Half-Butter Never-Fail Pie Crust
One great pie crust tip — follow a good recipe: Basic pie crust consists of flour, salt, fat (butter, lard, shortening, oil) and water, with some recipes using a little sugar, egg or even vinegar (which can combat toughness and prevent oxidation). An all-butter pie pastry will give you better flavor, and the steam from large bits of butter creates a flaky texture, but it’s slightly more challenging to work with (it needs to be cold, but still be warm enough to roll out). All-shortening crusts are a little easier to roll and hold their shape, but can lack flavor or taste slightly greasy. I use both in this adaptation of the old tried-and-true “Never-Fail Pie Crust” (of which there are numerous versions) that has been in my mom’s recipe box for as long as I can remember.
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup shortening chilled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup butter chilled and cut into cubes
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening and butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs with some of the butter in larger pieces (this all can also be done by pulsing in a food processor). Beat the egg and vinegar with the cold water. Slowly add liquid to the flour mixture, blending lightly with a fork, just until everything is evenly distributed and moist. Gather the dough together in a ball on a lightly floured board or a sheet of parchment and divide the dough in half. Make each half into a flat disk about 6 or 7 inches in diameter, making sure the edges are smooth. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour or up to two days. Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie or two 9-inch single-crust pies.
NOTE: This recipe can be made with all shortening (1 cup), leaving out the butter, if desired.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!