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The Perfect Pie Crust Recipe
With so many fresh fruits and vegetables available in the Catskills throughout the summer and fall, pot pies and fruit pies are staple dinner and dessert items. Making a pie is sometimes the fastest (and tastiest) way to use up apples or blackberries picked earlier in the day or carrots and peas from the garden. And if you’ve frozen some, what’s better in winter than a homemade blueberry pie that brings back the joy of sunny August days?
Now let’s be honest: pie crusts make or break a pie. Anyone who’s been let down by a tough, partially burnt crust 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 even get me started.
I guess I’m a bit of a pie crust snob. That’s partly because my mom has been making this family pie crust recipe for as long as I can remember. It was first made by her great-aunt decades ago. I’ve never had another crust that even came close. This crust is buttery, flaky, and has a neutral flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes. When it softens and mixes with the flavor of the filling, it’s a delicious treat all on its own.
The difference comes from the Crisco butter shortening that the recipe calls for. 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, so you may have to order online. It’s very important that you use it, though! If you try to substitute regular butter or vegetable oil, it’s just not the same.
This crust is good for all types of pies: pot pies, apple pies, pudding pies, custard pies… any pie, really. I’ll be linking back to this recipe for any pie recipes I include on this site in the future.
Try it for yourself and see!
Perfect Pie Crust
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup+1 tsp Crisco butter shortening (no substitutes!)
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
- *Note: Double the above recipe to make a two crust pie.* Smush the first three ingredients together with a fork. Add cold water and continue to smush and stir.
- Divide dough in half if you've made a two crust pie.
- Roll the dough out on wax paper.
- Carefully transfer to pie plate, add the filling, add top crust (if used), and seal by turning up edges.
- If using a top crust, poke with a fork to let moisture escape.