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World's Flakiest Pie Crust

Posted by CookinMom at Recipe Goldmine April 30, 2001

For single 8-inch pie:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco (We suggest plain old
    Crisco, not the butter flavored.)
2 to 3 tablespoons ice cold water

For double 8-inch pie:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water

For single 9-inch pie:
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco
3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water

For double 9-inch pie:
2 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Crisco
6 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water

Sift flour and salt together into a deep mixing bowl that is impervious to knives. Add Crisco. Using two steak knives, cut the shortening into the flour mixture as if you were cutting up a bowl of spaghetti for a baby, or use a pastry cutter. Do this until the mixture starts to form small clumps. The mixture should resemble sawdust.

Sprinkle in cold water cautiously, a tablespoon at a time, continuously cutting, until the mixture forms clumps the size of unshelled almonds. The ingredients do not need to be 100% homogeneous. With floured hands, loosely gather dough into a ball and place in a clean bowl. Chill until ready to roll out.

Have your pie plate, rolling pin, a small sharp knife, and a canister of flour within easy reach.

Prepare a clean wooden or marble surface. (Formica and other synthetic countertops may be used with varying degrees of success, but be prepared to dust frequently with generous amounts of flour to prevent sticking.) Dust the surface evenly with flour - a sifter is handy for this job.

Flour hands and a rolling pin. Press chilled pastry into a small, flat circle (like a hockey puck). With the rolling pin, roll out dough from the center to the edges in opposing directions of the clock (noon and 6, 9 and 3, 11 and 5, etc.). Never crush the pastry with the rolling pin to hasten the job. Instead, push it out from the center, lifting the pin ever so slightly as you reach the edge. A perfectly rolled crust will be of an even thickness (squeeze the thick part of your earlobe).

Use the pie plate as a pattern to cut the crust. Invert the pie plate over the rolled out crust and, with the small, sharp knife, cut a circle around the plate leaving a 1-inch hem. Discard scraps. Remove pie plate. Be sure the surface of the pastry is dusted with flour. Gently peel back crust from one side, folding it in half, then peel it from another direction to fold it in quarters. Lift the dough gently and place it in the ungreased pie plate. Unfold and position the pastry.

If making a single crust pie, crimp the edges before filling. Fold in the hem of pastry between the lip of the pie plate and the top of the crust. Use a fork dipped in flour to seam and decorate the edge, or crimp between your fingers.

If you are making a double crust pie, use a pastry brush to moisten the top lip of the crust with water. Fill the bottom crust. Place the second crust on top - it's hem should extend beyond the bottom crust's hem. Fold the top hem under the bottom's and on top of the lip of the pie plate. Crimp as you would a single crust pie. Using a sharp knife, cut a few holes on the top of the crust to vent steam and prevent hot filling from flowing out of the edges.

>> Pie Pastry and Meringue recipes

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