How to Make Perfect Pie Crust
One of the hardest things to make, I realized, was a good pie crust. When I attempted it, some 30 years ago, I ended up with a hard, bounce off the wall crust, that even the dog, turned, its nose at. I, followed what the instructions said, in my cookbook, then, proceeded to add flour, to make it all, hold, together. Brilliant, I know, deadly pie crust move.
A few years later, after those initial fiascos, I met an older lady, who had been through, the Great Depression, and all. This wonderful lady taught me several useful things in life, like making my own soap from fat drippings; but one of her most solid recipes, was pie crust.
When we went into her kitchen, I was amazed at the few things she worked with. This Duchess of Cookery, had very little. She hoarded everything, but there was little of substance or expense. This did not seem to deter the old Dowager of Victuals. In anticipation, I watched as she, pulled the things for a pie crust, out. Very few ingredients, I noted.
I was looking for mayhem in the kitchen, for bowls, measurements and kneading; with lots of things to wash later. All I got were very few ingredients and a sneer from my teacher. She obviously had experience teaching morons, of which I had proven to be one.
As she worked, she also shared with me the one, most important secret for good pie crust, “Never keep playing with your dough,” she warned, ominously. Translated, stop kneading it so much that it becomes elastic and hard and in the end; like my original one, inedible.
I am offering here Mrs. Freund’s recipe, that she, taught me. If you follow these directions, it will not matter what you put inside your pie, it will be delicious. Be reasonable.
8 oz flour
1 stick butter softened; (No, not margarine and not oil.)
3 Tbsp cold water
1/4 tsp salt
That was it! That’s all she wrote in the recipe.
- Add salt to flour and mix well with fork.
- Place flour in a bowl.
- Add soft, cold butter to the flour. Note: If the butter gets too mushy, the crust will be mushy. (That is where I needed to add flour and ruined it).
- Mix the flour into the butter with tips of fingers until the bowl is filled with little dough balls.
- Add cold water.
- Mix with tips of fingers some more.
- Gather all the little dough balls forming a big ball.
- Roll out, then place in your pie plate. Note: If you do not like to roll dough, put the dough balls in the pie plate and push down with hands until you cover the pie plate. It works.
- Add your favorite filling.
- Cover with another pie crust of your making.
- Bake at 350 until golden brown.