Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pie Crust - Part One - Making and Storing

Flaky and buttery pie crust made easy with quick clean up, no food processor required. You will never buy premade crust again.

Pie Crust

The holidays are quickly approaching! We are entering into the busy but joyful holiday season. A season of shopping, decorating and baking. A season that can also be
stressful if we don't prepare ahead or if we wait until the last minute to try and do everything. I sometimes tend to plan big and then let it get the better of me if not properly prepared. Planning ahead makes all the difference, especially when it comes down to holiday dinner menus. Personal experience speaking here.

Making pie crust beforehand can put you one step ahead of the baking game during the season of celebration and giving thanks. All of those small things done in advance will add up and that time can be spent with family and friends. 

I know you are asking why not just buy a pre made pie crust? Well, because, I have a "thing". One of my quirks, I guess you could say. My "thing" is that I want as much of my cooking as humanly possible to be from scratch for the holidays and I can't shake it. So over the years I have cultivated a plan of attack to ensure homemade food and my sanity are both present for the holidays.

This is my method and combination of ingredients for a perfectly flaky and buttery pie crust made with minimal clean up and without a food processor. I have had many people tell me that they don't want to make pie crust because they don't have or don't want to drag the food processor out. You don't have to! This method using parchment to not only mix and roll, but for storage as well is quick and painless. An added bonus, clean up is a breeze.

I had to break this down into two parts. Part one is making and storing the pastry and part two will be on rolling and shaping the dough. I tried to be as detailed as possible with the pictures (which are not all that great and I apologize) and steps. I am not a pastry chef nor have I ever trained in any culinary arts, this is just my method for making pie crust from scratch. Feel free to comment or email me with any questions!

You can find Part Two - Rolling and Shaping here!

Cut butter and shortening into flour mixture with tool of your choice. Sprinkle a light coating of flour on blade before using to cut butter and shortening. No, I do not cut or cube my butter beforehand. I just chop it into the flour along with the shortening as I am combining.

From top to bottom, vegetable chopper-food scraper-knife, any of these will work for cutting the fats and flour together.

Cut left to right, then top to bottom until you  have small to medium size chunks of fats combined with the flour.

Lift sides and/or top of parchment paper and gently shake mixture back into a pile if it starts to get out of control.

When your mixture looks like this it is a good time to sprinkle the water and mix into a ball, mix just until ingredients come together into a ball. Exactly six tablespoons of ice cold water works perfectly for me everytime with this recipe. I do this with my hands, before mixing coat hands with flour. I prefer using my hands because I can get a better feel for when the pastry comes together so I don't overmix. Once mixed , flatten into a circle with the palm of your hand.
Fold the dough gently. Starting from right side, fold half of the dough to the middle, repeat starting from left side and the top to bottom and bottom to top. Flatten slightly and repeat. This step ensures an extra flaky pie crust. The dough will have an egg shape after folding.

Cut dough into two equal portions. Move dough onto each side of  parchment and cut parchment into two equal portions.

Roll each portion into a ball (or something close to round, as you can see mine is not perfectly round).

Flatten into a circle about four inches in diameter.

Wrap each pastry in the parchment, if using immediately, refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out. Wrap each pastry in plastic wrap, if storing. You can wrap together if you will be using both pastries at the same time, if using at separate times, wrap separately in plastic wrap.

Place pastries in freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Pie Crust

Makes two pie crusts.

2 Cups All Purpose Flour – Small amount of extra for coating hands
1/3 Cup Shortening
1/3 Cup Cold Butter – No substitutes
6 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water – I fill a small glass with ice and water to have at the ready
1 Teaspoon Sugar – You can substitute 1 teaspoon of salt if making for a savory dish

Parchment Paper  - At least 18 inches in length
Handled vegetable chopper, Knife or a Food Scraper
Plastic Wrap
Quart Size Freezer Bag

Cut a piece of parchment large enough to wrap around two pieces of flattened dough, approximately four inches in diameter, leave the parchment paper in one piece for now.

 Add flour and sugar or salt on parchment paper, mix lightly with fork. Dip or lightly sprinkle blade of tool with flour before using. Cut shortening and butter into flour with tool of choice, until you have small to medium size chunks.

Sprinkle six tablespoons of ice cold water over mixture.  Coat hands with flour and combine mixture, gently working the dry flour into the moister portions with hands until it comes together. With the palm of your hand flatten dough into a small circle.  You will want to fold the dough at this point. From right to left fold half the dough to middle, then repeat left to right, top to bottom and bottom to top. Fold the dough in this manner twice, this will ensure an extra flaky crust.

Cut dough into two equal portions. Move dough to each side of the parchment and cut parchment into two equal portions. Wrap each half of the dough with the parchment.   

At this point, you can refrigerate the parchment wrapped pastry for 30 minutes and it will be ready to use.

If you want to store for later use:
Wrap parchment covered halves with plastic wrap, you can wrap both halves together if you will be using together. If using at separate times, wrap each in plastic wrap. Place both halves in freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months or refrigerate for 1 week.


©Christy’s Cooking Creations. Please do not use my images without prior consent. Please link back to this post even if recreating and posting this recipe in your own words.


  1. Great idea to plan in advance, time can seriously disappear in the silly season.

    I love making my own pastry tastes way better :-)

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.