It’s the week of pies, this is the week when we ignore our scales, put on our stretchy pants and ride a pie train into the ultimate dessert nirvana. We literally have dozens of pies to choose from as you plan your Holiday feast – but first, we need to break down for you the most essential part of every pie, which is the crust. Pie crust is something bakers are passionate about, maybe even to the point of controversy, the battle of the pie fats is alive and well and in the twocarolines.com kitchen we are leaders of the Crisco crust gang, but we don’t want to fight you, we just want to hang out and eat pie with you.
Here’s the crust Joyce King made famous that both Caroline’s can make blindfolded. It’s fairly easy, consistently delicious and as long as you keep your Crisco supply in check, you will always have these ingredients around. I will often make 3 at a time and freeze two of them all rolled into a pan and crimped so all I need to do is take them out and fill them with something amazing. Obviously double this if you’re doing a double crust pie.
King Pie Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco shortening (not generic, not butter flavored)
4 tablespoons ice cold water (give or take for a nice playdough texture)
- Mix up your salt and flour. Add Crisco and cut it in with a pastry cutter, or with this handy mix and masher tool I use all the time. Should look like shaggy crumbs at this point. Add your water and continue to mix in with your tool then get all the dough off of that with a rubber spatula and with that spatula continue to pull the flour off the sides of the bowl and press it together until you take it with your hands and mix it into a nice play-dough-ey ball. It should be malleable, not too dry but not sticky.
- Press your dough ball into a disk on a floured surface (I like to work with a little bit wetter dough and dry it with my rolling surface flour). Keep working with your hands until you have a nice circle, throw a little flour on top of that. Take your rolling pin, and start rolling your dough out into a large thin circle. It helps to have a cover or pastry sleeve on your rolling pin so your dough doesn’t stick. We like our crust nice and thin.
- You may need to cut around if your circle is wompy and fill in or take away until your dough is in a fairly even circle. Pull up one edge onto your rolling pin and slowly roll your dough around the rolling pin then roll it out with about an inch over the sides into your pie pan.
- Next, use kitchen shears to cut where you have excessive hangover and feed that into areas where your crust looks too close to the edge. Then fold your edges under into a ridge and crimp as desired. Be sure when you crimp to press your crust up on the edge of your pan so it doesn’t slip down the sides when you bake it – this is particularly important for a blind bake. Fluted or wavy crimp is the easiest, but I also enjoy a triangle crimp which is achieved by pressing your thumb from the inside of your pan into the edge and meeting it on the outside with your index finger and thumb of your other hand. Don’t be afraid to get creative, there are loads of fun crimp instructions online. But we will be posting our own soon. Check out Facebook page for immediate crimping help.
- A quick note on blind baking. Pies that do not bake such as cream pies or fresh fruit pies need a crust that is already baked or “blind baked” – in this case, we recommend poking lots of holes in your crust with a fork which will prevent bubbles. You can also bake your crust with pie weights or dry beans in parchment, but we find the hole poking method to work just fine. This crust is easy to bake alone, in a 425 degree oven, bake on the top shelf for about 7 minutes or until your crust is a nice light golden brown. If your crust slips into your pan use gloves and a clean dish cloth to push back up. Let cool before filling.