I was going to share a sourdough pie crust that I've been making recently but I realized that I never shared a basic pie crust recipe.
I don't consider myself a pro at pie crust baking. My mother-in-law makes pie crusts that flake just looking at them. Even when I use her recipe, I can't make pie crust that taste like hers.
But my husband says that my pies are nothing to be ashamed of so I'll share how I do it. This recipe is the one my mom taught me. I use lard, since we butcher hogs and have it readily available. I'm guessing other shortening/butter options would also work but I've never tried it.
I also make my pie crusts with half whole wheat flour, just because that is the way I butcher every recipe. It makes the crust a little heavier, but doesn't turn my family off pie.
Pastry for Pie Crust
Makes two double crust pies
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 cup lard or shortening
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup ice water
Combine flour and salt. Cut in lard. The best way I have found to do this is in a food processor. It is so easy to get the flour and lard combined well. I then dump the mixture in a bowl to add the water. You want to mix the water in very lightly. Don't over mix.
When the flour is just starting to stick together so that I can take my hands and smush it together into a ball, I stop. Roll out pastry dough and place in pans.
My biggest frustration in making pie crust was rolling them out and transferring to the pan. I often managed to tear a big hole even when I floured my counter well. I tried roling on parchment paper and wax paper with limited success. Finally I picked up a pastry cloth and rolling pin sock at a kitchen store and found that rolling out pie crust could be fun. When they are floured well, the dough does not stick at all. If I do get a hole, I patch it by wetting a small piece of dough and pressing it into the hole.
I put my pie pan on the dough to see if I have rolled it large enough. Most of my pie pans came from my Grandma which makes them extra special. I wonder how many pies these pans have seen in their lifetime!
After trimming the edges, I flute it with my fingers. Every pie baker seems to have their own method. I couldn't begin to describe how I do it. But you'll soon come up with your own design.
I usually make several crusts and put them in the freezer. It doesn't take long to make a pie if the crust is already made. To pre-bake a crust, I bake at 475 degrees for about 8 minutes.
I'd love to hear your tips on making pie crusts.