The Pie Crust Challenge!
For months I tried out different pie crusts, some all butter, some with frozen butter, some with shortening, some mixed, some using a food processor, some you just pat into the pan. All in all they kind of all turned out the same. Good flavor, nice flake! They all shrunk in the pans, but I think I have learned to cut no closer than 1 inch from the lip of the pan and that has eliminated some of the shrinking. They were all basically equally difficult to roll out and transfer.
So, begrudgingly, I decided to tackle my mom’s favorite go-to pie crust recipe. When I was little my parents owned their own company, the one my company and this blog are named after, and as a result I spent a good amount of time at the “office.” At the office, every day, the radio was on – but there were no tunes coming out of it unless you count the little jingles for the talk radio stations.
I don’t remember what time or what day but I do remember regularly listening to this cooking show hosted by Jackie Olden. She was a guru of sorts, she had published a number of cookbooks and would walk through recipes on the air. I am not sure if my mom got the recipe from the radio show first and then bought the book but the below is the never fail pie crust from Jackie Olden’s cookbook “Crowd Pleasers” (if you can get your hands on a copy, there are a number of recipe gems to be found between the covers).
This crust has worked for me a number of times since my first attempt and I am finally admitting that for once my mother knew best 😉 (okay maybe it’s not the first thing she has been right about).
Never-fail Pie Crust
4 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 c. water
Cut the shortening into the flour, sugar and salt.
Beat egg, vinegar and water in separate bowl.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture.
Make into 1 large dough ball. Cut dough ball into 4 equal size pieces. Round and flatten each dough ball and then wrap each in plastic wrap.
Chill for at least 15 minutes. Dough can also be frozen – a frozen, flat disk will take about 30 minutes to thaw.
Dust board with flour and roll. (I prefer to use a pastry cloth with flour and my Silpin rolling pin)
Place in pie pan and trim no closer than 1 inch from the outside edge of the pan if you are going to make a crimped edge. Trim right to the edge if you are going to flute the crust edge with a fork.
Makes 4 single crusts (holds up nicely when frozen, sometimes when I feel like making something I will just make this crust recipe, wrap the rounds in plastic and put them in the freezer – always comes in handy!)