We need to talk about food starting now. We are closing in on pie season, and you need to be ready. Here's what you need to make a killer pie crust and feel superior to everyone:
3 cups of flour
1 cup vegetable shortening (some people insist that the only way to make pie crust is with real butter, but those people are wrong. The ugly truth is that the best pie crust is made from Butter Flavor Crisco and the sooner you accept this, the healthier it will be for our friendship. Think of it this way...at least it's vegan.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of baking powder (it helps keep things real flaky)
6 or 7 tablespoons ice water.
Sift all your dry ingredients together into a big bowl. Also don't look at my diet coke.
Dump your shortening in there and cut it with the pastry cutter, or if you don't have one, two knives. Here's where people sometimes get frustrated. What you're trying to do is mix the flour and shortening together without melting the fat or actually blending them together, you just want it equally distributed. You want it to look like tiny crumbs. You are also probably going to have to get your hands in there and sort of blend it together lightly, without mushing it. Don't touch the shortening long enough to melt it with your body heat (sexy). Oh yeah wash your hands before you make pie, grossy.
It should look like this.
Get your ice water:
and sprinkle it over the mess you just made one tablespoon at a time. Stir it in with a fork in a really gentle way that's more like fluffing, because remember that your dough is really senstive and you should never mush it. Keep adding water until you have a dough that holds together in a chunk. It should take about seven tablespoons, but too much is better than not enough. And it has to be really cold, because you're trying not to melt the shortening at all if you can help it. Our goal here is light, flaky and delicious.
Remember how I said you can never mash your dough together? I lied. I'm a complicated person. Mash your dough (gently) into two little cakes, one (the bottom one) a little bigger than the other-
Oh yeah, this recipe is for a two crust pie. If you only need one crust....use half the recipe, genius.
Wrap these little shits in wax paper, then plastic wrap, and put them in the fridge.
I used to do this for a couple hours, then I discovered that leaving them in overnight is even better. Then I read that you should maybe leave them in there for three days. Crazy! Something about the acids breaking down, blah blah cocktail hour.
Once you're ready to get serious, take one lump of dough at a time and put it between two sheets of floured wax paper. This is a controversial move, but I think it results in a lot less grief and domestic violence when all is said and done. You wanna roll (oh you have a rolling pin, right? Use an empty wine bottle I guess) outwards from the center in one direction only, carrying out the ideal of "not mashing" in theory, if not practice, as much as possible.
Here's where you realize I'm a genius: transfer your crust into the pie pan by peeling off the top layer of wax paper, and turning the bottom layer upside down into your pan, and peeling that one off. Be careful. You can use extra bits of dough to patch up any tears that happen, chances are nobody will ever know. And if someone says something....x them from your friend list. Trim off the excess and kind of fold under or over the edge like you're making a hem, and do something nice to it like crimp it with your thumbs all the way around the edge.
Just don't do that thing where you mash it with a fork. You're just sabotaging yourself.
Oh yeah, then put something in your pie. Whatever you want. It's not my business.
You roll out your top crust just like the bottom one. Then you can cut it into lattice strips, cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, or just dump the whole thing on top and join it to the bottom crust by trimming and tucking in the edge and pressing into the bottom edge with your thumb. Then you cut slits in it with a real sharp knife so steam can escape and your pie doesn't explode. Some people like to brush egg whites on the top crust as a glaze so it's extra brown and glossy, but I think those people are just trying to prove something.
What other bossy things do I have to say about pie? Oh, lots. Here's a few:
1. Glass pie plates are best.
2. If you have a really juicy filling, why don't you prick the bottom crust with a fork a few times.
3. Putting kittens in your pie crust - adorable.
4. Pie is better than cake.
5. As an indirect method of saying "I'm sorry", pie has a success rate comparable to blow jobs in various clinical trials.