The Art of the Pie Crust

January 11, 2011

Hello There! This is Dr. Pepper signing in.

When you take a look a a hot steaming pie that has just come out of the oven, what is the first thing you admire about the pie?  No doubt most people look at the filling, whether it is apples, pecans, or pumpkins the delicious taste and look of the filling certainly attracts the eye. But what about the other part of the pie? The backbone and mainframe that keeps the pie from self -destruction? Well it is the crust and it is sadly overlooked in the world of pies.

Sadly, I was also one of those people who neglected the importance of the crust, but when Ms. Ruble told us we were going to be blind-baking pie crust I had chance to find the true art if the pie crust.

The making of the crust went very smoothly from the combining of the salt, flour, butter, and shortening (although out food processor did not work so we had to borrow the other groups). Then after rolling out the dough we had to transfer it onto the pie plate, thats when things fell apart literally. Our pie crust did not look as professional as I had hoped but after observing it I realized that it had a character of it’s own and even described it as having a “rustic urban” look.

Dr. Pepper combining salt and flour

When it was all said and done I enjoyed the experience and I can now say that I understand the art of the pie crust;  it will never again be neglected.

For those of you who would like to try to make the crust yourself, here is the recipe and directions.

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold lard (non-hydrogenated is prefered)

1/2 cup cold butter, chopped

4 tablespoons ice cold water

1 egg and 1 teaspoon heavy cream for egg wash (If desired you can substitute the vegetable shortening for lard depending on which one you prefer)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. To make the crust you combine the flour and salt together in a food processor.

3.Then you add you presliced chunks of lard which you have refrigerated up until now and pulse for 10 seconds or until the final mixture has the consistency of coarse sand.

4. Add in chunks of butter and pulse 10 times or until the pieces of butter are about the size of small peas.

5. Add 4 tablespoons of ice water and pulse on low setting. If the dough doesnt not stick together properly then simply add another tablespoon of ice water.

6. Then take the dough and form it into a small disk using your hands as little as possible while wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll the disk out between two sheets of parchment paper using little flour until it is about two inches larger than the pie plate all around.

8. Then methodically transfer the dough onto the pie plate, centering it as necessary. You can neatly tuck the excess pieces of dough hanging over the pie plate back inside, and crimp using the style you like the most.



One Response to “The Art of the Pie Crust”

  1. Erin said

    I agree, making the pie crust is an art!!! My mom makes the best pie crusts and when I started making my own I was never satisfied with how they turned out! I’ve gotten a little better since my 1st pie, thankfully!!! I love reading all the updates you students write, keep up the good work!!!!

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