Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Perfect Pie Crust

Summer yields so much fresh produce, it would be a shame
if at least some of it weren't baked up in a delicious pie!
Use this recipe for your crust, and you won't be disappointed.
If it doesn't turn out just right the first time, don't give up!

"Family life is a bit like a runny peach pie...
not perfect but who's complaining?"

~Robert Brault ~

This recipe makes 4 crusts for 2 pies.
I usually divide it in half.

4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shortening

Combine flour and salt.  Cut in shortening with 2 knives until you have pea-sized pieces. 

**I use my metal stand-mixer bowl for combining the first ingredients, and place in freezer while combining the ones below- keep ingredients, dough, and bowl as cold as possible during the pie crust-making process**

1 egg
1/2 cup cold water
1 Tbsp white vinegar

Beat the egg and combine with water and vinegar.  Pour over the shortening/flour mixture.  If using stand mixer, use the dough mixing inserts, or just knead by hand.  Less is more, so don't overwork the dough, just mix until everything is combined and the dough can be handled easily without being sticky.

Roll in to a ball and divide in to 4 smaller balls, then store in fridge or freezer while preparing filling. 

When rolling out, I just use parchment paper sprinkled with flour (rolling pin sprinkled with flour also).  Re-flour the parchment paper/rolling pin as needed.  When ready, try to center the 'bottom crust' over the pie plate, and flip the parchment paper over.  The dough comes off easily.  Try not to stretch the dough, just gently adjust, and patch if needed.

Cut excess dough off edge of pie plate, place filling inside, and get 2nd ball of dough from fridge/freezer. Re-flour parchment paper, roll the 'top crust' to be about 1" over the edge of pie plate, and cut slits in the center of the dough.

Place the 'top crust' over pie, and trim edges to be somewhat even all around.  Slightly separate 'bottom crust' from pie plate and fold the extra 1" of the top crust under it to seal the edge.  Pinch dough around the edge to decorate and seal. 

Mix the white of one egg with a little water and brush on top crust.  Sprinkle with a little sugar (and cinnamon if desired).  Place strips of aluminum foil around the edge to avoid over-browning, take off for last 5-10 min of baking.  **In the oven, place the pie plate on a pizza pan to thoroughly bake the bottom crust.  Especially important with fruit fillings, as they have a tendency to make the bottom crust soggy.**

**Tip from Grandma Leasure:  Avoid baking a pie if the humidity is high.  The dough is harder to work with, and the crust doesn't always turn out.**

Thank you to my Aunt Tammy and her mother, for sharing this Polish pie crust recipe with my mom.  Thank you Mom for sharing this recipe with me, along with your and Grandma's tips.  Thank you also for your patience as I'm sure I've tested it with all my questions...  Love you! 


  1. AnonymousJune 15, 2011

    that pie looks yummy!! love ya

    holly watkins

  2. Thanks Holly!! That pie was made with canned peaches... can't wait til Hugus Fruit Farm starts selling the fresh ones... they make the best pies! Have a great day!

  3. Oh my! That is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us and thanks for coming by. Have a great weekend. Love the quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, too.

  4. Thank you Judy, and you're welcome! Love your blog and recipes, always find something to try while I'm there!

  5. My mom wasn't polish but that's the recipe she used. I asked her one time why she used lard instead of shortening, and she said that it's easier to work with, doesn't get tough after a few rollings. I used shortening for years in my pies until the last few. In this day and age of trying to eat more natural ingredients, lard makes sense over shortening. It's not like you eat pie everyday, so I figured I'd make the switch. I like the flavour better, and mom was right, it is easier to work with. btw, absolutely LOVING your site!


“Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.”

~ Mother Teresa