Basic Pie Pastry (for a 9-inch pie plate)
One tip: Place the pie dough round between two sheets of wax paper and then roll it thin. Peel off the wax paper as you place it in the pie tin and settle it and crimp accordingly. This recipe first appeared in a story by food writer Andrea Weigl, “Good Gravy! Mastering Pie Dough and Gravy” where she got a pie dough making lesson from Glenda Gosztyla of Raleigh.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fat such as lard or shortening, cold
3-4 tablespoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
SIFT flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
CUT cold shortening into pieces about half the size of a lima bean and drop into the flour. Then use pastry cutter or a fork to mix flour and shortening together until the lumps are about the size of small green peas. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
COMBINE cold water and cider vinegar in a small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon of the water and vinegar mixture with a spoon and sprinkle a small amount on top of the flour, tossing the flour with a fork until the flour is moistened. Continue adding the rest of the water until all of the flour is uniformly moistened. (You may not have to add all of the water.)
SQUEEZE some of the dough between your fingers. If it stays together and doesn’t crumble apart, do not add more water. If it feels dry and crumbles, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time (continue fluffing with a fork) until it is uniformly moist.
GATHER dough into a ball and gently press the dough between your fingers until it is smooth. Do not knead.
GENTLY flatten the dough into a 5- or 6-inch circle. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
REMOVE dough from refrigerator. Rub a small amount of flour onto the pastry cloth or work surface and let the dough sit for 10 to 15 minutes to warm up. If the pastry doesn’t roll out easily after that time, let sit for another 5 minutes and try again to roll (remember to roll from the center of crust to the outside to a 12-inch diameter). After you have completed rolling the crust out, roll the crust up onto the rolling pin.
POSITION the edge of the crust ½ inch to 1 inch over the side of the pie plate and unroll the crust loosely into the plate. Lift the edges of the crust and push downward to position the crust in the plate and gently press down on the bottom and the sides of the crust to smooth out any lines. Finish the edges as desired. Follow pie recipe for filling and baking.
Yield: 1 pie crust
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