Saturday Random Recipe: Pie Crust

I love piecrust! I would eat it on its own, if the filling wasn’t so delicious. So, I decided to learn to make it myself – based on our general family rule that everything tastes better homemade.

It took awhile, a lot of practice, tough crust, experiments with different kinds of fat and amounts of liquid, dirty pans, and patient family. But, at last, I have sort of mastered the art of pastry dough!

Sort of. Crusts are inexplicably temperamental. Still!

My favorite recipe is one I’ve adapted from “The Joy of Cooking” (one of our favorite cookbooks). We have pictures of the process so that you will hopefully have some idea of how it looks coming together.

A few healthy alterations: I use half whole wheat flour and half white, half the salt of the original recipe, use butter and canola oil instead of shortening or lard (don’t tell!), and add a tablespoon of sugar. Ok, that last one isn’t actually healthier; but it does taste good!:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

And here’s how you make it:

(hover your mouse over the pics to get extra captions…!)

Have all your ingredients ready. Start by icing the water.


Whisk together the dry ingredients

Add the butter and oil to the dry ingredients and begin to cut in with a pastry cutter
Cut together until the butter is thoroughly coated with flour, and no larger than a small pea
This might take a few minutes
And will look something like this when you’re done!
Clean off the pastry cutter…
Gently sprinkle most – but not all – of the water all over the buttery flour
Now, here’s the tricky bit: The dough MUST NOT be overworked. So use a spatula to gently lift the dough so that the water eases in, then cut and fold it until you have a mostly cohesive whole
You might need to add a little more water. Something I’ve learned is that you should add as much water as makes you comfortable. It should be flaky rather than wet; but get it to a consistency that you can work with. Weather also plays a part. Here in dry New Mexico, I need to add a little more water than most recipes call for
You will know that it is done when you compress the dough and it holds together

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Freeze your dough for at least 20 minutes. Meantime, have a cup of tea! (or make the filling…)

And there you are! Proceed to make your pie with this lovely, crispy, flaky, delicious crust!



… Ok, results aren’t guaranteed, really! You will need to experiment and possibly (probably) fail once or twice. But keep at it! It is well worth mastering!

2 thoughts on “Saturday Random Recipe: Pie Crust

  1. Definitely a few things I don’t do while making pie crust, but that’s fine! Anyway, yes, a marble rolling pin and slab are fantastic for rolling out dough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool! What do you do when you make crust? I’m always looking for ways to improve my technique (next up – gluten-free crust!)


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