Best Flaky Pie Crust - layers and layers of pie crust with an easy tutorial to get it right every time - you'll use this for all your pies!
(Makes 1 layer of crust to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Double the recipe for a pie using 2 layers of crust.)
Your crust will need some time to chill in the fridge before rolling out, so prepare to make it about 30 minutes before you want to start making your pie.
The pie texture will be best if you make this crust in a food processor, but if you don't have one, just be sure to cut in your butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or forks. The biggest concern is that your hands don't work with the dough a lot, so the butter and shortening don't begin to melt. The flecks throughout is what will make it flaky when baked.
To start, add the flour and salt to the food processor and pulse for 2 seconds, until mixed (or mix the flour and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl).
Add the cubes of butter and chunks of shortening to the food processor (or to the bowl). Cut the butter and shortening in by pulsing the food processor until the butter and shortening are all incorporated, and finely minced into the dough (or if using a bowl, cut the butter and shortening in until it's all well distrubuted, finely, throughout the dough) – you don't want any large chunks.
Add the vinegar to the cold water, and pour the very cold water into the dough. If using a food processor, turn the processor on and pour the water in as it's mixing.
If using a bowl, work quickly to incorporate the water so you don't have to handle the dough for too long.
It WILL be sticky! Don't worry! Remove it from the bowl or food processor and add flour to your countertop (about 1/4 cup) and quickly knead it into the dough until it comes together in a smooth ball.
(This texture will keep it from being too dry when it bakes later, and when you add more flour later to roll it out for the pie pan. Don't worry if it's a little sticky, just mix it with a little flour on your counter and get it wrapped up and chill it.)
Form the dough into a smooth ball and wrap with plastic wrap or stick into a ziploc bag.
Chill for 20-30 minutes.
Remove dough from fridge. Generously flour your countertop and rolling pin, and begin to roll the dough out. (If it isn't well floured the dough can stick to the counter, causing it to tear.)
Roll the dough until it's about 2-3 inches wider than your pie pan (all the way around). It should be about 1/4" thick.
Using the rolling pin, roll the flattened dough back onto the pin, and use the rolling pin to transfer it into your pie pan.
Gently press the bottom of the pie crust into the pan, to form to the shape.
Fold the excess dough over onto the top edge of the pie pan and pinch to form a crust, as you like it. I like to pinch it into wide waves.
Don't worry about it being a little thick on the top edges, this will keep it from burning in the oven.
Depending on what pie you are making, you may need to blind bake (or bake before you put the filling in - this is common with cream pies, where the filling will not need to bake in the oven).
To Blind Bake this crust, preheat oven to 400°F.
Once oven is preheated, remove chilled crust from fridge. Poke with a fork about 10 times on the bottom (this will keep the bottom from bubbling up too high while baking).
Then carefully line the chilled crust with parchment paper, and fill the parchment paper with pie weights, dry rice, or dry beans.
Fill generously. You want the rice/beans/weights to go most of the way up the side to keep the crust from melting down during baking. You can even double line with parchment paper if you're worried about rice or beans spilling onto your crust.
Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes.
Then remove from oven and remove pie weights from pie pan.
Place back in the oven and bake for 6-8 more minutes, until crust is browned on the top edges and lightly colored/baked on the bottom.
Chill crust before filling with any pie filling.