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Homemade Crisco Pie Crust Recipe
Tired of dull, lifeless pie crust? Ready for something that’s tasty, easy, and goes with every pie you make? Then a homemade Crisco pie crust is just what you need.
Because the secret to the perfect flaky pie crust – a buttery, tender, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth piece of heaven – is Crisco butter vegetable shortening.
And love, of course, as my mom always likes to remind me.
A homemade Crisco pie crust is the perfect way to take your pies from dull shells to the life of the party. This family recipe uses a few simple ingredients and no fancy equipment to produce a great, versatile crust. We’ve been using it for generations for all our pie needs – hopefully you will too!
The Importance of a Perfect Pie Crust
Let’s be honest: crusts make or break a pie. Anyone who’s been let down by a tough, partially burnt one will understand. No matter how great the filling is, if the crust is nasty, you’ll want to dump the whole thing in the trash rather than take in the extra calories.
There are plenty of homemade pie crust recipes that have this problem, and store-bought pies and pie crusts? Don’t get me started.
I guess I’m a bit of a pie crust snob. That’s partly because my mom has been making this classic Crisco pie crust recipe for as long as I can remember. It was first made by her great-aunt decades ago. We’ve used it for everything since.
While I’ve tried many over the years, I’ve never had another crust that even came close. This one is buttery, flaky, and has a neutral flavor that complements both sweet and savory pies. When it softens and mixes with the flavor of the filling, it’s a delicious treat all on its own. It doesn’t just make the pie better, it’s often the best part of the pie!
What to Pair with a Crisco Pie Crust
I’m pretty sure anything would be better with a homemade Crisco pie crust.
But if you’re looking for a few ideas: fruit pies, custard pies, and pudding pies are a start. You can even use this recipe for pies with savory fillings, like pot pies!
Of course, we like to focus on using up some of the great fruits and vegetables we’ve harvested. Making a pie is sometimes the fastest (and tastiest) way to use up apples, berries, or pot pie vegetables picked earlier in the day.
Here are a few great filling recipes I’ve posted to try with the Crisco pie crust: apple pie filling, raspberry pie filling, strawberry rhubarb pie filling, rhubarb custard pie, and blackberry pie filling. You can also try your own favorite filling if you have one!
If you don’t have fresh produce to use right now, don’t worry – ones you’ve frozen previously will work great too. Using those can bring back the joy and flavors of warm Augusts past when you first harvested them.
The Crisco Butter Shortening Difference
Crisco butter-flavored vegetable shortening is a must here. Not butter, not vegetable oil. Not even the Crisco shortening that comes in the blue tin and is just ” all vegetable shortening.” It’s butter flavor Crisco in the yellow-with-cookies packaging or the highway.
You can sometimes find it in grocery stores, but we’ve found that the butter flavor is harder to come by in stores than it used to be. Stock up if you find it! You can also find it on Amazon at the link up top, or try other similar retailers to see their online offerings.
It’s easiest to get the bricks, since you can just cut the shortening at the exact spot you need. A tin would probably work too, but since you measure it manually it ends up being messier.
For a Single Crust Shell
This full recipe makes a double-crust pie, but sometimes you’ll only need one crust. To make a single-crust pie, simply halve the below recipe. The exact amounts are: 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon shortening, and 2-3 tablespoons of water. To make one, mix all the ingredients together, then roll out using wax paper and a rolling pin using the directions listed below.
Recipes like pudding pies require a pre-baked pie shell. To make one, make a single pie crust recipe, then bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes (or until golden brown) at 450 degrees.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need only 4 ingredients to make this flaky crust. All-purpose flour, salt, Crisco butter flavor vegetable shortening, and a little water.
To make the crust, all you’ll need is a bowl, fork, rolling pin, and a 9-inch pie plate (plus a little wax paper for rolling out). Your fork does double duty as a pastry cutter and as a steam escape/design poker. If you don’t have wax paper, you can try parchment paper instead. Don’t use the bare rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, since the dough will end up with too much flour. The wax paper keeps the dough from sticking to everything without adding unnecessary flour to toughen it.
Making a Vegetable Shortening Crust
Mix all the dry ingredients together, then cut the vegetable shortening into the flour mixture with the fork until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Add just enough cold water so you no longer have loose flour in the bowl – but not so much that the pie dough gets slimy. Too much water can make a tough crust, and you want it just right.
For a double crust pie, divide dough into two relatively equal sections. Use the slightly larger one for the bottom crust, and roll dough out in between two pieces of wax paper and transfer it.
If you find it hard to transfer the crust into the pie pan without it falling in on itself, don’t worry. It will still taste great, and you’ll get better at transferring with practice. Add the filling, then roll out the top crust and place on top. Roll up the edges of the dough hanging down the side, then poke with a fork to release steam and bake!
FAQs About Crisco Vegetable Shortening Crusts
Is it better to use butter or Crisco for pie crust?
Crisco is better than butter for pie crust every time! The flavor and texture are unmatched.
Why is my Crisco pie crust falling apart?
Usually pie crust falls apart because there isn’t enough water. Add just enough to make it stop crumbling when you roll it out, but not so much that it gets slimy.
What happens if you use too much Crisco in pie crust?
Too much Crisco can potentially lead to the crust falling apart after baking. It’s hard to screw up the Crisco amount, though – determining the right amount of water you need is much more likely to be an issue.
Why is shortening preferred for making pie crust?
Shortening creates the best flavor and texture. It also is easier to work with, since it mixes, rolls out, and bakes better.
What is the best shortening for pie crust?
Crisco butter-flavored vegetable shortening is the best shortening to use for pie crust.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using shortening in pie dough?
The advantages are a better flavor, texture, and easier dough to make and roll out. The major disadvantage is that shortening can be more expensive, and it’s often harder to find in stores.
Which fat produces the flakiest pie crust?
Vegetable shortening creates the most tender, flaky crust.
Why is my homemade pie crust tough?
Too much water or flour, as well as overmixing, can potentially lead to a tough pie crust.
I hope you enjoy making this easy Crisco pie crust recipe! Look at the other pie recipes for more ideas of what to make with the crust.
Homemade Crisco Pie Crust Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup+2 tbsp Crisco butter shortening (no substitutes!)
- 4-6 tbsp cold water
- *Note: Halve the above recipe to make a single crust pie.* Combine the first three ingredients by smushing with a fork.
- Add cold water and continue to mix the dough with a fork until it reaches a fairly smooth, pastry consistency.
- Divide dough in half.
- Roll each half of the dough out between two sheets of wax paper using a rolling pin.
- Carefully transfer to pie plate, add the filling, add top crust, and seal by turning up edges.
- Poke with a fork to let moisture escape.