LOOKING for: Help With Pie Crust

trudymomFebruary 16, 2009

I have been trying to make a good pie crust but haven't succeeded in that yet. I have tried many recipes and the same thing happens--when I start to roll it out, it starts cracking at the edges and it then goes from bad to worse. I try to pick it up to put it in the pie and it completely falls apart. I use cold ingredients/tools. I could sure use some help with this and perhaps your favorite pie crust recipe. I like to do it in my food processor, but have tried it by hand also.

Thank you!

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You may be not using as much ice water as needed. Even a TBL can make a difference. Start rolling from the center outward but not back & forth over the edges & turn the dough a quarter turn each time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pie crust troubleshooting

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:34AM
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ginger_st_thomas, thank you for the great site. I use that site all the time but didn't even think to go in there for pie crusts.

Thank you!!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Sadly it's the most troublesome pie dough that can be the best in the pie plate! Keep water to a minimum and handle it to a minimum. Having said that, use just enough very cold water to keep it together and separate top and bottom dough pieces and refrigerate the top piece with a wet towel over the top. I also add a tad more shortening than called for and use a tad less water.
I roll my pie dough out on a break-free surface that I've sprinkled with sugar. (you really don't need to throw down more flour, which contributes to toughness). Roll it out from the center until it's the size and thickness you want. Don't worry about patching. Just pick up pieces of dough and press into place (it really doesn't matter -- no one will know). Don't use water or anything else to seal it together -- just press in place.
Sometimes it's better to bake your bottom crust for a awhile (some people microwave) and let cool before adding the fruit filling and baking as usual.
I think the most important thing is to experiment over time and come up with the best solution for your method of creating a great pie.
p.s. I'm baking a cherry pie for hubbydubbydo tomorrow. His favorite.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:10PM
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You're most welcome, Trudymom.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 5:16AM
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If your dough is too rich, it falls apart easily. Also if you haven't handled it enough to hold togeter. I've learned this the hard way. I was so afraid of working the dough too much that I wasn't "kneading" it enough to hold together before rolling it out.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:14PM
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PERFECT PIE CRUST (you can't go wrong with this recipe)

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup very cold water

Add flour, shortening, sugar, and salt to a large bowl.

Mix flour and shortening with a pastry cutter until it looks nice and crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, egg, and water, and add it to the flour mixture, stirring until well moistened.When dough starts to pull away from the bowl, take you hands and pull out the dough and make a large ball, then divide into 4 pieces (this recipe will make 4 single crusts), shape into a ball, wrap in Seran wrap and place in the frig for about half an hour.
When ready, sprinkle some flour on your board, or waxed paper. Sprinkle some more flour on top of dough then just roll it out,lightly adding more flour if necessary to keep from sticking to your rolling pin.You donot have to handle it too much.
Place dough in a greased pie pan, and flute or crimp the edges.

This dough will last a few days in the frig.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:48PM
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I use Betty Crocker receipe from 1961. 9 in.2crust pie 2 c flour, 1tsp. salt, 2/3 plus 2 level tbls. Crisco(white-plain) 1/4 c water. Mix salt & flour, I use 2 old table knives & mix until the flour has no particles larger than a pea. If it is not mixed enough you will have problems, you will see shortening "marble" through the crust. Add water & mix with fork only until it is forming a ball. finish gathering up with your hands. Dough that is handled a lot will be tough!! So it isn't floury or falling apart I use a piece of waxed paper & masking tape & tape all 4 corners to smooth clean, dry surface may have to use table if your counter is tiled. Once wax paper is down & you have 2 balls of dough(if it won't all gather quickly with your hands, just kind of patting it then sprinkle few drops more of cold water. cover 1 ball with wax paper in bowl while you take other 1 & sprinkle very little flour on wax paper in about a 6-8 in circle put ball on it cover with 2nd piece of wax paper roll out about 6 in wide & lift off waxed paper & turn over-the floured side is up now, cover with wax paper & roll out 1st left to right couple of times & then up & down so it stays a circle, don't be trying to squish it, roll it out, set your pan on top & you should see crust about 2 in or more all around, you need enough to go up sides of pan & to make an edge. When it looks right, remove top wax paper carefully,if it starts to break go to different area & peel back. When top wax paper is off turn pan upside down on pie circle & remove the masking tape on bottom waxpaper by carefully pulling back so you can put it down again for 2nd crust. When you have all 4 corners of wax paper free flip the waxpaper with crust & pan over,you can grip it with both hands,Crust is now in pan, get it evenly placed & peel off waxpaper,then fit crust into bottom & up sides fill & stick the waxpaper down on table using same tape as before roll top crust & edge however you like. Never falls apart this way,& not floury. Cleanup just take the 2 sheets of wax paper & toss in trash. If you use this method you should have good results every time. You can use the wax paper with any receipe but if has egg & vinegar etc may need bit more flour, if it is sticking & can't roll it off paper with your finger it needs more flour. Just make sure you don't shortcut mixing the salt/flour mixture with Crisco or you will have problems. If there is a gob of Crisco it will stick to waxpaper.Last yr. 11 yr old granddaughter wanted to learn how to make pumpkin pies, I said great. Was she surprised when she had to do all the work & grandma just watched & told her pretty much what I just said above. She took home 2 beautiful pies. Only thing she couldn't get was flipping the pan & crust on waxpaper over. I think she was afraid she would drop it. I did put them in oven & took them out of oven. She's quite small & I didn't want her to get burned.She was very proud of herself & I told her I thought I "learned" how to wallpaper until I was alone & then had to have friend come back & make me do it so I really knew how, watching someone often is not enough! Good Luck! Jan

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 2:52AM
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lizzynola, My Never Fail Pie Crust recipe is similar to yours. I just finished making 5 crusts. They freeze well shaped into 4in. discs.

5 cups flour
2 teas. salt
2 cups Crisco
1 tbs. vinegar
1 egg
Add vinegar,egg and water to measure 1 cup. Mix as usual.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 1:40PM
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Roll Out the Perfect Dough: When trying to get a desired thickness even, getting it right the fisrt time prevents you from having a tough end product. Wrap the ends of a rolling pin with several clean rubber bands. The kind you get on produce from the grocery store work nicely. Layer until you have the approximate desired thickness of the dough. Roll the dough out until it is a uniform thickness. The rubber bands will elevate the rolling pin, keeping you from rolling your dough out too thin.

Here is a link that might be useful: CIA Tips

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 8:41AM
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Here's the perfect pie crust that I've been using for the last years. It's not hard to make and tastes so good!

These quantities make enough pastry for 3 double-crust pies or 3 1/2 dozen tart shells - muffin size.

5 cups flour
1 teasp salt
2 teasp baking powder
1 lb (454 grams) Tenderflake lard
2 teasp white vinegar
1 egg - slightly beaten. Add water to vinegar and egg to make 1 cup

1) Mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in lard until crumbly (using two knives.)

2) Add liquid and mix gently with hands. (I use a fork to help me here.) Roll into a ball.

3) Roll out amount needed on a floured board. Refrigerate or freeze remainder.

Source: 'I've GOT To Have That Recipe'
Doubleday Canada - Victoria, B.C. 1986

My tip: After step two I often put it in the fridge for an hour to make it firmer and easier to roll out.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 3:40AM
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Nathan's crust is probably delicious but I've had way too many friends have bypass operations. Lard is not good for you. When I was in jr. high new donut shop opened. I loved glazed donuts with choc icing. I took my lunch money & bought donuts & milk for 3 days. 2nd day had a little trouble making it up to 3rd floor for 1 o'clock class. 3rd day I couldn't make it ,I'd go a couple of steps & rest. I was about 10 min. late to class. I went home & deceided next day I was going back to eating lunch & no donuts, it was kind of tough getting up 3rd flight but by 5th day I was OK. Donuts were made with a thick white shortening came in 5 gal cans. Love piecrust made with lard & potatoes fried in bacongrease but prefer to stick around. If it did that much damage when I was 13 & used to biking around 27 miles of lake I lived at, climbing trees,swimming chasing after 4 little bros. can't imagine what that stuff would do to me now. Martha S. likes a lemon meringue pie with 12 eggs, Paula Deen's Celebrate cookbook was just given to me, I can't find 1 receipe I would try, fat,sugar, eggs abound in her cooking. I know some regions of country still cook "just like mama" but I try to cook healthier as cook for parents. Mom is 87,dad 93. Today they shoveled dirt in wheelborrow & hauled it around to other side of house to fill in,pretty good for their ages. Dad just dug out 2 trees that were getting into sewer pipes & reseeded back yard. My lemon tart posted yesterday is so good & lemony & has 4 eggs & makes at least 4- 6 in tarts, why use dozen eggs like Martha . Mine is 1 egg per tart huge difference try it! Once your health is gone quality of life really goes down. Jan

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 10:50PM
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This is the easiest recipe ever!

Mix In Pan Pie Crust

1 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/2 C Cooking Oil
2 T milk

Mix flour, salt, and sugar in pie pan. Slowly add milk and oil. Mix well with a fork and pat out to fit pan. Bake at 350 until brown, usually about ten minutes.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 1:44PM
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This is a link meant (I believe) for commercial mfg. of pie and turnover pastries. However, it contains a lot of very useful information that would be helpful to the home pie baker.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rolling Out a Flaky Pie Dough

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:55PM
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This is the best "How-To" website, on making pie crusts, that I have ever come across! Hope it is of help to all (like myself, and so many others)who are seeking the "Perfect Pie Dough".

Here is a link that might be useful: How To, Pie Crust

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 9:25AM
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