Today we are presenting you a traditional grandma’s pie crust recipe – a buttery, flaky and it so easy to make! Fill it with fruit of your choice, pumpkin, strawberries, blueberries, sprinkle some nuts or almonds and you’ll have an amazing dessert for your Thanksgiving dinner.
3 cups Pastry flour. What kind of flour should you use for pie dough? Now you can use all-purpose flour if you’d like. We did for years. But when we switched to pastry flour, we started getting comments on how good our pie crust was. Pastry flour has low protein content which means it doesn’t generate as much gluten as white flour. This means you end up with tender crust. Perfect for pie. Here’s a great article on the different types of flours if you’re interested in reading up on them. A pastry flour crust is a little more of a fragile crust so you have to be careful that it doesn’t tear when you are moving it from the floured surface to the pie pan. If you choose to use all-purpose flour, make sure not to overmix the batter since this develops more gluten and makes the dough tougher.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter. I believe butter vs shortening in pie dough is quite the debate. As much as I like using real butter, I’ve found that I like a combination of butter and shortening in my pie crust. Shortening produces a tender, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth crust, but butter produces an awesome flavor. I solve the problem by using some of both. And there’s one other thing. The butter and shortening should be cold. Keeping your fats cold produces a flakier crust. Those fats melt during baking and make flaky layers. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
1/2 cup ice water. Use cold water to help keep those fats cold.
1 tablespoon vinegar. Adding vinegar helps to tenderize the crust and also inhibits gluten development, keeping your dough soft. You need just a bit of this and don’t worry…you won’t taste it once the pie is baked.
How to Mix Pie Dough
We use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter and shortening into the flour. This is one of our newest kitchen tools that we got for making scones. It is easy to use for making crumbs out of your flour/butter mixture for pie crusts, streusels, scones and more.
How to Roll Pie Dough
Another kitchen tool we use when making pie crust is our pastry mat. We happened to find an awesome deal on a new pastry mat at a garage sale this summer, but it is very similar to the one found here. I don’t know what we did without this mat. It’s a non-slip mat that makes rolling out your dough so easy. And you don’t have to clean all that extra flour off your counter after you are finished. Just pick up the mat and rinse it in the sink. Normally I am against using “extra” kitchen tools that are supposed to help the cooking process, but this one really does make life easier.
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