A pie crust is a simple and tasty recipe and can be used in many ways. Here, we will explain to you how to make an easy pie crust using Crisco shortening. Using the right shortening agent in the right quantities lend crispiness and crumbliness to all baked products, including pie crusts.
Crisco Pie Crust
B&G Foods, an American company, introduced the brand of Crisco shortening in 1911. In those days, this was the first ever shortening brand to use vegetable oil, which was cottonseed oil. The company acquired the patent rights to hydrogenate this oil in 1903. This process was known as shortening. In this process, the fat in the oil continues to remain in the solid state even at room temperature. After the company won the patents for this process, it came up with many names to market it, and finally settled on Crisco, which can also be considered the short name of crystallized cottonseed oil.
Crisco Pie Shortening
Shortening is used for baking short doughs that don’t need the presence of gluten to stretch them. The gluten in the bread stops it from becoming flaky, thereby messing up the pie crust. Since a shortening agent keeps fat in its solid state even at room temperature, it doesn’t react with water nor activates any compounds that form gluten.
Though the main ingredient of this recipe is Crisco shortening, we would also like to tell you that you can substitute shortening with butter or margarine. However, you have to add about 2 tablespoons extra butter or margarine for every cup of shortening you use.
For example, for 1 cup of shortening, you should use 1 cup of butter (or margarine) plus two tablespoons of butter, to get a flaky crust. Some people switch to butter or margarine, as shortening agents have unhealthy trans-fatty acids in them.
However, there is no harm in some sinful indulgence at times, isn’t it? So, here is a simple pie crust recipe that you can make at home, using the classic Crisco shortening. This recipe helps you prepare flaky and fresh pie crusts that you can use as the base to prepare tasty pumpkin or apple pies, or just about any pie of your choice.
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Easy Crisco Pie Crust Recipe
- All-purpose flour – 2 cups
- Salt – ¾ teaspoon
- Crisco shortening – ¾ cup (use cold shortening)
- Cold Water – 3 to 6 tablespoons
- Step 1 Add the 2 cups of all-purpose flour to a large bowl.
- Step 2 Cut the cold Crisco shortening into cubes that are about ½ inches each. Add thee cubes to the flour mixture. Now using a pastry blender or flat beater, you should mix the shortening and flour well, so that the consistency of the flour should resemble breadcrumbs. Continue to beat well, until you get this consistency. The flour should now look like small pea-sized particles.
- Step 3 This step is the most important one in making the Crisco Pie Crust. The dough is the base for all crispy crusts and tasty pies. It would help if you made a dough that is neither too dry nor too moist. So, you should add the cold water little by little into the dough. Add one spoon at a time, and keep mixing the dough. Using a fork or spoon, you need to scoop out all the contents from the bottom of the bowl to ensure that all the contents are moist.
- Step 4 Slowly add some more water if the flour mixture is too dry and mix the contents well. Stop adding water, when the dough is moist enough to hold it together and make a ball.
- Step 5 Take a small marble-sized dough ball and squeeze it in your hand to test its firmness. If it holds tightly on your hand, then you don’t have to add water. On the other hand, if it crumbles apart, you can add very little water and repeat the test again.
- Step 6 Cut the dough into two or three discs, and let it chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will give enough time for the contents of the dough mix to settle well. However, if you have enough time, you can keep the dough chilled for about 4 to 5 hours as well.
- Step 7 When the dough is ready, take it out, and roll the balls into thin discs. You can keep the ball between parchment paper pieces and roll the dough to make the discs about 1/8 inches thin. Please ensure that the diameter of the dough slices is larger than the pie plate that you are going to roll this into.
- Step 8 Fold this disc into quarters, and slowly ease it into the pie plate. Press the dough nicely into the pie plate and trim off the edges. You can leave about ¾ inch of the dough to hang over the pie plate.
- Step 9 The crust is now ready. You can make pies out of it by using the respective fillings and toppings. Each pie needs to be baked at different levels. So follow the instructions of that respective pie that you are baking to get awesome homemade pies ready within a short time.
Some points to note for Crisco Pie Crust
For making cream pies and other sweet pies, you have to make a pastry shell and preheat it. For this purpose, after inserting the dough into the pie plate, prick the bottom and sides of the dough about 5o times (using a fork) and then bake them for about 10 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees F. This way, the crust will turn golden brown nicely, without blistering or rising.
The recipe that we mentioned above is for a single crust. You can also use the same ingredients, but in double their original quantities, for a double pie crust. After rolling the dough into the pie plate as per our recipe, you can now fill the unbaked pie with the fillings of your choice.
Now, carefully transfer the smaller disc (for a double crust, you have to roll two discs – one bigger and one smaller) over the filling. Seal the dough carefully and cut off the edges. You can now bake the dough as per the instructions of that pie.