posted by Paul Ferrara 09-23-98 9:08 PM
Pie crusts are a snap if you follow a few rules. First, the ratio of fat to flour should be 1:3. For two cups of flour, use 2/3 cup of butter or shortening.
For 3 cups of flour, use 1 cup, etc. Second, chill the shortening, use ice water, and chill the dough before rolling it out.
Start out with 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup well-chilled Crisco, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix the flour and salt together, and cut in the Crisco, using either a pastry cutter, a couple of dinner knives, or a food processor. Stop when the mixture is crumbly. The crumbs should be pea-sized.
Add just enough ice water so that the dough holds together. This is a little difficult to describe but once you've done a successful batch, you'll know what I'm talking about. (If the dough splits as you're rolling it out, you haven't added enough water.)
Split the dough into two pieces, flatten, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 1/2 hour or more.
After the dough is chilled, take out one piece at a time, place between two pieces of plastic wrap. Roll front to back, turn the dough 1/8 of a revolution, roll again. Repeat until it's the size you want.
Put into your pie pan, being careful not to stretch. Then go on to the top piece. Then trim off the edges and crimp. Brush the top with egg wash or water/sugar if you like. Bake at 400 for about 50 minutes until brown.
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