This is a slightly reworked version of Pie Crust Perfection! It occurred to me that one might want to just make enough crust for a two-crust pie. In this version, I used both butter and vegetable shortening. It’s pretty “perfect”, too.I was making the Spiced Peach-Nectarine Pie, and I didn’t have enough flour to make the Pie Crust Perfection!, but I had enough to make a two-crust, which is just what I needed. Thus, this came to be. The procedure to make this is similar to “Perfection!”.
The two most important things to remember when making pie crust, is don’t over-work the dough and keep everything chilled. A third thing might be to allow time for the dough to relax. To chill, as it were! The perfect solution for that, is to make it the day before. I added a little spice to the crust. I do that sometimes. It just seems to enhance the filling flavor a little more. My mother was a master pie baker. She really was, as she baked pies and sold them to a very happy clientele. She was very light-handed when it came to adding spice, as she thought you could over-power the fruit filling; “enhance, not over-power” was her mantra. She also carried that “light handed” part over to handling pie pastry. She used either flour or cornstarch to thicken her pies, but I prefer arrowroot for fruit pies. When making a two-crust pie with a fruit filling, I always prepare the filling before I roll out the crusts. This keeps the crust as cold as possible, which results in less shrinkage, and gives the filling a bit of time to produce a little liquid. I’m going to give the method in pictures…a picture is worth a thousand pie pastries, right?
Spiced Pie Pastry
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter
- 4 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
- 1/2 large egg, well beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 6-8 tablespoons iced water (add more, until the dough comes together)
Stir the flour, sugar, spices and salt together. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or overnight (I put it in a resealable plastic bag; it mixes more easily, too). Pour the chilled flour mixture into a bowl. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, as well as the shortening and drop into into the bowl with the flour. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, mix together until the fat is the size of small peas. Using a fork, lightly beat the egg, with 4 tablespoons of the iced water and the vinegar together. Drizzle evenly over the dry ingredients. You want the mixture to be just moist and slightly sticky. If needed, add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Form the dough into a dish, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to roll out, divide the dough in half (I make one piece just ever so slightly larger; that will be the bottom crust), rewrap one half (the larger half) and return to the fridge. Form the remaining piece into a disk. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to a thickness of about 1/8 inch, and about 1/2-inch larger than the diameter of the pie plate. Move to a cookie sheet (or pizza pan), cover with plastic wrap and return to the fridge. Now, roll out the second disk, following the same procedure. This will need to be slightly larger to fit the pie plate. Place it into a 9-inch pie plate. Fill as desired. Moisten the edge with water, place the top crust evenly over and gently press the edges together to seal. Crimp the edges, make some steam vents, cutting closer to the center, so the filling doesn’t leak out over the edge. Bake according to the directions, usually about 30-40 minutes or until the filling is tender and the crust is golden brown. It is best to cool a pie (particularly a fruit-filled pie) for at least an hour before cutting. This allows the filling to set up properly.
- To bake a crust blind, preheat the oven to 400°F. Press 1 rolled-out crust into the pie plate. Line with parchment paper (or foil) and weigh the crust down with dry beans, rice or pie weights. This keeps the crust from bubbling or shrinking.
- If you are partially baking the pie crust, bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and remove the weights. The crust will be firm or “set”. Proceed with your recipe.
- To prebake the crust completely, remove the weights after 10 minutes, then return it to the oven and finish baking until the crust is just slightly golden, but not brown. Use as directed in your recipe.
NOTE: You may omit the spice, if you wish, but do keep the sugar, even if you’re using a savory filling.
Spiced Pie Pastry Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.