Mom’s Homemade Pie Crust

To make a great pie, you need to start with a great crust! Mama’s pies always start with a homemade pie crust…it doesn’t matter if it is her pie dough crust, her graham cracker crust, her cookie dough crust, or her nut pie crust; the crusts are homemade, not bought from a store, and not preformed.

You can judge a great pie first by the crust, second the filling, and third, by presentation.

The crust and filling all work in harmony to create the perfect pie, and a pie is simply ruined with a store bought crust.

Don’t be afraid! It is actually just as easy to make a homemade pie crust than it is to run to the store and buy a preformed pie crust and the taste will be so worth it! A crust should be made so its tender and flaky and you can’t get that out of a box or package!

When we were kids, we remember Mom staying up all night on the Eve of Thanksgiving or Christmas to make pies for our large family. We would have just as many pies as there were people! We would try to reduce the selections but each of us had our favorite and Mom would make sure each of us had the kind we wanted!

As Mom would roll out the pie dough, she would put our tiny hands on the crust and cut around our fingers and bake our pie dough handprints sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar on top for us to eat while watching her bake. The sisters now share the workload with Mom and we bake the pies together. She has taught us how to make the perfect pie crust, and instilled in us its importance.

Some of Mom’s many pies she makes with this pie crust recipe include: Sweet Potato Pies, Pecan Pies, Lemon Chess Pies, Cherry Pies, Blackberry Pies, Rhubarb Pies, Fried Pies, Coconut Cream Pies, Chocolate Cream Pies, and Pumpkin Pies…she bakes Grandmother’s Lemon Meringue Pie and Grandmother’s Banana Cream Pie….oh, and then there’s also Great Grandma Kukkola’s Apple Pie recipe which is also a family favorite!  All of these pies start with this pie crust recipe.

1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco Shortening
3-4 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt in a medium sized bowl.

Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.

Sprinkle cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, evenly over the surface.

Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. To make sure you’ve added enough water, squeeze the dough between your fingers. If it falls apart, gradually add the remaining tablespoon of water.

Shape dough into a flattened disk.

Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness on a floured surface.

Place in a 9 inch pie plate. Trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under and crimp.

Prick bottom and sides of pastry generously with a fork to keep the pastry from puffing or bubbling during baking.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Recipe makes one pie crust. Fill with your favorite filling and enjoy!!

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