My Grandma is really great. I mean really really great. She has an enormous family that she brought up on pennies. To this day she grows a lot of the food she eats and at 78 she still works hard to keep her enormous yard and garden immaculate.
One of the recipes she passed onto her daughters and granddaughters is one for a really delicious and easy. She calls it fail proof, and I agree! I wanted to share it with you today…along with a treat we always make in our family whenever we make pie crust.
This recipe makes 2 crusts… or for our purposes today 1 crust and a bunch of leftover.
Start by mixing 3 cups of all purpose flour, 1 tsp of salt and 1 1/4 cup of regular shortening together until they’re crumbly. The right tool for this job is a pastry cutter, but unless I am 30 seconds away from a time when a pastry cutter should be used, the idea of one seems to vanish from my head. Through trial and error, I have found that a fork doesn’t really do the job, but a potato masher like this one does. So that’s what I use.
When it looks like this, it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients…
Mix 1 egg, 6 1/2 Tbsp water and 1 tsp vinegar together and add it to the flour mixture. Mix until it is all moistened, adding water about 1/2 teaspoon at a time if it seems dry.
Divide dough into 2 equal parts.
Today I just need one actual pie crust because I’m making just one Old Fashioned Sour Cream Lemon Pie (the best ever!) But I never miss a chance to use leftover pie crust to make Cinnamon & Sugar Break-Apart Cookies.
To make those, I just roll out the crust, cut it into random shapes, brush it with a little butter and sprinkle it with cinnamon/sugar mixed together. Then bake it on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes or until they’re barely browned.
For the pie crust, I roll it into a shape that more-or-less resembles a circle, then generously flour it, and fold it into fourths, which makes it really easy to move the crust from the rolling surface to the pie pan.
Once it’s in the pie pan, unfold it and gently press it into the pan. You’ll have to lift the edges to get it to really settle in. Cut off the extra edges (keep them for the Cinnamon & Sugar Break-Aparts!), and make the entire edge into a little ridge.
Using the side of your thumb, press into the crust making a pretty little design. (You can actually do whatever you want to the ridge…this is just how I do it.)
Then prick the crust all over…. I’m going to continue to give you directions to finish the pie crust for a cream pie, but if you’re making something like apple or pumpkin pie, where the crust cooks along with the filling, skip the next steps and just use your crust as-is.
If you’re cooking the crust first, it will be helpful to line it with foil. (This is going to sound weird, but stay with me. The trick I’m about to teach you works!)
Fill the foil with dried beans or rice. They will weigh the crust down so it doesn’t shrink in the oven! You’ll remove this about halfway through so the middle of your crust cooks all the way.
Bake your crust at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes until it’s golden brown. Don’t take it out too early. Pie crust is often underdone, and will taste better the more golden it is.
Once your crust is cooked and cooled it is ready to use for cream pies! I recommend the Sour Cream Lemon Pie…if you’re looking for something to try. 🙂
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 tsp vinegar
6 1/2 Tbsp cold water
Mix flour, slat and shortening until crumbly. Mix egg, vinegar, and water together. Add to flour mixture. Toss until all is moistened. Form dough into balls. Makes enough for 2 crusts.