Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pies! Tips for making great pie crusts

I really like making pie.  Mainly because they are easy when compared to the accolades you will receive   Honestly people think if you made a pie that you spent hours in the kitchen slaving away.  Also baking pies makes me feel all homey and housewifey.  But pie making in general is easy.  The hardest part is the pie crust, or I should say making a good pie crust.

The first thing to making a good pie crust that is flaky and tender is having a good recipe.  My favourite comes from a 60 year old cook book called Farm Journals Pie book.  It is last word on pies.  Pie crusts are pretty simple.  Just fat, flour, salt, and water. .

But my number one tip for making pie crusts is rolling the dough out between two layers of Saran wrap.  Not only does it not stick, but you don't need to add more flour to keep it from sticking which will make your crust tough.

I made two pies this time.  Both are pies I've never had so it was an adventure.  The first was a plum pie made with my home canned plums.  The other was shoofly pie.  Both turned out good, but I think I over baked the shoofly a bit.  The plum was a success so I know what I can use those dozens of quarts of plums I canned for.  Below is the recipe from my farm journal cookbook.

One Crust Pie

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 1/2 Tablespoons ice water 

10 inch 2 crust pie

3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
6 tablespoons ice water

For all pie crusts: Whisk together the flour and salt, cut in the shortening until small pea size pieces. Add ice water a spoonful or so at a time, how much water will vary with the weather. Just enough to make the dough stay together.

Roll out between two layers of Saran wrap, one underneath and one on top working from the middle out until desired size.

All ingredients except water

cutting it in with my trusty pastry cutter

the dough between the two saran wrap

my little helper who was rolling his own pie dough.  I couldn't get him to do a normal smile!

I put the pie plate on top to make sure the dough is big enough, by the way the best pie plates are glass or stoneware

The pie dough.  I just remove the top layer of plastic and then pick up the bottom layer of plastic with the rolled dough on top and then carefully flip over and lay over the pie plate.   Then there is no breaking of the dough.

the plums I canned, it took three jars

draining the plums

the plum mixture

crumb spice topping

the finished pies

below is the kind of pie plates I use, just plain ol pyrex, but they are awesome   This one displayed is much prettier than mine though.

I also like stoneware and have one that is similar to this one below.


  1. Have you tried to make a crust with coconut oil? I can't get it to make as nice of a crust as crisco did. Have been using 1/2 butter and 1/2 coconut butter and that is better but crisco is still best. Too bad I don't buy it anymore.

    I LOVE the new look!

    1. Thank you Spinnersaw, no I havent yet tried the coconut oil, but that is a good idea!

  2. Great looking pies. I'll make some fresh coffee or tea, if you bring those pies :-)

  3. THANK YOU! I love pie but my crust just never turns out as I am hoping. I will try this. Question: How did you get the edges so pretty? Mine NEVER look like that! Thanks so much for linking this up on Walking Redeemed last week!

    1. Thank you Kasey! To make the pie crust pretty I pinch the crust between my thumb and first finger. I go around once and then go around again. With this pie crust since you don't need extra flour to roll it out when you use the plastic wrap method, it stays very moldable.


I love to hear from my readers!