There really is no secret in this recipe to all the old-timers who have made pie crusts forever, but I know I needed this information about 15 years ago.
I had tried to make pie crusts, and they always turned out to be a mess. I mentioned to a sous-chef friend of mine that I always failed with making pie crusts.
He told me four “secrets” for making pie crusts:
- Use lard. Go to a Mexican grocery store (many grocery stores will carry it too) and pick up a pound of lard.
- Don’t mess with it. Cut the lard in; it’s okay to leave chunks of lard still in the flour mixture.
- Follow the directions and use ice water. You want the pie crust to be cold when you mix it up and roll it out.
- Try to roll it out only once. Again, the less you mess with it, the better.
I just use the standard recipe that is on the box of the lard that I bought.
The recipe is for 2 pie crusts. It is easy to cut the recipe in half to make only one pie crust, but you can also make 2 pie crusts and freeze one baked or unbaked for later. Of course, if you are making a two-crust pie, then this recipe is perfect. I also use this recipe when I am making my freezer Ham ‘n Cheese Quiche recipe.
What’s your favorite pie crust recipe?
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup lard
- 5 tablespoons ice water or as needed
Combine flour and salt together in a large bowl.
Cut in the lard with a knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Larger chunks of lard is fine.
Add 4 Tablespoons of water, and then add 1 more Tablespoon if you need more liquid. Stir together, but don't overstir.
Divide the dough in half and shape flattened rounds. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you use ice cold water, you probably won't have to refrigerate the dough before rolling it out. While you roll out one pie crust, put the other half of the dough in the refrigerator so that it stays cold.
Roll out the dough on a floured pastry sheet with a floured rolling pin. I roll it out and try to transfer it quickly to the pie crust. The more you mess with it, the harder it becomes to make a perfect pie crust.
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