If you want a tender, flaky pastry, there is no substitute for Crisco. (Even a small amount of shortening added to a mostly-butter pastry will boost the flake factor.) Crisco is available in pre-measured sticks, a great shortcut, which also avoids one more greasy measuring cup.
Short on time — use a Pillsbury Piecrust as a substitute, but beware: product will not stretch to fit a deep dish or a larger pie pan — so if you go the Pillsbury route, make sure you’ve got a 9-inch pie pan.
Classic Crisco® Pie Crust
For Single Crust:
1 1/3 level cups all-purpose flour
1/2 level teaspoon salt
1/2 Crisco® Stick or 1/2 level cup Crisco® all-vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons cold water
For Double Crust::
2 level cups all-purpose flour
1 level teaspoon salt
3/4 Crisco® Stick or 3/4 level cup Crisco® all-vegetable shortening
5 tablespoons cold water
For 9-inch Deep Dish Double Crust or Two 10-inch Double Crust:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Crisco® all-vegetable shortening
7 to 8 tablespoons cold water
For Single Crust:
Spoon flour into measuring cup and level. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in Crisco® using pastry blender (or 2 knives) until all flour is blended in to form pea-size chunks.
Sprinkle with water, one tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fork until dough will form ball. Divide dough in half, if making double crust. Press between hands to form one or two 5 to 6-inch pancakes.
Flour dough lightly. Roll into circle between sheets of waxed paper on dampened countertop. Peel off top sheet. For single crust, trim one inch larger than inverted 9-inch pie plate. Flip into pie plate. Remove other sheet and press pastry to fit. Fold edge under. Flute.
For Double Crust:
Flour each half of dough lightly. Roll into circles between sheets of waxed paper on dampened countertop. Peel off top sheet for bottom crust. Transfer bottom crust to pie plate. Remove other sheet and press pastry to fit. Trim edge even with pie plate. Add desired filling to unbaked pie crust.
Remove top sheet from top crust. Lift top crust onto filled pie. Remove other sheet. Trim to 1/2-inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold top edge under bottom crust. Flute. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.
Bake according to specific recipe instructions. For single baked pie shell, heat oven to 425 degrees F. Thoroughly prick bottom and sides with fork (50 times) to prevent shrinking. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. For recipe calling for unbaked pie shell, follow baking directions given in that recipe.
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