I am known for my flaky pie crust and this is a good recipe for all fruit and cream pies. In 2013 I tried a slightly different pie crust from the Gandy Dancer and it was delicious; see recipe below.
Juju's Pie Crust
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup Crisco
- 4 tbsp. water
Combine flour and salt. Cut in 1/2 of the Crisco at a time with a fork until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of water at a time (the dough will be sticky). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer for easier handling.
Divide dough almost in half ( I allow a little more dough for the top layer, unless you are making a cream pie) and roll out bottom layer of pie trying to keep it round with the edge of my hands. Place pie dish on top of dough and cut around it allowing at least a 1-inch margin. For easier handling I fold the dough in half and gently lift and place in pie dish. Unfold and press gently. In the pictures below I did brush the crust with an egg mixture.
Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju.com
If you have a juicy filling, brush the bottom piece of dough with an egg beaten with a bit of water. This will keep the juices from soaking into the crust and making it soggy. Omit this step if you are prebaking the crust. Add filling (see cream pies for instructions before filling).
Roll out top layer and cut it out as done above. Fold in half and cut 3 diagonal slits 2 inches long down the center. Place on top of filling and unfold. Fold edge of top layer under bottom layer and pinch together so the pie will (hopefully) not leak while baking. Flute the edges if desired and bake according to recipe.
Recently (11-21-12) a family member requested an apple pie for Thanksgiving and I knew I was running low on Crisco. (I have used nothing but this brand for all of my pie crusts requiring shortening for 40 years). I was shopping at Whole Foods for apples – I ended up choosing Pink Lady (a hard apple) and Golden Delicious (soft apple). I could not make up my mind which apple I wanted to use, so I bought 8 of each, as normally I use Northern Spy or Cortland and they were out of season.
Anyways, Whole Foods only carries organic non-hydrogentated shortening called Spectrum. So, I figured I would not only make 1 pie but two and compare the two shortenings.
Crisco hydrogenated shortening on the left and Spectrum (non-hydrogenated shortening) on the right.
Now, you’re probably wondering what everyone thought of the two different crusts – everything else was the same except the shortening (I used 4 each of Pink Lady and Golden Delicious for each pie). This was a mistake using a soft and a hard apple together. I will stick with my Northern Spy apples.
My opinion: the Spectrum dough was easier to work with and roll out, but turned out just as flaky as the Crisco one. They both cooked for the same amount of time, but the Spectrum pie looked prettier. Some family members could taste the difference so I decided to use Crisco like I have for years even though Spectrum is healthier. I know Gene would be able to taste the difference as he enjoyed my pies for 34 years.
Gandy Dancer Pie Crust
- 2 cups flour (I always use King Arthur Flour all purpose)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2/3 cup Crisco
- 5 tbsp. cold water
Combine the first three ingredients. Cut in the Crisco and gradually add the water until you get a favorable dough. You can make this up to a week ahead of time. I liked the addition of a little sugar and less Crisco. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
Divide dough in half (I allow a little more dough for the top layer, unless you are making a cream pie). Roll out bottom layer turning and trying to keep it round with the edge of my hands. Fold in half and place in center of pie plate, allowing 1-inch overhang; unfold and press gently into the pie plate. You can brush the crust with an egg mixture.
Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju.com