Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
One of my fondest memories is of my mom making Homemade Apple Pie each fall. Each fall, we would visit our local apple orchard to pick out a bushel of tart apples. That always made the best pie.
While many struggle making pie crust from scratch, I’ll walk you through steps how to make pie dough by hand. Because there’s nothing better than homemade pie crust! One of my favorites is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
How to make Homemade Pie Crust:
Homemade pie crust is simple to make. It’s important not to overwork the ingredients and keep the pie dough cold. I recommend NOT using a food processor when making pie crust.
Using a simple pastry cutter or two forks, cut in the lard and butter by hand. Work the lard and butter into the flour until you have pea-sized pieces.
The less you work the dough, the more likely you are to end up with a blue-ribbon winning pie crust.
Step 1: Use a large mixing bowl to add your flour, salt and combine with a large spoon.
Step 2: Cut in the lard and cold butter. Keep your butter cold while you work.
Step 3: Place ice cubes into a large glass measuring cup and fill with cold water. Slowly add ice water to the flour mixture, until you can gently squeeze the mixture together with your hands.
Step 4: As the pie dough comes together, place it in a large zip-style bag. Refrigerate the prepared pie dough for a minimum of two hours and up to 24 hours.
I worked on my pie crust recipe for a few years just to get it right. It’s about the correct ratio of flour to fat. This pie crust recipe has the perfect buttery, flaky taste with the addition of lard.
Lard, rendered from pig fat, has a higher melting point than butter or shortening; thus yielding an extra-flaky crust. Combining butter and lard will help achieve the perfect old-fashioned style pie crust from grandma’s kitchen.
All-purpose or pastry flour are the best for making pie crust. Choosing a lower-gluten flour is the first trick for getting your pie crust right. Bread flour has a high gluten content, while cake flour has the lowest content.
My mom always covered the pie part way through the baking process with a piece of aluminum foil with a little slit cut out of the center in order to vent the steam. So, I do the same with all of my pies. This helps the pie continue to bake without burning the crust. We were raised to use what we had, no fancy gadgets needed.
How to make a lattice pie crust
Step 1: Roll out a piece of pie dough. Then cut into strips either using a small pizza cutter or pastry cutter. Here I used a simple cutter, occasionally I’ll use a pasta cutter that will give you a crimped edge. That’s pretty too when you’re looking to make your pie a little more fancy.
Step 2: Lay strips of pie dough going the same direction over the entire pie. Then fold back every other piece of dough and weave in another strip of pie dough going the opposite direction. Continue this process until you have completed the entire pie.
Step 3: Fold under the edges and crimp. Then brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 1 hour or so.
Step 4: Place the unbaked pie on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. This will help catch any juices that overflow from the pie, keeping the mess easy to clean up.
(I love these pre-cut sheets of parchment paper. They are so much easier to work with than the rolls of parchment you buy in the grocery store!)
If your pie crust is getting too warm, plop the entire pie in the fridge or into the freezer for a bit to get it really cold again before baking.
Can I freeze pie crust?
While you can freeze pie crust, I like to make pie crust fresh each time I need it. You can make an entire pie, wrap with loosely with plastic wrap and freeze it.
(Although I do NOT recommend this if baking in a cast iron skillet because it adds extra moisture to the pan and might cause it to rust!)
I make hundreds of Apple Hand Pies and Blackberry Hand Pies ahead of time, layer them on half sheet pans lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. They will last in the freezer for months!
Use my Cherry Pie Filling to make Fried Cherry Hand Pies and use the same method. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and fry up fresh.
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Homemade Pie Crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup lard
- 3 tablespoons butter cold cut up
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup ice water
Pie Crust Recipe
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the lard and butter pieces using a
pastry cutter, until you have small pea size pieces. Incorporate a
little water at a time, until your pie crust comes together. Do not
overwork the dough or the pie crust will be tough.
- Place the pie crust into a large zip-style bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
To Assemble the PIE
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the bottom pie crust and place on top of the berries. Slice air a few vents in the top of the crust. Or roll out the top crust and slice long pieces with a small pastry cutter or pizza cutter. Place pieces one way, then weave crust pieces the opposite direction. Continue until the pie is covered with pie crust. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Place the pie on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. This will help contain the mess. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 1 hour. Once it is browned nicely, cover with a piece of aluminum foil with an air vent cut out of the top. This will keep the pie from becoming too brown while continuing to cook and still let air vent. Bake until the pie filling is bubbling. About 1 hour 10 minutes total.
- Remove the pie from the oven. Let cool completely before slicing.
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