I have never made a pie crust from scratch before. There, I said it. I am so used to the convenience of pre-packaged pie pastry that I never really took the time to make it. I can, however, taste the difference between the fresh taste of a homemade pie crust and a pre-packaged one. Therefore, I decided to give it a try. Since I have been enjoying The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, I thought that I should try their recipe for what they call their versatile crust… and I am really glad that I did.
This recipe delivered a very crusty and delicious buttery crust, which I should had predicted from the soft and easy nature of the crust. This crust definitely needed to be chilled, try to limit the amount of handling or it gets too soft. I made these to make double-crusted apple pie. I was surprised at how well the cooked crust handled the juices from the apples, and stayed nice and crispy. I think I am a convert now after making this crust. Now I don’t know whether I can go back to prepacked crust. I hope you will give this recipe a try, if I can do it… anyone can. Happy eating!
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Process the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and, using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does.
Divide the dough into two even pieces and flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it out and fitting the bottom crust into a pie plate.
To make ahead: The dough can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let the frozen dough thaw on the countertop until malleable before rolling.
Yield: 1 double crust pie crust