I have a confession to make. I rarely ever make my own pie crust from scratch. First off I do not consider myself a baker and certainly when I do bake (muffins, biscuits and quick breads mainly) I am not on the level of my mother, grandmother (mom’s mother) or “mein grossmutter” on my dad’s side of the family. Grossmutter (word means grandmother in German if you don’t know) was actually my great grandmother but she was universally referred to as “grossmutter” even by her own daughter.
Mostly for pie crusts I use ready made Pillsbury pastry sheets.
Just pull them out of the refrigerator and let them warm up to room temperature, roll them out and stick them in a pie plate and go from there.
But occasionally I decide to go from scratch. Usually this involves a lot of bad words being used in the kitchen as pie crusts and I have this love hate thing going on. Damn things break on me all the time but given I have a “make it from scratch” nature I will still trot this recipe out and make a crust from scratch. Adds a bit of time to my cooking schedule but I think the results are worth it given how flakey this recipe comes out.
- 2½ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ cup of shortening or melted lard
- 6 to 8 Tbs ice water
- Put flour in a bowl and cut in the shortening (or lard) until mixture resembles gravel.
- Add the ice water little at a time until a good doe forms
- Roll out betwee waxed paper.
In these days of worrying about cholesterol intake and avoiding fat lard has taken a bit of a slam from the food industry and doctors in general. While I agree watching your fat intake and what kinds of fat you consume is a smart thing to do I also say everything in moderation.
There have been some interesting studies done more recently that Crisco and other vegetable fats are not as good for us as we've been told. Some of those studies have pointed out that lard is actually better for you due to the way vegetable based shortenings are manufactured.
I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV so use your head and figure out for yourself which fats you are going to use in your cooking.
Last comment on this: lard does make for flakier pie crusts.