Classic Recipes: Making Your Own Homemade Pie Dough

Tips and advice on making your homemade pie dough for both single and double crusted pies.

With the advent of frozen pie dough at the local grocery store, making your own pie dough is rapidly becoming a lost culinary art. However, homemade dough not only tastes better, but also gives you the opportunity to make create crusts with decorative cutouts. The secret to creating a perfect piecrust is the right combination of flour and fat (butter, shortening, lard or a combination of shortening and butter), and a few simple tricks that take pie dough from good to superb. Use the following recipe to create delicious homemade pie dough, and you're sure to make a winning pie every time!

Homemade pie dough


-1 1/4 cups (10 oz) shortening

-2 cups (8 oz) cake flour

-2 cups (8 oz) flour

-1 tsp salt

-1 cup (8 oz) ice-cold water

-1/2-inch pat of butter (used to grease the pie plate)

Using a sharp knife, cut the shortening into small pieces and place in a bowl. Slowly add the flour, adding just enough to coat the small shortening pieces with flour. The total amount of flour added may be slightly more or less than 10 oz, and can be adjusted to change the dough elasticity. For the most accurate measurement, weigh the flour instead of measuring with a measuring cup, since flour can vary in density and weight. Add the salt and ice water while continually mixing with an electric mixer or spoon. Mix until the dough starts to come together as a thick paste. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface that has been dusted with flour to prevent sticking. Using your hands (coated with flour), shape the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the shortening to chill and solidify.

After 2 hours, remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a floured, flat surface. Cut the dough in half and place half back in the refrigerator until ready to use it (either immediately for a double crust pie or save it for another time). Form a ball of dough, then flatten it out using a rolling pin to create a circle that is slightly larger than the circumference of the pie dish you will be using. Use extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the counter, but be careful""if you ad too much flour, the dough will become heavy and not taste good. Using the pat of butter, rub the inside of the pie dish. To lift the dough off the counter, gently lift one edge of the dough and roll onto the rolling pin to allow you to slowly lift the dough onto the pin. Slowly unroll the dough onto the buttered pie dish so that the dough covers the dish and overlaps the edges on all sides. Gently push the center of the dough into the dish, pressing it to the bottom, then sides, of the pie dish. Add the pie filling, then remove the other half of the pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into a circle large enough to cover the pie with a 1-2 inch overhang. Before placing the second dough on top of the pie, cut decorative shapes into the crust to allow steam to escape. While small slits are sufficient to vent steam, try using cookie cutters to cut leaf or heart shaped holes in the dough, then add the cutouts on top of the dough for decoration. Gently lay the second dough half on top of the pie, and crimp together the edges of both dough halves. For a decorative effect, crimp the edges together in a waving pattern. Bake the pie as indicted in your recipe instructions, then enjoy the reward of a pie made with a homemade crust!

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