For years, I’ve used refrigerated pie crust for all my pies. The refrigerated version has its advantages, especially when you’re a mom working 50 hours a week and trying to feed your family. But on this journey of vintage cooking, I actually taught myself how to bake a real pie crust. And it’s super easy.
I always thought pie crust would be difficult, given the amount of fussing most people make over the preferred qualities of a good crust. It should be light, it should be flaky, it shouldn’t be too thick, it shouldn’t overpower the filling. How the heck do you live up to those expectations? Turns out, you only need three ingredients-water, Crisco, and flour.
This isn’t really a vintage recipe since I made it up myself. But it came from a vintage cookbook-“A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes” by Charles Elme Francatelli, published in 1852. I was making the Meat Pie recipe and noticed the description for creating the crust.
Cover the dish with a crust, made with two pounds of flour and six ounces of butter, or lard, or fat dripping, and just enough water to knead it into a stiff kind of dough or paste
On a whim, I decided to try to create a crust using these instructions as a base. It took a few minutes of adding and mixing and re-adding ingredients, but I have created a three-ingredient pie crust that I can now make in my sleep. And if I can do it, you can do it! Here’s what you need:
• 1 cup of flour
• 3 tablespoons Crisco or shortening
• 6 tablespoons cold water
In a medium bowl, cut the shortening into the flour with a fork until it resembles small crumbs. Add the water all at once and mix until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll.
Easy enough?? This recipe makes one crust, so of course, you double it for two.