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Classic Pie Crust

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Yields enough dough for one 9-inch double-crust pie.

Before you begin, review the rolling tips  in the main article. This dough keeps in the freezer for 3 months.

  • 11-1/4 oz. (2-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 lb. (8 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oz. (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs.) very cold water

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse briefly to combine. Add the butter and shortening; pulse just until coarse crumbs form, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice and water. Pulse just until moist crumbs form. Turn the dough onto a work surface and gently shape it into two equal disks about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

For a one-crust pie -- Roll one disk of dough between two large pieces of lightly floured parchment. Roll into a 14-inch-diameter round that's 1/8 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment. Gently roll the dough around the pin and position the pin over the pie pan. Unroll, gently easing the dough into the pan, gently but firmly pressing the dough against the sides and bottom, taking care not to pull or stretch. With scissors, trim the edge of the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch margin from the outer edge of the pan. Tuck this dough under to shape a high edge crust that rests on top of the rim. Pinch-crimp the crust.

For blind baking -- Follow the steps for a one-crust pie (above). Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 425°F. Line the frozen crust with a large piece of foil, fill with pie weights (or dried beans or rice), and bake 12 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue baking the shell until golden, about 8 minutes longer, checking for bubbles (push them down gently with the back of a spoon).

For a double crust -- Roll out one disk of dough as for a one-crust pie and line a 9-inch pie pan, leaving the excess hanging over the side. Cover loosely with plastic while you roll out the other disk between parchment. Load the filling into the shell. Brush the edge of the bottom crust with water. Roll the top crust around the pin and position it over the pie. Gently unroll, centering the dough over the filling. Press the edges together and, with scissors, trim both crusts so they're 1/2 inch larger than the outer edge of the pie pan. Tuck this dough under to shape a high edge crust that rests on top of the rim. Pinch-crimp as in the photo. With a paring knife, slash two or three vent holes in the top crust and bake following the recipe directions.

For a lattice crust -- Roll out one disk of dough as for a one-crust pie and line a 9-inch pie pan, leaving the excess hanging over the sides. Cover loosely with plastic while you roll out the other disk between parchment into a rectangle that's slightly larger than 14x9 inches. Remove the top sheet of parchment. Trim the dough to an exact 14x9-inch rectangle. Cut 12 strips that are 14 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. If the dough gets soft, slide the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet and chill briefly before continuing. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, arrange 6 strips horizontally, setting them 3/4 inch apart; these will be the "bottom" strips. Set the rest aside on a separate piece of parchment; these will be the "top" strips.

Make the lattice (see photos): If the dough warms up as you work, chill it briefly in the refrigerator.

Classic Pie Crust Recipe
1. Fold back every other bottom strip, starting closest to you. Slightly right of center, lay one top strip vertically.
Classic Pie Crust Recipe
2. Unfold the folded strips and fold back the other three strips. Lay a second top strip 3/4 inch to the left of the first.
Classic Pie Crust Recipe
3. Unfold the folded strips. Now fold back alternating strips on the right, starting at the top. Lay a strip 3/4 inch to the right of the center strip; unfold the folded strips. Repeat left and right with the rest of the strips.
Classic Pie Crust Recipe
4. Dab a little water between the strips where they overlap, pressing gently to seal. Cover loosely with plastic and put the baking sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes
Classic Pie Crust Recipe
5. Remove the lattice from the fridge and put your palm under the parchment at the center of the lattice. Lift the paper and invert the lattice onto the filling.
Classic Pie Crust Recipe
6. Trim the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch margin from the edge of the pie pan. Press the edges together, fold them under, pinch-crimp, and bake.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 310; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 32; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 150; Cholesterol (mg): 30; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Mark Ferri

Great simple recipe. The dough was easy to work with. I needed to add just a bit more butter but it worked out well.

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