The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Let’s Talk Pie

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Pie! (Easy Chocolate Pie, recipe submitted by TK member Sissy of Sissy Reads, guest post and photo by Laurie McNamara of Simply Scratch)

“There’s nothing prettier than pie, with scalloped edges and slits in the top for the heat to escape. Pie gives you the sense that you’re a square person, living in a square country. A pie says home … I wish I invented pie.” (Name that movie.)

Sweet or savory, baked or frozen, double crust or even crustless, offer someone pie and you’re almost sure to get a smile and an eager, “Yes, please!” Pies are welcome at the table any time of the year but we tend to really bring our A-game around the holiday season. Which, coincidentally, is right about now. So here’s our topic for this week:

Got any great pie tips?

Even if you don’t have any tips, do you have any questions that perhaps other members can answer for you? Any persistent pie issues you’d like to solve or techniques you wish you’d finally master?

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Pie! (Pie Crust Tutorial from Calli of Make It Do)

Let me start by saying I will be of absolutely no help to you whatsoever. I think I understand enough to be able to properly follow a recipe and that’s about it. We have an awesome pie crust tutorial here at Tasty Kitchen Blog, courtesy of our friend Calli of Make it Do and I love her method as well as the nifty pie-making tools she uses.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Pie!

Around these TK parts, Nanci is probably the one most well-equipped to provide tips for making pies, particularly when it comes to the crust. She uses her great grandmother’s crust recipe (which is super flaky and tender) and her mom has been tutoring her over the last year or so, so that she can pass along the family pie-making tradition. 

Nanci’s grandmother’s recipe just calls for flour, Crisco, ice water and salt. She says the key for her is working with very cold ingredients, from the Crisco (which she keeps in the fridge until she’s ready to cut it into the dry ingredients) to the water. Nanci likes to make her pie dough the night before she makes her pie, so that the dough is really cold when she rolls it out. She also freezes her marble rolling pin. Having that frozen surface to roll out the dough seems to work great to keep the Crisco nice and cold.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Pie! (Grandma Inez’s Pineapple Pie, recipe and photo by Natalie Perry of Perry’s Plate

Now it’s your turn! All pie-related tips, questions, problems, troubleshooting tricks are welcome. I can’t wait to read what you share! Hopefully, I will finally be able to advance from my pie-novice status and actually know exactly what I’m doing the next time I attempt a pie.

Thanks, and happy Wednesday, everyone!



Comments are closed for this recipe.

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Jeff Alexander on 2.11.2014

As the “chef” for my wife and kids (i.e. only cook), I’ve been given the orders for pies of the years and out of all my cooking endeavors–this one remains my white whale. My first batch of crusts always come out as dry-crumbling failures or gloopy semi-bread dough both suitable for the bottom of my trash can. It often takes me several tries per pie to get a workable bunch of dough.

There are some good recommendations in the comments that I am going to try:

1. Refrigerating the Crisco (I’ve tried with frozen butter before but still fail)
2. Using pastry cutter instead of food processor
3. I’ve used the wax paper rolling method and when I finally produced a usable ball of dough, this method worked really well!
4. Vodka…never heard of that but if a recipe involves alcohol, I’m all in!

I’m motivated to try again after reading this post…we shall see

Bette I on 12.24.2013

I have been making pie crust using the same recipe for over 50 years–it is the one Sheilaskitchen posted.. It was originally in the Betty Crocker cookbook I received as a wedding present, I have tried other recipes but always come back to “old faithful”., ingredients are just measured, stirred and rolled out between waxed paper. I think it is a “healthy” recipe since it uses vegetable oil and no animal fat. Ha! I keep telling myself that as I eat my piece of pie!

Nancy Horton on 12.22.2013

A co- worker gave me this recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust. It is GREAT. Makes a LOT of Dough. if not using it all I put a baseball size lump of dough in a zip lock bag, mash it flat, and toss it in the freezer till I need it

Joyce’s Never Fail Pie Crust

Makes enough dough for 4 double crust pies

5 Cups Flour, 1tsp salt 2 cups lard(best) or shortening
1 TBS Cider vinegar & 1 egg, well blended in a 1 cup measure
Fill cup with ICY COLD water to make one cup

Can be re rolled several times without making the crust tough. Dough patches easily if it tears. Just pinch it back together & roll over it. If desired, freeze the remaining dough in a zip lock bag until needed Can make pies, or crust, then freeze and bake when desired.
Blend flour, shortening and salt until crumbs resemble corn meal, using food processer, pastry blender, or your hands, whatever you prefer. Stir in egg, vinegar, water mix with a fork. Knead until well blended. If sticky add more flour sparingly.
Pinch off a baseball to softball size section of dough Roll out on a floured linen towel. ( I wrap it around my lg nylon cutting board first, to keep it from sliding all over the counter) Or if you have a lg wooden cutting board, that works well without the towel. Flour rolling pin frequently to prevent sticking. Use a light hand when rolling,
When dough is ½ the desired size, turn it over, re flouring the surface you are rolling it out on, and the rolling pin. When desired size fold the crust in 1/2 and transfer to pie tin, then unfold. Pat into pan, trim crust, leaving 1” overlap. Finish edge as desired.
Follow your recipe for the desired pie

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Karlajean Becvar on 12.21.2013

I learned this secret a while back and it has never failed me. Make sure when you are mixing the dough that every single piece of flour is touched by the lard, shortening, or butter that you are using! I always use a pastry cutter…

Pat on 12.19.2013

I’ve heard that when making the crust that you should use vodka instead of water. Vodka makes the crust crispy and light. Never tried it because a always buy mm y crust.

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shirley on 12.14.2013

I love baking, but I have never been able to do a good pie. My mom did lard crust and they were wonderful. I bake all kinds of this and at this stage of my life I would love to do a good pie crust. Thank you make my hubby very happy. His mom was from MO, and she sure could bake pies.

Jan on 12.4.2013

So, I’ve been making pie dough for years. I really believe how the dough is handled is much more important than the recipe for a tender crust. The recipe should be about the flavor (do I prefer a buttery crust or will I try lard?) and there are lots of recipes to try!
I blend the dry ingredients with the fat component by hand, loosely rubbing the mix between my hands until it really does get that ‘coarse cornmeal with some larger bits of fat’ look. Never press these ingredients together! Then, I pour the wet ingredients (which may just be water, but my favorite go-to recipe includes egg and white vinegar blended with the water) over the drys- but not all of it!! Slip your hands under the crumbly, damp mixture and toss it gently. Your hands will be damp but not dripping wet and maybe the dough will start sticking to you. Depending on the moisture content of the flour and the humidity, you may not need all the wet ingredients. Take a small sample handful and press it together. If it holds together, and doesn’t crack badly if you test roll it, it’s wet enough. Press the whole lot of it together in the bowl, do not knead it, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rolling. Then, use plastic wrap under and over the round of dough when you roll it. Do not use extra flour, just peel and reposition the plastic wrap as necessary. The original flour has been coated with fat, and the moisture doesn’t affect it the same way it will affect added flour. Adding flour now increases the chance you will taste it and that it will toughen the dough. Bonus: if you don’t add flour at this point, you can more easily rework the trimmings into the remaining dough without overdeveloping gluten and again, ending up with a tough crust.
If I need a baked shell, I use a fork to dock the crust (poke little holes) use a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side to the dough, make sure it is fitted to the crust and pour maybe one and a half cups of raw rice into it to be the weight. I keep that rice in the freezer to use over and over because it’s no good for anything else after this. At about 15 minutes into the baking, check to see if the foil/rice can be removed to brown the bottom of the shell and finish it empty. It can be removed when the shell is not raw looking anymore.

Julie V on 11.20.2013

I recommend the Cook’s Country No Fool Pie Crust (on their website or serious eats). It call for butter, shortening, cold water, and cold VODKA. This makes it easy to roll out without breaking. Then when baked, the vodka evaporates and leaves behind a flaky and tender crust.

Susan on 11.15.2013

I found a recipe for a cherry pie from Gourmet 2007 (It’s on Epicurious site) several years ago that included the crust recipe. It’s a mostly butter crust with a small amount of shortening. The method of mixing it was very different than anything I was used to doing but it worked so beautifully and handled so nicely that I’ve never looked back. It used the fraisage method of working pastry. You basically divide the amount of dough for a single crust into 4 lumps and with the heel of your hand you smear the dough across the counter to press the lumps of butter into long streaks within the dough. Then you use the bench scraper to scrape each smear of dough back into a single pile. Press the pile into a disk and wrap it then chill for half an hour. The dough will be very malleable and easy to handle. If the dough still feels fairly cool, I often don’t chill it so it rolls out more easily than chilled dough. Use it as your recipe instructs. The crust is so flakey you can see the layers stacked layer upon layer when it’s done.

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Ann Fann on 11.15.2013

I have a question about a pie I make every year. sometimes it turns out great and other times I have to cook it almost double the time to get it done. It’s a german chocolate pie. It has eggs,evaporated milk, chocolate ,coconut and pecans. Any suggestions?

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tessks on 11.15.2013

I use my sister’s pie dough recipe. As a certified pastry chef, she is my source for ALL baking related questions. Before using her recipe, I dreaded making pie crust, but now, I love it because it ALWAYS turns out fabulous. And it includes the science/reasoning behind some of the ingredients and parts of the process, so it makes sense too! It’s an all-butter recipe, which I prefer to the taste of Crisco. I’ll be making a pie next week for our annual office PIE DAY. Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds, but we also consider it a public service, so folks can start getting into eating shape the week before Thanksgiving. And there is just something wonderful about 30 pies all sitting on one table. =)

Sarah on 11.15.2013

Adding white vinegar to the cold water before you put it in the dough helps tenderize the crust. Depending on how much pie dough you arr making, the ratio of vinegar to ice water is 1/4 teaspoon for each 1/2 cup ice water. Another key is to not over-handle the dough. Many young pie bakers want to knead it—this makes it tough. The least handling possible is a key to a tender crust. The ratio of fat to flour needs to be nearly 50% (i.e. almost 1/2 cup fat for every cup of flour), and it needs to be worked in very well with a pastry blender before the water is added or you will have flecks of fat alternating with very pasty dough. Just a few tips that will hopefully help someone. I’ve been making homemade pie crust for over 40 years now!

Julie Kendall on 11.15.2013

My problem with pies around Thanksgiving and Christmas is knowing when a pecan pie is fully cooked. It’s my hands down favorite and the flavor of my pie is always really tasty. However,I never know if it’s going to “stand up ” in the plate or puddle in failure at the first slice. I love making a pretty table setting so I don’t want to slice the pie ahead of time to see if I cooked it properly. Any tips on how I can know for sure that it’s fully cooked? (If I had to choose…I’d say my tendency is to over cook rather than undercook. Also…I chopped the nuts in a processor so it’s easier to slice the pie. They form a crunchy top layer on the pie that everyone really likes.)

Abbe PB on 11.14.2013

Use a simple recipe: Flour, salt, fat (butter, shortening, or lard) and – the big kicker – MILK. This is an old family recipe – milk makes for a more tender and flavorful crust, no matter what, and it always turns out light and flaky. Everyone in my family gets rave reviews on our crusts, and I never, ever cut crust off – I just fold it all over, because you had better believe it will be eaten!

My other trick is to always roll out your dough between two sheets of either wax paper or parchment paper. This way you aren’t incorporating any more flour into your dough, your crust isn’t sticking to things it’s not supposed to, and you can so easily move the crust from place to place. All I do to make a perfectly round crust is to peel back the paper from the top, fold over any cracked or abnormal spots, put the paper back and roll away. When I’m done, I peel back and replace the paper lightly on both sides, and stick it all rolled out in the fridge to firm up – this makes it much harder to tear, stretch, or thin out when I put it into the pie pan, and cleanup is so easy!

(Note that the bottom paper does wrinkle, but this is easily solved – peel it back, replace it, and roll it out gently. All done!)

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bunnyhop on 11.14.2013

I’ve been using Cook’s Illustrated’s Foolproof crust for a while now, the one where you use half water, half vodka for the liquid. The dough is somewhat wetter than a typical pie crust, but since the extra moisture is vodka, it evaporates.

Cory on 11.14.2013

Pie dough intimidates me to no end, which is sad because as the post said, pie IS just that big ol welcoming hug on a plate – ahhh :)

So my question is this – what is Kentucky Pie and where is the recipe located?

Thanks much for everything and cannot wait to see what the final census is on “how to make thee best pie dough”.

I wouldn’t mind someone giving some easy advice/tips/tricks for how to make the pie dough pretty, i am a “fork the edges” person as that is all my mom knew how to do.

Cheers everyone!! :)

Misha on 11.14.2013

I love pie! I love to pies, love to give pies, love to eat pies! Always looking for new recipes too. :)

AngAK on 11.14.2013

I agree that the cracking can come from too dry dough—add a T or 2 more water. and if your dough is too cold, it won’t roll out easily. let it sit out at room temp for awhile. this helps. I don’t know how you all can roll out very cold dough. dust of your food processors—-it makes short work of pie dough.

Eva M Patton on 11.14.2013

The quote is from the movie, “Michael.” It’s one of my favorite movies! Huey said it in the movie and Michael replied that he did actually invent pie.

KrissyC E'sMommy on 11.14.2013

For years I was scared of pie crust, I would always buy it in the store. My dad (who happens to be the pie crust master in our family) has been telling me for years how easy it is, and that once I got the feel for it I would always make a great crust. He was right! I use his recipe of half lard, half butter, flour and a splash of cold water. Let it sit for an hour at least, roll out and its perfection! It really is all about the “feel” of the crust tho, once you get it right, you never seem to forget it. Some days its more humid, so I require less water, others its dry as dust so I need more water. Getting my hands in there to mix the water part in helps tho (and running your hands under cold water for a minute helps the heat factor a smidge). Luckily my newly turned 11 yr old is always in the kitchen with me and is already getting the hang of crust, so the tradition will be carried on. Now if I could just get her to do the dishes after…life would be grand!

Renee on 11.14.2013

I need tips on meringue. Mine always weeps on top and there’s a layer of liquid between it and the filling. Help!

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    Betsy (TK) on 11.18.2013

    Another meringue answer from a member: adding cream of tartar to meringue. Let us know how it goes next time!

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    Betsy (TK) on 11.14.2013

    Hi Renee! Here’s what our facebook pal Robin says about meringue:
    Puddling underneath the meringue is from undercooking. The beading on top of the pie is from overcooking. And she recommends room temperature eggs for sky high meringue. Hope this helps!

Hannah on 11.14.2013

The movie is Waitress [=
A guilty pleasure of mine!

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slickquilter on 11.13.2013

I learned that over-handling/stretching the dough to fit my pie pan caused the crust to shrink as it baked so I had to learn a light touch and gentle manner (difficult for me since I’m a bread baker) with my dough; don’t develop that gluten! Now I make extra dough, more than enough for the desired pie, roll it out extra big, ease it in the pan and trim the edges. I bake the extra dough, cut into triangles and sprinkled with sugar and spices as a treat (I’ve seen them called crustos here in the Northwest).
My mom always used lard, a bit of vinegar with the water and had everything super cold. Me, I actually prefer fruit cobblers, forget the pie crusts LOL.

Shelby on 11.13.2013

Sheilahskitchen, I’m with you on the easiest and best pie crust. The oil and milk recipe makes a very good pie crust and it’s impossible to mess up. I add sugar for a sweeter crust and shredded cheddar is wonderful in an apple pie crust. It also patches beautifully. Please try it. It will give you confidence to try a more difficult recipe, but this one is good enough for me.

kat-in-texas on 11.13.2013

Ya know….homemade pie crust is the bomb. But when in a pinch….Pillsbury pie crust (in the red can) is pretty darn good!!! lol

(That’s blaspheme on this blog, I know.) :)

Gwen on 11.13.2013

+1 for the Kentucky pie, best pie I’ve EVER had, and I’ve had a fair few lol :)

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mnheather on 11.13.2013

A tip I learned from my momma – I always use a generously floured, good-quality flour-sack towel to roll out my crust. When I’m done – it gets folded up into a ziplock and in the freezer. An ice cold, well seasoned towel turns out a great super-thin crust. (I do wash it every 6-9 months or so – not much worse than rancid flour/shortening).

Sandy on 11.13.2013

Well, my challenge is this: the crust shrinks in the oven, and my pretty scalloped edges are misshapen. Also, when I make the all-butter crust, it practically melts in the oven and the scalloped edges totally disappear. So, my pies come out of the oven with the ugliest looking crusts ever! What do you think I’m doing wrong?

By the way, have ya’ll ever tried the vodka pie crust? The water is replaced with vodka and somehow it makes the dough easier to work with. I believe this was first mentioned in Cook’s Illustrated. I think I’ll go grab the bottle of vodka from my bedside table (as PW would say…tee hee) and try it out…making the pie crust that is.

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    Betsy (TK) on 11.14.2013

    Okay, Sandy! The answer to your crust shrinking seems to be using pie weights! Anita from Hungry Couple says:
    Line the crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill it with pie weights. It can be the purchased ones above or just plain dry beans. Store the dry beans in a container to be used again but, once baked, they can never be eaten.

    Here is a link to pie weights you can purchase:

    As far as the “melting”, I would think keeping everything super cold as has been mentioned in our post and by several of these comments, might be the answer.

    Hope this helps!

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    Betsy (TK) on 11.13.2013

    Haha, Sandy! Don’t give up and sit in bed with the vodka! We’ll see if our members can weigh in about shrinking and melting crusts!

Bethany on 11.13.2013

I grew up making pie crust and never thought it was a big deal until I started experimenting with all of the tips that I saw on so many blogs (using vodka, worrying about how much water I was putting in, freezing the butter, etc.) After a bunch of dough failures in a row, I decided that pie crust can tell when you’re stressed out. Ever since I chilled out (heh) about making pie crust again, they’ve turned out wonderfully.

One thing that has made a huge difference is putting in enough water for the dough to stick together, despite what the recipe says. I live in a dry climate and it always takes about twice the recommended amount of water for me to make a decent dough (I use the recipe from Pam’s Pie Tutorial on the PW main site). And, hey, even when my crust doesn’t turn out perfectly, it’s still better than store-bought.

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    Nanci (TK) on 11.16.2013

    That’s hilarious Bethany. I agree, when I stress about it the crust seems to fight me all the way. And I agree as well about the water. Has to be ice cold and don’t always go with exactly the amount in the recipe. Some days it needs a bit more to ‘feel right’. Thanks so much for your comments!

Vickie R on 11.13.2013

“Michael” My mom and my aunts were the best pie makers ever. . .and I cook a lot like she did, but never pie crust. I use the Pillsbury refrigerated kind that you roll out. But this year I am attempting my very first crust, not sure how it will go. I love to bake everything else, why not pie !

Patricia on 11.13.2013

I believe a bad crust ruins the pie (I hate a tough crust). I bought a slice of chocolate meringue pie in a pie shop once that had a crust so tough I could barely hack through it with a metal fork. A plastic fork could not have handled that crust. So… be sure and use an adequate amount of butter or shortening. My standard recipe for a 9-inch crust is 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1/2 t. salt, 6 T. of shortening and about 3 T of ice water. Cut the shortening into the flour and salt with a pastry blender until well mixed, then stir in the water one tablespoon at a tme with a fork. If it is too dry, add a bit more. Roll out on a floured surface. I use a piece of wax paper to roll it out on (a little water underneath will help it adhere to your countertop) and a wood rolling pin dusted with flour. Don’t over handle your dough and don’t add too much flour when rolling it out. I get flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, tasty crust every time.

Nancy W. on 11.13.2013

I use the “wax paper method”…it has worked for me..

I also use lard or solid shortening such as Crisco…

Make your dough and store in fridge for a couple of hours..

I use 2 square sheets of wax paper… Lightly moisten the countertop and place sheet of paper on it. Place one dough ball on the waxed paper and cover it with the other sheet. Using a rolling pin, press on the dough, rolling it from the center out to the edges. Keep rolling until the pastry is larger than an upside down pie pan. Be careful to keep the dough as even as you can.

Then peel off the top paper. Use the bottom sheet of paper to flip the dough into the pie pan. Carefully peel off the second sheet of waxed paper, holding the paper close to the pie crust so you don’t tear it. Then ease the pastry into the pan, pushing down to the bottom and sides of the pan. Fill the pie crust, then repeat the procedure with the top crust. Seal the edges by folding the top crust under the bottom one at the edge, then press to seal and flute.

The most important tip…handle the dough as little as possible..Working the dough causes gluten to form – that flour protein that makes breads great.. but makes pastries tough…

I have also combined lard and butter…

Happy Baking…..

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    Nanci (TK) on 11.16.2013

    Great tips, Nancy. I roll my crust on a Silpat but I’ve heard the waxed paper tip before and it makes a lot of sense. I may give that a go next time. Thanks so much for sharing!

Tara on 11.13.2013

Crust was always a challenge for me *until* I started mixing the dough in a food processor. I guess I had a habit of over-working the dough and the processor helps keep me from doing this. I also had a habit of trying to use as little water as possible to make a dough. While you don’t want it soupy, if your dough is cracking, chances are you aren’t adding enough water!

Lastly, although the crust is what makes a pie a pie, the filling’s pretty important too. The best thing I’ve ever come across for improving my pie presentation is a stabilized whipped cream. I knew the diners must have some secret to being able to pipe a whipped edge and store it in the fridge without having it weep all over the place and this is it. I have a post on my cooking blog specifically about making the stuff.

JackieBell on 11.13.2013

I use a recipe with a mix of leaf lard and butter. It’s a recipe that was given to me when I took a pie baking class in Seattle – my husband said “your pie has always been good, now it tastes like my grandma’s”. High praise. Cold, cold, cold…bowl, flour, fat, hands – it should all be cold. Handle as little as possible, just until things come together. And don’t overthink it…as my pie instructor told us – it’s just pie. I’m happy to share the recipe, just email me.

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    Betsy (TK) on 11.13.2013

    Handling as little as possible has always been my mom’s number one tip. Good reminder! Can’t wait to try freezing everything beforehand. :)

ajane2 on 11.13.2013

My favorite pie by far is the Kentucky Pie. It’s so incredibly good.
I’ll be attempting my own crust this year so thank you for all the helpful tips.

Colleen (Souffle Bombay) on 11.13.2013

As much as I cook and bake, I really don’t “do” pie – I’m getting motivated from reading this now though…you ladies are awesome – great tips! I can’t wait to read more!

Tulip – Nothing wrong with that…Love it!!

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    Betsy (TK) on 11.13.2013

    I’m with you, Colleen. I rarely make pie. Intimidating! But I’m inspired now!

Jacqueline on 11.13.2013

I have had the typical problems with pie crust and I know there are various recipes and I’ve tried several. I think the best I’ve tried so far is the recipe I used last year from Martha Stewart’s Living magazine. She had a huge spread on pie crust in great detail. A portion of the butter was frozen in pieces right up until you needed it. When the dough was ready for the refrigerator there was still a lot of butter marbeling that could be seen in the dough discs. This pie crust came out very delicous, flaky and tender. I’m using this method/recipe again this year. Here’s the recipe and technique. Good luck all.

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Patricia @ ButterYum on 11.13.2013

I’m an all butter crust girl, and I find the food processor is the cleanest, easiest, and fastest way to make the dough. Then I split the dough in half-ish (see note) and shape into flat rounds before wrapping with plastic to chill out if the fridge for an hour or more (note – since the bottom crust needs to be larger than the top crust, I divide the dough accordingly). For a sweet double crust pie, I always brush with milk or cream, then sprinkle with sugar. Oh, and silicone pie shields work wonderfully to help keep the crust edges from over browning.

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    Nanci (TK) on 11.13.2013

    Oh, yeah! I love my silicone pie shield. I got my mom one and she’s hooked as well. I use butter-flavored Crisco; maybe will have to try all butter on my next pie. And I couldn’t do without my Silpat for rolling out the dough. Thanks for the tips Patricia!

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sheilahskitchen on 11.13.2013

“If you want the simplest and easiest and most fool proof pie crust recipe I’ll give it to you. It is from my high school home economics cook book which is so old and decrepit it should be condemned by the board of health for dirty stained pages.”

That was from my mom and this is what she’s been making for 60 years!



I’m renaming it:


2 cups Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Cup Oil
1/4 Cup Milk

Directions: ( Written by my Mom)

1. In a Medium size bowl, mix…..2 cups of sifted (I don’t bother to sift) Gold Medal Flour (any kind of good flour)
1 1/2 tsp. salt.

2. In a measuring cup (but don’t stir together) add 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup milk

3. Then pour oil and milk all at once into the flour
Stir with a fork until mixed. Dough looks moist, but isn’t sticky, Press into smooth ball.
Cut in halves. flatten slightly.

4. Place one half onto a sheet of wax paper (this was before Saran wrap was invented…use the saran wrap).
Moisten the counter top a little to keep wrap down. Cover dough ball with second piece of wrap and roll out.

That’s it!!! You know the rest of the drill. The important thing is to use good flour and oil. Whenever I’ve made it with supermarket flour and oil it isn’t as easy to roll out.
** I did brush some beaten egg on the pie crust to give it that golden color.
For a one crust pie the measurements are:
1 1/3 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Oil
3 Tablespoons Milk.

Tulip on 11.13.2013

Sarah, I’m in your exact position, and decided that telling my mom and grandma “you’re so wonderful — I’ll never be as good as you are!” did wonders for their egos and allowed me to become the family birthday cake-maker.

Sarah C. - Ohio on 11.13.2013

No matter what recipe I use, my crust always turns out tough and taste like flour. When I roll it out, the edges look like mountain peaks with deep splits instead of a nice smooth circle. I come from a long line of expert pie bakers, so it’s imperative I work this out. I wish I had paid more attention as a child to my grannies. Any advice to help me keep my family legacy alive?

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    Nanci (TK) on 11.13.2013

    Hi Sarah and Tulip,
    I hear ya! I’m still learning myself. And I must admit the crust rolling step always makes me a nervous wreck because it does tend to crack and tear around the edges. But working with very cold dough and a frozen rolling pin has seemed to help. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If it tears some, you can always put a little water on your finger and patch it once it’s in the pan. I haven’t had a pie yet where I haven’t had to do a little patching. I really just think it takes practice. And my hubby has loved this—when I first started, I made a pie every 2 or 3 weeks in a row for a few months, shared with the in-laws, neighbors, etc. All of the practice really helped make me more comfortable (though again, I have lots more learning to do). Keep at it!