The Perfect Crust

The Perfect CrustApple pie filling Putting it togetherBaking Tips and FAQsWinning Pie Recipes

Ingredients list – Detailed instructions

Step one, preparing a good crust

Making a crust is pretty straight forward. However, before diving in, make sure you have the ingredients and equipment outlined in the Easy Apple Pies section. Ingredients are listed again here for reference. When you are done, or if you want to look ahead, go to step two, the the apple filling page.

Ingredients (for crust and filling)

Baking apples, firm, medium size8-9, about 4 pounds
All purpose flour2 1/4 cups. (Some extra for rolling out pastry)
Unsalted butter (cold)10 tablespoons
Shortening5 tablespoons
Cold water8-10 tablespoons
One eggmedium or large
Sugar, granulated1/2 cup, plus 1 tbs for crust
Salt1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon.1/2 teaspoon

Let’s proceed!

The following are step-by-step instructions for the crust, half of which goes in the bottom of the pie plate, and the other half which becomes the cover pastry that goes on top.

Helpful Hints

Measure your ingredients carefully. “Gallopping Gourmet” techniques will probably be dissapointing.

Keep it cool! It is important not to have the butter become too soft. A few places along the way the instructions will call for chilling the mixture, the dough and the final pie before it goes into the oven. Make some space in the fridge!

1. Into a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. (Pretty simple!)
2. Cut the cold butter and shortening into half inch pieces, such as shown here, and transfer to the dry mix bowl.
3. The process of “cutting in” the butter/shortening. This should be done with some care, using the pastry blender or a pair of table knives. Don’t make the pieces too small. They should be lumpy, the size of a large pea, before adding liquid.
4. Chill the mixing bowl and its dry contents in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. (Trust us, it helps!)5. Adding the liquid: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Now sprinkle 3 tablespoons of this liquid over the dry mix (that you have removed from the cooler!). Stir this in with a wooden spoon.
6. Adding more liquid: One tablespoon at a time, add more of the water/egg mixture in to bowl. Stir it in. Do this until the dough begins to clump together. You should be able to form a ball that stays together, but it should not be “wet”.Helpful Hint: The dough will go from seemingly dry and lumpy to “just right” very quickly – the difference of one tablespoon of liquid. Don’t rush, really stir it in. 
7. Make a ball with all the dough. Cut it in half. Flatten each of the two halves into a disc shape (about 1 inch thick) and wrap separately in plastic or wax paper, shown below. Put these in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. (Note the marbled look of the butter chunks.)
8. Congratulations! You are done with making the dough! While you are waiting for it to chill, make your apple filling.

Proceed to Step two, the apple filling >>

APPLES and ORCHARDS: Apple History – Antique Apples – Apple Varieties – Orchards of N.E.
PIES & BAKING: Easy Apple Pies – Meet the Pie Lady – Kids in the Kitchen
BOOKS & PRODUCTS: Books and Pie-making Products – Classes and Pie-Making Demos
ABOUT US: Apple of Your Pie – About the Pie Lady – Contact Us