Best Pie Crust

This is my FAVORITE EVER pie crust!  It really is foolproof and simple and flaky and tender and perfect every time–plus being super easy to handle.  It’s not terribly sensitive to coldness of the fat or the water, either.

Actually, that’s what makes my version different from others you’ll see out there.  Except for the hot water pie crust, recipes always seem to say to use cold ingredients and ice water.  I’m here to tell you that with this recipe, temperature clearly doesn’t make much difference.

I did put together cold flour & fat, but good grief!  With that much flour and fat, cutting it together was a major chore!  I used my pastry cutter for a while, walked away … came back and tried it again for a while, and walked away again.  I came back and tried using two butterknives, thinking that might be a little easer–and it was, so I finished it up that way (with another break in between).  In all, it probably was a good 2 hours from start to finish in the cutting.  I guarantee you, all was room temperature by that point!

I stirred in a cold egg whisked with room temperature water from my Berkey and room temperature vinegar.  The dough was quite wet when I was done mixing.  If I’d been following the typical directions for making pie pastry, I’d have been sure that I had too much liquid in there.  I wrapped up the 4 disks anyway, putting 3 in the freezer and one in the refrigerator for pumpkin pie.  Let me tell you, this makes the flakiest, tastiest pie crust ever, quite able to hold up to a wet filling.  It’ll roll out easily and so thin that you can see through it, yet be super easy to handle, holding together very well.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cup lard or a combination of lard and butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup very cold water

Mix together the dry ingredients, then cut in the fat.  Whisk egg and stir in vinegar & water, then add to the flour mixture & stir until incorporated.  Divide into 4 (or 5) discs or balls and refrigerate for at least an hour before rolling out.  This dough may be frozen until needed.

 

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