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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Make Pie Crust

There was a time when I hated, HATED making pie.  For you see, I'm the daughter of a master pie maker.  My mother's pies are legendary.  In particular, her crusts are legendary.  

To say that I've struggles to make a pie that even come close to my mom's would be an understatement.  Pie was my achilles heel.  I just could not make good pie.  My mom came and held my hand and still my crust was a disaster.  She couldn't even identify where I went wrong!

I have even started a pie on fire!  It seemed that pie was just not meant to be for me.

But I refused to accept defeat.  I would not be bested by the pie!

I know a lot of you would say, "Just use pie crust from the store."  Oh my, that would send my mother to an early grave and I just couldn't do it.  No, I would persevere.  I would push through the giant wall that was PIE.

And I have.  So, today we'll talk about pie crust and tomorrow we'll make a peach pie.  

First, the recipe.  I have tried many a pie crust recipe and failed at most of them.  But this one works for me and my sister (who was also formerly pie challenged)...perhaps I should call this "Pie Crust for the Pie Challenged"!

Buttermilk Pie Crust (makes a double crust 9 inch pie)
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening 
3 Tbsp butter
2 tsp oil
1/3 cup buttermilk

This recipe comes straight from one of my favorites:  The Bridal Edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook!

Start with your flour, I was making two pies so I'm doubling the above recipe.

Then add the butter.  Mine was at room temperature. 

I used coconut oil rather than shortening.  And when we get our pigs processed in October I will use lard.  Glorious lard!!!  I cannot wait...

(If my mom is reading this, avert your eyes now.  She makes crust by hand.  I use my mixer.)
Add the paddle attachment and run until the fats are pea sized or smaller.  

And, of course, two adorable pie assistants don't hurt!!

 See?  Crumbly but not completely mixed...perfect!

Now add the oil...

And the buttermilk.

Here are those adorable assistants again.

Now, only mix until just combined and starts to pull away from the bowl.  Over-mixing will result in a very tough crust.  We want light and flakey!

Time to roll the crust!  Get out your broken rolling pin and some flour to dust on your rolling surface.

Divide your dough in half.

Remove it from the bowl and make a marvelous lump.
 Now, if I was making just one pie (a single recipe) this would be my bottom crust.

However, I'm making two pies so I'm dividing this half in half again.

This will be my bottom crust.  Flip it over to lightly flour both sides.

Start rolling...

dust with flour to prevent sticking...

Keep rolling in both directions until it looks like it might fit your pie pan.

And don't be afraid to check!

Carefully peel the crust away from the table...

and fold down...

and then over to make a quarter sized pie crust.

Put the corner of your pie crust in the center of your pie pan.

Carefully unfold the crust into your pan.
 What if it looks ugly like this one?  Should I just quit and start over?

No!  Just mend those tears with some pressure from your fingers.

What about those big holes?  You'll have excess hanging off the sides.  Trim those off and patch them in.

All mended!  You would never know it was so ugly when we started!

One of my assistants got into the flour...

Remember tomorrow, we'll make a peach pie!


  1. Ok Annie,

    You may have me convinced to try! I hate baking pie (but my kids beg for them!) But I get to the "oh it looks so ugly" stage and give up and make cobbler instead! Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. My husband assures me that even the ugly ones taste great! (even the one I started on fire...)


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