Fabulous Pie Crust


Courtesy of Princess Louise Dawson, Carol Dawson’s mother

Makes two bottom crusts in 9-inch pans or one large, deep-dish pie with a top crust—either lattice or perforated.

My mother used to measure the vegetable shortening by ice-water displacement. She’d take a two-cup liquid measure, spoon in 2/3 cup of shortening, measure 1 1/3 cups of ice water in another measure and pour it over the shortening, then adjust the shortening until the water level reached exactly 2 cups—ensuring both accuracy and iciness.

A confession: I seldom make this crust. Instead, I use cheater crusts, both white and whole wheat, found in the frozen section of the supermarket. I do not shortchange my guests by buying the cheapest, however, despite being a lazy, under-confident crust mixer who knows that I will never, ever, in a million years, match my mother’s perfection. I buy the fancy quiche crust at Central Market. Marie Callender’s frozen pie pastry is also delicious.


Fabulous Pie Crust


For 2 Person(s)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups vegetable shortening (Very cold)
  • 1 dashes salt (mixed in with flour)
  • Ice-cold water

Fabulous Pie Crust Directions

  1. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the flour just until it turns into pea-size bits. Add just enough water to moisten the flour and shortening.
  2. Form the dough into a ball and flatten it like a pancake. If you’re not immediately filling or baking the crust, keep the ball very cold, wrapped in waxed paper in the fridge.
  3. On a board or stone slab, roll out the dough to fit a pie pan. Do not overwork the dough, or it will be tough and heavy rather than light and flaky. Handle the rolled dough as little and as quickly as possible. Do not reroll even once, much less over and over again.
  4. Gently lay it in a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. If the crust is to be prebaked, prick with a fork before baking, or use a pie chain.

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