So much so that soon after we were engaged, my sweet husband asked me to watch his mother make pies and take notes on how to make her famous pie crust.
While I’ve always been a good baker, I’ve never been very good at pie crusts. Too dry, too wet, too salty – I’ve done them all. But my mother-in-law’s pie crusts are perfectly flaky and delicious.
While those of us in the US can, in a pinch, buy a pre-made pie crust, nothing beats a from-scratch version. And if you’re overseas, you’ll definitely want to have a simple, no-fail recipe to bring a taste of flaky pie goodness to your family’s table.
As with nearly every really great family recipe, it’s not the ingredients that make the difference, it’s the process. Be sure to follow these directions to the letter for a fantastic pie crust!
2 c. flour
1 t salt (+/- to taste)
2/3 c. shortening
1 c. ice water
Mix salt and flour thoroughly. Then cut in 1/2 of the shortening using a pastry blender until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal (fine grains). Add remaining shortening; cut in using pastry blender until mixture has the consistency of English peas.
Make a well in the center of the mixture; add enough water to get the dough to hold together, but not be wet. Fold sides of the well in, do not stir. Dough is done when it holds together but doesn’t feel wet (should feel something like slightly dry playdough – smooth and damp, but not wet and sticky).
Makes two crusts.
One thing I like about this recipe is that it’s a simple formula for making any many crusts as you need.
What could be easier?