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A tender, flaky crust is what separates a good pie from a great one. Here’s how to make the leap.
Step 1: Mix flour and shortening
Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the shortening, and with a dough blender, or in a food processor, cut the shortening into the salted flour until the mix is full of crumbly, pea-size pieces.
Step 2: Add water
Drizzle 3 tablespoons of ice-cold water over the dough, and mix it in with a fork until the dough is moistened, adding more water, five or six drops at a time, just until the dough sticks together. Form a ball, split the ball in half, and wrap the two balls separately in plastic wrap. Put them in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Prepare the dough for rolling
After 30 minutes, take one half of the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a minute. Dust a flat surface with flour. Put the dough on the flat surface, and flatten the ball with the heel of your hand.
Step 4: Roll
Roll the pin from the center of the dough outward a few times. Pick up the dough and turn it 90 degrees. Once again, roll from the center outward. Repeat twice more, until you’ve turned the dough 360 degrees and have a 9-inch round that is about ¼-inch thick.
Touch the dough as little as possible. If it sticks to the flat surface or to the rolling pin, dust it with a little more flour. Or, roll it between two sheets of wax paper.
Step 5: Put in pie plate
Carefully pick up the crust and place it in the pie plate. Trim off the excess dough so the crust fits inside the plate.
To ensure you end up with a crispy crust, bake it for five to eight minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit before you add the pie filling. But leave it raw if you plan to add a top crust to the pie.
Step 6: Add top crust
Add your pie filling. Set the pie aside, and take your second ball of dough out of the fridge. Leave it on the counter for a minute or two, and then roll it out. When it’s the right size and shape, cover the filling with it.
Step 7: Finish and bake
Tuck the edges of the top crust under the edges of the lower crust, and press together with your fingers. With a sharp knife, cut five vents into the center of upper crust to create a star shape, or use a fork to pierce a decorative pattern in the center. Bake your pie according to your recipe.
Did You Know?
General Mills executive Marjorie Child Husted created the Betty Crocker character in the 1930s as the personification of the ideal housewife.