Pie crust for my nieces

The season's bounty

My favorite time of the year for pie and about the only time I make my own pie crust. I’ve tried other pie crusts and other’s recipes but my mom’s is always best–easiest to roll out and shorter and flakier for a much tastier crust. The trick is the extra shortening and the simplicity of the ingredients.

I suppose you might substitute butter (a much healthier fat) or varying combinations of shortening and butter, but that’s a personal preference and it depends on whether or not it’s an occasional dessert in which case it’s fine to use shortening.

Start with 3 cups of flour in a medium sized bowl. Measure in 1 1/2 scant teas. sea salt (or less if you like),   then add 1 level cup plus  3 level tbs shortening.  Cut to the size of coarse pea sized granules with either 2 knives or a pastry cutter.  Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add 6 full tbs of ice water (temp is very important). Mix quickly with a fork until  the mixture sticks together–or if needed add more water a tsp at a time. Form two balls with the dough. Cover one and refrigerate. I roll the first ball of dough by placing it on wax paper dusted with flour . Press the ball flat and turn with hands as you flatten to form a disc, then roll out with rolling pin, adding a sprinkling of flour when needed. This makes two generously sized crusts for either one apple pie or two pumpkin/sweet potato or whatever filling you like.

Practice makes perfect with the consistency of the dough and the rolling out and transferring processes, but is well worth it in the end. When it’s not as perfect as I like, I patch it together–still tastes just as good. Make sure to prick the bottom crust with a fork before adding the filling or it shrinks.

For apple pie, peel and cut into chunks 6 to 8 Macoun apples. As you go, after about each 1/3, dot with butter tiny pieces and sprinkle with 2 tbs sugar and a scant sprinkle of Cinnamon–a hint is better than too much. Continue adding apples and repeat until apples are heaped in the center. Cover with crust and bake at 375 ’til crust is browned and apples are bubbly.

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