Flaky Pie Crust

I’ve never been a big baker. I have always loved to cook but that’s because I enjoy throwing things together that have complimentary flavors. But the science of baking is what turns me off. I MUST put in 1 and 5/6 cup of flour and 1 tsp plus 1/8 tsp of baking powder??? I CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE!!

But, I love to learn and embrace challenges I face so a few years ago I started making pies…mostly because they are delicious but partially to learn something new. I have loved to cook my whole life but I never made a pie crust until 3 years ago when I decided to make my first pecan pie for Thanksgiving. I read many recipes and the reviews and tried a few for myself.

In my experiments I found that the key elements to the perfect pie crust are: cold shortening, cold water, and white vinegar. Got it? Good ☺

Here is what you need:
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3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Cups Vegetable Shortening, chilled
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
3-5 Tbsp Cold Water
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Salt

This recipe makes 3 crusts. Use all now or freeze for later. They

Measure flour into a bowl.

Add chilled shortening, one spoonful at a time, and using a pastry cutter combine the flour and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
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Now, there is this ongoing debate out there as to whether you should use butter or shortening for pie crusts. I choose to use shortening because I love a really flaky pie. “But, Tiffany”, you say, “Your blog is called ‘3 Spoons of Butter’” Yes, well in this case shortening comes out champion but butter is still the MVP!

Next, the egg, vinegar, 3 tablespoons of water, and salt; stir together. If the dough appears too dry add another tablespoon of water. Do not stir too much or it will become tough.
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Separate the dough into three balls and place on wax paper.
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If you are going to use the dough now, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm them up and then take them back out. If you are going to save one or all for later put each crust in a quart size freezer bag, flatten to 1 inch thick with your rolling pin, then stack in the freezer.

If you are going to use them right now, sprinkle a little flour on the wax paper or hard surface that you are going to roll the dough out on.
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Press the dough out slightly and sprinkle lightly with flour. Rub flour on your rolling pin as well. Start to roll the dough out and every 4th roll pick up the dough and rotate it. This trick will keep the dough from sticking to the surface and ripping pieces off.
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Once you have rolled out your dough to be about 12 inches in diameter, lay it in your pie pan and press gently into the bottom and the edge. Form whatever kind of top edge you want AFTER you have filled the middle with your delicious contents.
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I use this crust for sweet pies and savory pies such as Chicken Pot Pie, Steak and Mushroom Pie and Quiches.

Enjoy!!

Much love,
Tiffany

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