I love making pies. Pie-making is one of my favorite ways to bake. Through out the years, I have tried many ways of making pastry dough. This recipe is by far the easiest, no-fail method that I have used for over twenty years now. When baked, the crust is surprisingly light and flaky - the way a good pie crust ought to be. I mainly use this recipe for single pre-baked pie recipes, such as pumpkin pie or lemon meringue pie. The recipe makes two pastry shells, so I usually use one shell for a pie and the other for a quiche. You can also do two pies instead of one if you'd rather do that! When I make a two crust pie - like apple, I use a different recipe that is also easy to put together. If you are interested in this recipe, let me know, and I will put it on a future posting.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make the dough and refrigerate it up to a week before using it. I love the flexibility this gives me. Even though this is an easy pastry shell, I have included a lot of tips. I admit working with pastry dough does take practice. If you use this recipe and follow my tips, your success will happen sooner rather than later! Click here for twenty tips that make your crust much easier. Please let me know if you try this pastry shell recipe. I would love to hear about it!
3/4 cup shortening
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup boiling water
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Place shortening, milk, and boiling water in a small, deep mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer, until it is light and fluffy. The liquid should be incorporated into the mixture. Add flour and salt; beat at the lowest speed until all dry ingredients are moistened. Divide dough in half. Shape each portion in a oval (or disk). Wrap in plastic wrap, and then chill for four hours at minimum.
Remove one dough portion from refrigerator. Place between two (12 inch long) pieces of wax paper. Roll dough to a 12 inch circle. Carefully peel, one piece of wax paper from the dough; invert dough onto a 9 inch pie plate. Remove remaining wax paper carefully; fit dough in pie plate, and flute edges.
Line pastry shell with foil (use two pieces of foil to 'double line' it), and place pie weights (or dried beans) on top of foil. Repeat procedure with remaining dough if desired. Dough can be refrigerated for one week or less. Bake pastry at 350 degrees for 14 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Bake an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
Recipe makes two pastry shells.
(edited by Anna Weicht)