Making homemade pie crust is a daunting task to a lot of people - I know, because I was one of those people. It wasn't something that I thought much about, until I received this little quote in an email forward about aprons:
"Remember: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw."
Ouch! True? Probably, but unnecessary? I think so. The modern generation of women are capable of anything, and that includes making our own pie crust. The fact is that I have never made my own pie crust before, but honestly, I don't make pies. Still, it would nice to know how to make it when the occasion calls for pie, so here is my first attempt at pie crust making. Spoiler: it just might have turned out better than my own grandma's!
2 sticks of unsalted butter*
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons of ice water
* If you are looking for vegan alternatives, try these recipes from SavvyVegetarian.com and About.com, (which use vegan margarine in place of butter) and use the same production and assembly techniques outlined here.
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut sticks of butter into chunks and add to dry ingredients, squeezing butter into the mixture by hand. Continue to mix thoroughly until a crumbly mix has formed.
Add three to four tablespoons of ice water to dough. Three tablespoons was enough for me - you can use more than four if your dough is especially dry. Continue to knead dough until fully soft. Roll dough into a ball, cut in half, and press into two flat discs.
Wrap discs in plastic wrap to prevent sticking, and refrigerate for one hour. In the meantime, prepare your filling mixture - I used a homemade blueberry pie filling. After one hour, remove dough from refrigerator and roll flat (1/8" or so thin) between two sheets of floured wax paper. This trick allowed me roll the dough very flat without the dough sticking to my rolling pin and tearing.
When dough is flattened nicely, lay the dough over your pie pan, gently pressing it into the sides and bottom. Cut excess dough of the edges of the pie with kitchen shears, leaving about an inch to fold over and pinch into the outer crust.
Since this recipe is for two pie crusts, you can use the second for the top crust of the pie. I decided to give the lattice effect a try, and it was so fun! You just cut the second rolled crust into strips about 3/4" thick. If it looks confusing, check out this photo tutorial on About.com.
For my first time baking a pie, I was pretty pleased with the end results - I believe my grandma would have approved, too.