Back in November, I waxed poetic about learning how to make a crumbly, beautiful pie crust
Many of you asked me to share the recipe for this wonderful crust and so, without further ado (and despite a month-long delay)...
No, wait. I need to disclose something important before I share this recipe.
Prior to this recipe, I was a complete Crisco snob. I didn't believe Crisco had a place in "true" cooking. Over the years, I have overlooked many, many recipes solely because they called for Crisco in the list of ingredients instead of butter. I'm not sure when or how I developed this bias, however, it was a very strong one and it wasn't until a wonderful, new friend introduced me to the recipe below that I was finally able to let this bias go. After having had less than stellar results with numerous (more than five) pie crust recipes that used butter as the primary fat over the last couple years, I have to say, the difference between using butter in a crust recipe and using Crisco is significant. The light and flaky simplicity of this crust using Crisco is quite impressive:
So. There it is. A short explanation for my new-found appreciation of Crisco. With that explained, here - finally - is the pie crust recipe:
Basic pie crust
Source: Margaret Whitacre Kruse
Makes enough crust for two single-crust pies or one double-crust pie
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 cup ice cold water
Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, mix well. Add Crisco and work quickly into flour using the pastry blender until all floured pieces of Crisco are the size of a blueberry or smaller:
When done, put bowl in freezer for 10 minutes to keep Crisco from melting:
Remove bowl from freezer. Add ice water to chilled flour mixture all at once. Using a fork, quickly stir the water into the flour mixture:
...then use your hands to gently form the dough into a ragged ball:
Don't overwork or knead too much as this creates a tough dough. This step should not take more than 30 seconds.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface, including all remaining pieces of flour/Crisco from the bowl. Using your hands, gently push the dough into a thick disc, incorporating all scraps of flour/Crisco from the bowl:
Turn the disc over to make sure the top and bottom sides are floured. Roll the dough into a thin sheet using a rolling pin, working from the center of the disc outward:
For single-crust pies you want the dough to be about 1/8" thick. (A fast way to tell is to "pat" the dough with your opened hand. If you see an indentation that is more that 1/8" deep, you need to roll the dough more.) If the dough is to be used for a lattice crust top, then make it 1/4" thick for ease of handling.
Roll dough onto rolling pin and transfer to pie plate, unrolling into place. Make sure the dough is settled into pie plate bottom and up the sides so that it doesn't tear when you add the filling. Fix any tears in the dough with scraps and a bit of water if needed. Trim the dough along the edge of the pie plate, leaving more dough if needed for sealing a top crust or for adding a scalloped edge. (Repeat with the scraps for the 2nd pie or for a lattice top.)
In the example below, I was going to use my crust for a chocolate mousse pie, which required I bake my shell prior to filling it. I, therefore, lined my crust with parchment paper and filled with dried beans (for weight) to prevent the bottom of the crust from bubbling and cracking:
Please note: This is not a sweet crust. If you like a bit of "sweet" in your crust, you may wish to add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. However, if your pie is especially sweet, like the chocolate pecan pie shown at the top of this post, this sugarless crust is a perfect complement.
And speaking of the chocolate pecan pie at the top of this post, a few people expressed an interest in the recipe I used for that:
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Source: Betty Crocker Recipes
Pastry for 9-inch one-crust pie (recipe above)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted together with chocolate
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves or broken pieces
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare pastry. Beat eggs, sugar, salt, margarine/butter with chocolate and syrup with a mixer until thoroughly combined. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.
Bake until set, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or refrigerate.
It's pie season. Tell me what kind of pies you are baking....