Crafting pie crust scares some people, and I can see why: If it fails, you have a crumbly mess on your hands. I’ve only made lard pie crust a couple of times, and the other dozens of times, I’ve used an easy, almost fail-safe recipe from my Grandma Jane.
Grandma Jane would make mincemeat pies and tarts (Bambury tarts) at Christmas time. She taught my Mom how to make this recipe, and my Mom taught me. Someday I hope to teach my future daughter how to make this recipe. For now, I can teach you!
Easy Pie Crust Recipe for a two-crust pie:
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup milk (it can be almond or regular)
Place the flour in a medium-sized bowl. (If you like whole wheat flour: Use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour.) Get out your 9-inch pie pan, rolling pin, and two rectangular sheets of wax paper.
In a measuring cup, place your oil, and then pour in the milk. Whisk this together with a fork (and now it’s time to work fast!) and pour it over the flour. Use the fork to mix the ingredients together into the pastry dough. If it is too dry, add a little oil until it is a soft, roll-able dough.
Divide the pastry in half; make into two balls. Place one ball between two pieces of wax paper and roll it out until it is a little bigger than your pie pan–you need some to hang over.
Pour in the filling. Roll out the other pie crust–this one can be a bit smaller–and then lay it over the filling. It will hang over the edge of the pie pan. Now, it is time to use a butter knife to trim off the crust that is hanging over the edge of the pan.
Crimping time! This means pressing together the crust and pinching it into a design. You and just pinch it together, you can make a design using a fork, or you can pinch it together and then make the crust have a wavy line–the more traditional pie crust edge (see the photo above). The main point is the push those crusts together so the filling doesn’t bubble out!
We don’t want the filling to bubble out, but we DO need to let out the steam, so the filling doesn’t explode out, so prick holes with a knife or fork in a cool pattern. I enjoy making hearts.
Bake the pie at the temperature mentioned in the filling recipe, probably around 400 degrees Fahrenheit–because pastry needs a hotter oven.
Need filling recipes? Try out these recipes that I’ve already posted:
For this one, put one pie crust in a pan, then poke it with a fork until it has enough tiny holes in it so the steam won’t make it rise up while it is baking. You can bake one pie crust at 425 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until light brown.
Crust recipe from Jane Latourette, Anne Campbell, and Mary H. Schuh.