have a circle slightly larger than the circumference of your pie plate.
- Fold pastry into quarters; ease into pie plate and unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim and crimp edges.
- Fill and bake as desired. For a pastry shell, prick sides and bottom thoroughly with a fork and bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes until light brown. Cool completely before filling.