It’s pie time!

Apples and pumpkins are coming in from the fields in abundance right now, and nothing says autumn like a fresh-baked pumpkin or apple pie (or both!). And the base of any good pie is, of course, the shell!

Pie dough can be tricky and a little challenging to work with. It can get sticky, or it can get dry. The real trick is to not overwork the dough, which can make it stretchy and tough. You want a nice, flaky dough that will hold up well to whatever filling you use.

This recipe is a no-fail recipe. It works every single time. It’s a bit of a twist because of the addition of sugar to the mix, so if you’re not a fan of sweet crusts (like, say, for your meat pies) you can leave it out. This yields 6-7 pie shells.

Never Fail Pie Crust

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 lb shortening or lard
  • cold water

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in lard or shortening (cold unsalted butter will work as well) using a pastry blender or knives until the mix is the size of peas.

In a large measuring cup, beat one egg. Add in 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and then add cold water until the mixture reaches 7/8 cup. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and work until well blended. If the dough is sticky, add small amounts of flour until you get a good consistency.

Ball it up, and, if desired, separate into individual pieces for your desired size of pies.

Some tips:

  1. Avoid overhandling dough, as this activates the gluten (the stretchy stuff) and can cause your crusts to shrink on you.
  2. Pastry can be frozen for later use, so if you have too much for Thanksgiving we have your Christmas pies handled too!
  3. Single shells need the base to be pre-cooked so they don’t turn mushy. Pierce the bottom a bunch of times with a fork so it doesn’t shrink or puff up, or use dried beans to weigh the dough down. This is called “blind baking.”
  4. If you intend to freeze finished pies, freeze them uncooked. The filling won’t go all watery this way.

Tried this recipe?

aLet us know how liked it in the comments, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @LivingBeautifully_ca!

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