How to Make a Basic Pie Crust
Take this crash course before you start your holiday baking.
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
(Makes 2 crusts)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
6 tablespoons ice water
Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the shortening and process until it disappears into the flour, 30 seconds.
Photography by Andrew Purcell
Add the butter to the food processor.
Pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal with bean-size bits of butter, about 12 times.
Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough starts coming together, but stop before it gathers into a ball. The dough should hold together when pinched.
Divide between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pat each into a disk, using the plastic to help you. Wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round, rolling from the middle outward and turning the dough often to prevent sticking.
Roll the dough back around the rolling pin and lift to transfer to the pie plate.
Unroll the dough into a 9-inch pie plate; gently press into the pan.
How to Blind Bake
To prevent the crust of a pumpkin or other custard pie from getting soggy, you need to prebake, or blind bake, it before filling: Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 350 degrees F until the edge is lightly golden, 20 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake until dry and lightly golden all over, 15 more minutes. Let cool before filling.