In this blog I share my history with cooking and baking and my successes and failures. One of the biggest personal baking successes for me comes in the form of something so simple; pie crust. I owe this success to my mindset regarding pie crust and an outstanding pie crust recipe.
Let me give a quick recap of my pie crust history. My grandmother made fabulous pie crusts. For some reason my mother had trouble making homemade pie crusts. The more she tried and did not have success the more she became entrenched in the belief she could not make pie crust.
She continued to attempt making pie crusts even when I was a child. However, she would always she that she was not good at making them. Mother had my grandmother’s pie crust recipe and just knew that she was following the directions exactly. There was still no success.
When I was old enough to begin my own journey with pie crust making I got my grandmother’s recipe. I followed the directions. It was a mess. My ability to make pie crust was doomed, like my mother’s.
Fast forward many years. When I needed to bake a pie I purchased roll-out pie crusts. Always. I don’t remember the occasion, but I needed to bake a pie and told The Hubs I needed to buy a pie crust. He found recipe for an ‘easy’ pie crust and made it.
Well, if HE could make a pie crust then I knew I could make a pie crust. I attempted to replicate his success with his pie crust recipe. Oddly, I did not have the same success. Maybe it was a curse of some sort upon me passed down from my mother.
A short while later I tried a different pie crust recipe, again because The Hubs had made a successful pie crust. This crust achieved a vastly improved outcome. However, the crust was not very flaky and it did not have the taste I wanted.
With that success the curse was broken. I continued looking for the ultimate pie crust recipe that would be flaky and delicious. There was a renewed excitement in my pie baking.
Then it happened. I found a pie crust recipe that was exactly what I was looking for. When I began to roll it out I was cautiously optimistic. It was as near perfect as any pie crust I had ever made. Not only did it look great, but it smelled like butter.
Ever since then I have used the same recipe for making pie crust and it is 99% of the time a win. I usually blame the humidity when it doesn’t turn out quite right. This is the basic pie crust recipe I use for all of my pies, pot pies, quiche, and other pastry dough creations. I used it most recently for homemade breakfast tarts (aka pop tarts).
If my family was asked they would probably agree that this is definitely the biggest baking success for me. Of course they are the beneficiaries of this success most frequently.
Do you bake pies? If you do, do you make your own crust or use a pre-made one? Give this one a try. It has my stamp of approval.
Pie Crust Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ – 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ice water (plus more if needed)
- 8 tablespoons butter (ice cold)
- In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, ½ tablespoon at a time). Do not over mix.
- Place dough onto a work surface; form dough gently ball, then with your hands press into a disk about 3/4-inch-thick. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from refrigerator before rolling out crust. Allow about 10 minutes before rolling.
- For a pie crust: On a lightly floured board or counter roll dough into a circle about 12” diameter. Gently roll crust over rolling pin. Unroll onto pie plate, fitting crust into bottom of plate and gently over the sides. Using a table knife trim the overhang to just past the edge of the pie plate. Use thumb and forefinger to pinch the edge of the crust.
- Bake unfilled for cream pies at 375 degrees about 30 minutes. For filled pies follow recipe for pie filling.
Pie crust directions are general, not specific to an individual type of pie.