Homemade Baking Tips: The Secret to Flaky Pie Crusts


Pies are good for holidays or anytime. I mostly prefer 1 crust pies, I even prefer a crumb topping on my apple pies.

1 crust for 8 or 9 inch pies

In a large bowl mix ¾ cup of white flour (unbleached is best), ¼ cup of whole wheat flour, ½ tsp. salt and 1/3 cup of shortening with a pastry cutter or 2 butter knives. Mix in 2-3 tbsp of cold water, a little at a time with a spoon. The trick to flaky crust is to handle the dough as little as possible, the oils from your hands will make the dough tough. Add just enough of the water until the dough is a cohesive unit. Make the dough into a ball with as little handling as possible. Place the dough on a pastry sheet or between 2 layers of waxed paper and roll out until the crust is about 1 ½ inches larger than the pie plate you are using. Remove the top layer of waxed paper and flip the dough over the top of the pie plate. Peel off the waxed paper or pastry sheet. Situate the pie crust in the pan and crimp the edges using your fingers. Poke fork holes in the bottom of the crust so it doesn’t bubble during baking. Either fill and bake or if the pie isn’t going to be cooked bake for 8-10 minutes at 475 degrees or until browned.

1 crust for a 10 inch pie

Use the same directions but use ½ cup of shortening, 1 cup of white flour, 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour, ½ tsp. salt and 3-4 tbsp of cold water.

2 crusts for 8 or 9 inch pies

Use 2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp of shortening, 1 ½ cups of white flour, ½ cup of whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. Salt, and 4-5 tbsp. of cold water.

2 crusts for a 10 inch pie

Use 1 cup of shortening, 2 cups of white flour, 2/3 cup of wheat flour, 1 tsp. of salt, and 7-8 tbsp. cold water.

With a 2 crust pie, don’t crimp the edges until after the top crust is in place and make sure to put some slits in the top of the crust so the pie doesn’t explode. Another method is to slice the rolled crust into slices and work the slices into a weave by carefully folding and unfolding the strips.

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