Many people are intimidated by the idea of making pie crust, but there's no need to be. This recipe is easy and essentially foolproof. It yields the perfect deep dish double pie crust, so start dreaming up your favorite fillings.
This recipe is by JeanMarie Brownson and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, very cold
- 1/2 Cup trans fat-free vegetable shortening, frozen
- 2 Tablespoons half-and-half (optional)
- Coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Step 1: To a food processor, add 2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse to mix well.
Step 2: Cut 1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter and 1/2 cup frozen trans fat-free vegetable shortening into small pieces; sprinkle them over the flour mixture. Use on/off pulses with the food processor to blend the fats into the flour. The mixture will look like coarse crumbs.
Step 3: Put ice cubes into about 1/2 cup water and let the water chill. Remove the ice cubes; drizzle about 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the flour mixture. Briefly pulse the machine just until the mixture gathers into a dough.
Step 4: Dump the mixture out onto a sheet of wax paper. Gather into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten the balls into thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Dough will keep in the refrigerator for several days.)
Step 5: Roll out the larger disk of pie dough (recipe follows) between 2 sheets of floured wax paper into a thin circle about 14 inches in diameter. Carefully fold the dough in half, then place in a deep 10-inch glass (or ceramic) pie dish. Unfold it and fit it over the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish. Trim the overhang to leave about 1/2 inch all around the pie dish. Refrigerate.
Step 6: Roll the other piece of dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper into an 11-inch circle; place it (still between the wax paper) on the baking sheet and refrigerate it.
Step 7: Fill pie according to your favorite recipe. Carefully place the top crust over the filling. Use your fingers to press together the top and bottom crusts, trimming as needed. Use a fork to make a decorative edge. Brush the top of the pie and the edges with 2 tablespoons half-and-half (optional). Sprinkle everything generously with coarse sugar (optional). Gently poke steam vents with a fork into the top of the pie in several spots.
Step 8: Bake according to your favorite recipe.