If you do not have already have your own old-faithful pie crust recipe, here is an old faithful one from the days of home-ec classes.
It is a basic plain and simple home-spun one, with nothing fancy added: no egg, no lemon juice, no sugar, etc. Just flour, fat, water to bind and a bit of salt to remove the raw taste.
It’s important to understand that what makes a pie crust moist is fat, not water. The water evaporates away during the baking.
And, it’s also important to understand that the secret to a tender pie crust is, once the water is added, handle as little as possible because once it is, the dough can develop gluten which is what makes pie crusts tough.
You can use this with any of our “cooking with canning” recipes, unless the recipe suggests a different type of crust.
To make a single crust, just cut the recipe in half.
You can make this ahead and freeze it, if you wish.
To be clear, this is NOT a canning recipe. You cannot can pie dough.
See also: Home canned pie fillings
Yield: 2 x crusts 20 to 25 cm (8 to 9 inch). Sufficient for two-pies with no top crust, or one pie with a top and bottom crust.
Oven temperature: As per pie recipe
Baking time: As per pie recipe
Yield: 2 crusts
- 300 g flour ( 2 cup / 10 oz)
- ½ teaspoon salt or salt sub
- 150 g shortening, butter or low-fat margarine (2/3 cup / 6 oz)
- Cold water (about 200 ml / 6 oz / ⅔ cup)
- Mix flour and salt.
- Cut in the fat until the mixture is the texture of coarse sand.
- Add just enough water to bind it all.
- Separate into two balls, chill a bit if time permits and if desired, roll out as required.
The salt is just there for taste. You can replace with a salt sub if you wish.
There is no absolute need to refrigerate before rolling out, as long as the fat you use is cold out of the fridge, and you don’t dawdle. But, chilling a bit won’t hurt it. You don’t want it very cold though, as then it will tend to crack on the edges as you roll it out.
Cheaters’ Weight-Watcher friendly pie crust
Using sheets of frozen phyllo pastry can drop a boatload of calories, and save you the work of making a pie crust, to boot.
- Let the phyllo pastry sheets thaw till you can select 5 sheets without breaking them.
- Spray pie tin with cooking spray.
- Layer three sheets on the bottom for bottom crust, folding edges in.
- Put pie filling in.
- Use the final two sheets for top crust.
- Seal edges with water.
- Bake until golden brown.
Nutritional values per slice will vary wildly based the fat you use.
Both crusts together. Divide by number of servings you cut the pie into. If you cut the pie into 8, that would be 143 calories per slice.
This is the sample nutrition for the pie crust using “I can’t believe it’s not butter” as the fat. The crust may be a bit less tender, but the calories drop by a third.
Both crusts together. Divide by number of servings you cut the pie into. If you cut the pie into 8, that would be 96 calories per slice.