Arlene’s Pie Dough

Rolling out the dough

I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately, although I’m not sure why, given that I’m trying to lose a couple inches around the waist. <sigh> But I have been doing more baking than I ever have. I’m even beginning to get comfortable making pie crusts. Still not great at it, but a bit better than I was.

Normally I turn to Mark Bittman for basic recipes, but I found his directions for making pie dough convoluted and the results were poor. So I had to find some other way. Searching the Internet I found lots of recipes, including an olive oil recipe and a vegan recipe. Maybe I’ll try that olive oil method some time but not the vegan one because it relied on coconut oil; I mean have you seen how much saturated fat is in coconut oil?

So I went back to my mother’s recipe which she gave me along with the one for her shoofly pie. 

I did pick up a couple tips from the Internet though. I roll the dough out between two lengths of wax paper and then put the pie plate upside down on the dough to get it into place.

Oh, yeah, Arlene’s recipe, as well as many others that I found, add a little vinegar. And I was curious about that. So I asked Siri on my watch and got this:

Siri s vinegar answer

Good to know! I guess I won’t be scrimping on the vinegar. This recipe makes three shells, and the dough can be frozen to use as needed.

I use a food processor to mix the dough, but Arlene was making dough long before food processors became a thing. I doubt that she even used an electric mixer for the dough, but maybe she did.

Herewith is Arlene’s Pie Dough recipe (and yes, Crisco has less saturated fat than coconut oil. Who knew?):

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup Crisco*
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
5 tablespoons water

  1. Mix together the flour, Crisco, and salt. 
  2. Add the egg, vinegar, and water. Mix well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours (Arlene recommends overnight).
  4. Divide into three equal parts, wrap each with plastic wrap, and put in the fridge or freeze

*Arlene’s tip for measuring Crisco: fill a two-cup measuring cup with 3/4 cup of water. Add the Crisco, packing it down until the water reaches the 2 cup mark. Pour off the water. (This might be obsolete as I see Crisco can now be bought in bricks that make measuring it a lot easier. But I’ve been sticking to the old way; it’s slightly cheaper.)

Inverted pie plate

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