Classic Pie Pastry

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Classic Pie Pastry
Use this recipe for either a single or double-crust pie, depending on the recipe you are making. This classic recipe makes a tender flaky crust for your pies. Use regular shortening, or try using a butter-flavored shortening for a nice buttery taste.
Recipe type: Pastry
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Recipe Notes
Pan: One 9″ Pie Blind Bake Oven Temp: 425° Prep Time: 30 Minutes Bake: Unbaked, or Blind-Baked Before Filling Blind Baking Time: 12 to 15 Minutes Yield: Single or Double Crust Storage: Cover Room Temperature or Refrigerate

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Ingredients
Pastry for 9 Inch Single-Crust Pie:
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
Pastry for 9 Inch Double-Crust Pie:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons ice water
Instructions
Pastry:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt; whisk together to mix. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add the minimum amount of water noted in the list of ingredients, mixing until all the flour is moistened and forms a ball, add the additional one tablespoon of water (or a little more) if necessary. It is better to have the dough too wet than too dry. If the dough is too dry it will be difficult to roll out. If you feel you have added too much water, add a little more flour.
Single-Crust Pie:
  1. Form the pastry into a flattened disc.
  2. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pastry from the center out into a circle about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. Gently pick the pastry up, lightly re-flour the work surface, and replace the pastry upside down. Continue rolling the pastry into at least a 14 inch diameter circle.
  3. Transfer the pastry to a pie pan; gently press the pastry to the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Trim the pastry to one inch beyond the edge of the pie pan. Flute the edges.
  4. Add desired pie filling and bake as directed in the recipe.
Double-Crust Pie:
  1. Divide the pastry in half so that one half is slightly larger than the other. Form the larger half into a flattened disc.
  2. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pastry from the center out into a circle about 8 or 9 inches in diameter. Gently pick the pastry up, lightly re-flour the work surface, and replace the pastry upside down. Continue rolling the pastry into at least a 14 inch diameter circle.
  3. Transfer the pastry to a pie pan; gently press the pastry to the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Trim the pastry to ½ inch beyond the edge of the pie pan.
  4. Add desired pie filling.
  5. Roll out remaining pastry about 14 inches in diameter, or at least 2 inches larger in diameter than the filled pie.
  6. Place pastry on top of pie filling. Trim the pastry to one inch beyond the edge of the pie pan. Fold and roll the edge of the top pastry under the edge of the bottom pastry. Flute the edges to seal. Cut slits or decorative designs in the top pastry to allow steam to escape.
  7. Bake as directed in the recipe.
Pre-Baked Pie Shell:
  1. Also known as blind baking. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Follow steps 1 through 3 for single-crust pie.
  3. After fluting the edges, prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Chill for ½ hour in the freezer to firm the dough and help stop pastry from shrinking.
  4. Line the pie crust with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a large coffee filter. Fill the crust with pie weights or dried beans or rice to keep the crust from puffing up and shrinking.
  5. Bake: Bake 15 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and pie weights or beans and cool on a wire cooling rack (for a partially baked crust) or continue to bake another 5 to 6 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown (for a fully baked crust.)
Pastry Hint 1: To transfer the rolled pastry to the pie plate, try one of the following:
Lightly sprinkle the work surface with flour and roll pastry to the desired size. After the pastry is rolled to the desired size, loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, then gently unroll over the pie plate.
Or
Lay 2 large pieces of wax paper on the counter top, overlapping the long edges about 6 inches. Lightly sprinkle flour on top. After rolling the pastry to the desired size, pick up one side of the paper and gently fold the paper and pastry in half. Peel back the top of the wax paper from the pastry. Lay wax paper back on pastry, and turn paper and pastry upside down. Peel back the wax paper from the pastry. Lift the pastry and place in the pie pan.
Or
If work surface is a bare countertop or a non-stick mat, lightly sprinkle with flour and roll pastry to the desired size. If necessary, loosen the bottom of the pastry from the countertop with a dough scraper. Gently fold the pastry in half, and then fold again to make a quarter size. Lift the pastry and place in the pie pan.
Pastry Hint 2: Make sure the pastry has been rolled out large enough to line the pie pan bottom and sides and still have at least 1 inch of pastry overhanging the edge of the pan.
Pastry Hint 3: Don’t stretch the pastry when placing in the pie pan, otherwise when baking the heat will cause the pastry to shrink down in the pan. Instead, push and pat the pastry in the pan.
Pastry Hint 4: To make a pretty fluted edge, place your thumb and index finger about 1 inch apart on the inside edge of the pastry, pointing outwards. Place the index finger of your other hand on the outside edge of the pastry between the two fingers, and gently push the pastry toward the center of the pie. Continue around the entire edge.