Never be scared to make your very own pie crusts in this article are some guidelines

Kandace Wysock

It’s a true recipe for catastrophe.

I’ve been strolling on eggshells ever considering the fact that I figured out that my friend experienced a bun in the oven. Of course, that apple did not fall considerably from the tree, and so, mainly, I’m toast for the reason that I’ve got an appetite for destruction.

Ah, who cares? Permit them eat cake.

Have you at any time stopped to consider how normally meals would make its way into casual discussion? It looks as even though the English language has an limitless supply of similes, metaphors and idioms connected to our style buds.

One individual turn of phrase is on my intellect as we go summer’s halfway issue. As I walk by way of the farmer’s market every single 7 days, it seems as although there is an ever-increasing source of fruits and greens. From beets and tomatoes to cherries and blueberries, eating clean this time of yr is “easy as pie.”

But hold out, did you at any time prevent to look at the phrase “easy as pie?” I hadn’t until finally I go through Megan McArdle’s pie-centered column in the Washington Article titled, “Can America Help save Its Nationwide Dish?”

In it, McArdle laments the reality that Us citizens currently usually forego pie baking mainly because it is considered far too complicated. She also blames pre-created crusts — both refrigerated or frozen — for robbing the nation of the style of a genuine pie, a union of filling and pastry that is sublime.

This combination is critical, she argues: “For a large amount of people, pie is all about the filling the crust is an afterthought. Without the need of the crust, while, you are ingesting a mousse, a custard or a compote — delightful all, but distinctly not pie. And if you are likely to encase these superb things in a flaccid flap of flavorless pastry, why not skip the further calories and make only the great element?”

I just can’t disagree with any of that. Though I from time to time like a superior crisp or cobbler, it is pie that fires my creativity.

Nevertheless, I assume that McArdle may well hinder her personal lead to by earning out pie baking to be anything but “easy as pie.” In its place, she describes building a crust from scratch as an virtually magical system that demands working experience, intuition and time.

Others seem to share this perception. When I questioned Fb friends to notify me their views on pie, they employed phrases like “involved” and “scary” to describe the crust-producing system.

Not everyone agreed. Mary, a pie baker of some renown, commented that she would make her personal crusts from scratch, including that her top secret is to use lard. Nancy explained that pie baking connects her to her ancestors, even though Pat was extra uncomplicated, indicating, “Pie crusts are easy!”

You might even say that earning your own crust from scratch is “easy as pie.”

Nonetheless, I need to disagree with McArdle on a person level. If all that is retaining you from baking a pie is a panic of pie crust, by all means, use a pre-made a person. For me, it’s the knowledge of generating a pie that matters most.

Very well, just after eating it, that is.

Ideas for Generating Pie Crust from Scratch

If you want to test earning a crust from scratch, I have assembled a number of recommendations that could assistance.


My favorite way to make a pie crust is to use a stand mixer (see recipe beneath), but you can also use a foods processor. Both can make the integration of the unwanted fat and flour much easier.

Of study course, the conventional strategy is to use a pastry blender or even two forks. Whilst additional of a challenge, this process does make it significantly less probable that you will overwork your dough.


Unwanted fat — whether it be shortening, butter or lard — is the vital to the two the texture and the flavor of your pie crust. Hence, it is vital that you know what to do with it once you include it to your crust.

Initially, make sure whichever extra fat you use is quite chilly. You don’t want the fats to melt into your flour even though you combine almost everything alongside one another since it is the unwanted fat that provides individuals tender flakes and levels. Thus, some people will freeze the butter or shortening before making a crust. This is a good technique, but I assume it is adequate to refrigerate ideal up until finally you blend it all jointly.

Yet another essential is to slash the fat into manageable chunks prior to introducing it to the combination. I shoot for quarter-inch cubes when I am earning a pie.

Eventually, never overmix. You want little, pea-sized chunks of recognizable unwanted fat to continue being in your crust soon after it’s been set collectively. Again, this will aid with the creation of a flakey, tender crust.

Drinking water:

The other important ingredient is h2o, and, for me, it’s the trickiest. Also much or as well small drinking water, and your crust will be unattainable to roll out. The industry experts all say that you want to add just sufficient h2o so that the combination will clump when squeezed together in your hand.

Moreover, it is crucial to preserve your h2o chilly. Ice water is very best due to the fact it will not soften the extra fat that is so significant to your flakey layers (see earlier mentioned).


I roll out my crust on a lightly floured counter. The flour prevents the dough from sticking to the counter or to your rolling pin.

Be individual when you roll. Give the dough a quarter flip just after each individual roll to reduce sticking and to ensure evenness. Generally, you want your crust to be about 1/8-inch thick.


My tips right here is don’t stress about it. Pie crust is forgiving. If it tears, it can be repaired with a small dab of chilly water. My crusts commonly seem a little ragged, and which is Alright.

There are quite a few baking websites on the world-wide-web now that exhibit pies that are nearly will work of art with crusts labored into photographs and difficult patterns. These are not my pies. A home made pie is lovely with or devoid of ornamentation.

King Arthur Flour Pie Crust

This is now my go-to crust, typically simply because of how conveniently it goes together. The folks at King Arthur Flour recommend mixing it in your stand mixer, and it does not get significantly a lot easier than that.

You can, of training course, substitute a meals processor. Just be sure to pulse cautiously. I am normally tempted to around-combine the fat in the food processor. You also can do this recipe by hand employing a pastry blender or just two forks.


  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup shortening, cold
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cold and reduce into quarter-inch cubes
  • 6-10 tablespoons ice h2o

Incorporate the flour and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Increase the shortening and blend into the flour. Next, include the butter. Combine until finally most of the butter is entirely integrated into the flour. There really should nevertheless be recognizable chunks of butter — around the measurement of a pea — visible in the flour, having said that. Increase the ice drinking water a person tablespoon at a time. Stop when the dough comes with each other when squeezed in your hand.

Divide the dough into two equal disks. Wrap each and every disk in plastic and refrigerate for at minimum an hour.

This recipe helps make enough for one double-crust pie or two solitary-crust pies.

Bitter Cherry Pie

Pie bakers know that the only cherries to use when baking a pie are bitter cherries. Which is why they are known as “pie cherries.”

Regrettably, pie cherry season is quite quick, typically long lasting just a pair of months in late June. The good news is, you can buy frozen pie cherries (or sour cherries) at most tremendous marketplaces.

This recipe for bitter cherry pie is primarily based on 1 from the June 2014 concern of Bon Appetit journal. It adds a little bit of lime zest to keep the cherries tart. I just added a little a lot more corn starch to assist with thickening.

1 take note: If you use frozen cherries for this pie (as I did), thaw them 1st in a colander. This is to get rid of the extra juice that could prevent your pie from setting properly.


  • A person recipe pie crust (double crust), see recipe above or use your beloved
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated lime zest from 2 limes
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 lbs . sour cherries, pitted (if employing frozen cherries thaw and drain the juices)
  • 1 egg, overwhelmed
  • Sugar for sprinkling on top of the pie

Preheat oven to 425 levels.

Roll out the bottom pie crust and meticulously position it in a 9-inch pie plate.

Prepare the filling. In a big bowl, use your fingers to rub with each other the sugar and lime zest (this will help launch the flavor of the zest). Insert the cornstarch and salt and whisk to merge. Stir in the cherries, staying confident to absolutely coat them in the sugar mixture. Scrape the filling into the ready pie crust.

Roll out the prime crust and carefully put it above the crammed pie plate. Trim and crimp crust to seal. Reduce a number of slashes in the top crust to vent steam. Brush with overwhelmed egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes. Lessen warmth to 350 levels. Continue on baking pie for 50 minutes (tent the pie with aluminum foil if prime crust is browning far too swiftly.)

Amazing pie entirely in advance of reducing.

Whiskey-Peach Pie

This recipe from local baker Pat Fish received Very best All round Pie at the 2014 Jo Beers Johnson County Pie Contest. Supplied that we are just about to enter peach season, I am going to use it in this article, once again.

Just one observe: Fish included a crust recipe with her pie. In the desire of room, I am only delivering the recipe for the filling.


  • 1 recipe pie crust (double crust), see recipe higher than or use your preferred
  • 5-6 cups peeled and sliced clean peaches
  • 1½ tablespoons whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup darkish brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425 levels.

Roll out a person of your disks of pie dough right until roughly 1/8-inch thick. Area into a 9-inch pie plate.

Now, prepare the filling.

Combine the sliced peaches and whisky in a medium bowl. Allow peaches and whiskey sit for at the very least 30 minutes.

Though the peaches and the whiskey are soaking, soften the butter in a compact saucepan. Take away from warmth and stir in the lemon juice and zest, both sugars, the cinnamon, vanilla and the cornstarch. Pour about your peaches, and then stir to mix. Scrape filling into your prepared bottom crust.

Roll out the second crust to approximately 1/8-inch thickness. Location above the top rated of your filled crust. Trim and crimp to seal. Slash the best so that the steam can vent from the pie while it cooks.

Bake for 30 minutes, and then lower heat to 350 levels. Bake for an extra 30 minutes. If the best crust is browning too promptly, loosely go over it with aluminum foil.

Neat to heat prior to serving.

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