I love baking, but pie crust and pie making has been my nemesis and one of my least enjoyable baking feats for years. I've only truly gotten into making pie crust in the last couple years. Let me tell you, I've had to screw up a WHOLE LOTTA pies just to get to this point where I'm even comfortable sharing my experience now with you. I finally feel like this simple butter pie crust recipe has the perfect texture, taste and appeal. I also feel like this pie crust recipe is easy enough to make if you carefully follow the instructions, even if you're a rookie like me.
Pie Crust Catastrophe
Pie crust and I do not mesh well. Honestly, I have never enjoyed the process of making dough of any kind. I am more of a muffin, cookie and cake baker. There have been quite a few pie crust flops for me to get to this point. I've had one flop after another; from watery fillings seeping under my crust during baking to shrinking crust catastrophes. I'm still learning better techniques as I go, but I must say I love the way this crust turns out for a great homemade pie. This pie crust behaves the best for me and hopefully it will for you as well.
Butter Pie Crust
I took a class not too long ago on making pie crust because I need all the help I can get with improving my pie making skills. When discussing the "fat" element of the pie crust most people agreed that good old fashioned butter was the best bet. I would have to agree only because I believe in real ingredients and butter along with it's great flavor is ideal to me. Some people had differing opinions on the best fat and preferred lard or shortening (I feel those fats fall short of flavor). I would say just use what works and tastes best to you. You may substitute your preferred pie "fat" for the butter if you so choose.
Making Pie Crust
When it comes to making pie crust I've found in my experience you need to make the dough and work the dough using the technique that suits you best. From talking to others who make pie crust I found that some prefer only using their hands to work the dough and incorporate the liquid, but others have been making it using a food processor or a mixer for years and they found that method works best for them. I do not have the patience to make it only with my hands. I have made pie crust using a food processor only in the last year and I find that method works best for me. I'm very careful to watch the dough as I add the liquid. You must take it one step at a time and it turns out just perfect.
Pie Pan Preference
I've read and heard first hand that glass or ceramic pie pans are the best for even baking. I've always used a glass pie pan, but just recently got myself a ceramic one because I read that it helps to reduce shrinkage. If you're just starting out with pie making glass is great and definitely preferred of metal if you have the choice.
Take deep breaths and don't quit. Pie making can be frustrating, but the outcome can be so great if you can find a little patience in the process. Enjoy!Print