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Never Fail Pie Crust

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PERFECT PIE CRUST
I'm not a pie expert, but this pie crust has been quite reliable for me and easy to put together. It is from the Set For Life Cookbook by Jane Merrill and Karen Sunderland reprinted by permission.

Never-Fail Pie Crust

3 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup lard, shortening, or unsalted butter
1/3 cup plus 1 TB ice water
1 egg, beaten
1 TB vinegar

Place the flour and salt in mixer bowl. Cut lard into flour until mixture is the size of peas with a pastry blender or French whips of mixer. Remove 1 cup of flour mixture, and place in a medium-size bowl. Add water, egg, and vinegar to flour mixture in medium sized bowl. Stir with a fork, or jog in with pulse feature on electric mixer. Add this mixture to flour/lard mixture in mixer bowl, and mix JUST until dough sticks together. Divide the dough into three or four equal portions.

Place one portion in the center of a 12 X 15 inch piece of waxed paper. Place another piece of waxed paper on top. Roll with rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top sheet from dough, and invert dough and waxed paper over a 9-inch pie pan. Pull waxed paper from dough. Crimp edges of crust. For an unfilled pie shell, prick dough with a fork every 1/4 inch. Bake in a 400° oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. For a filled single or double crust pie, bake as directed on pie recipe. Wrap and freeze unused portions of pie dough. Bake: 400° 10-12 min. Yield: 3-4 9" pie shells.

Additional Perfect Pie Crust Hints

1. Make sure the water is iced! If the dough is chilled for an hour or so before rolling it out, I have more success.
2. Handle the dough as little as possible to avoid creating a "tough" crust!
3. If the pie crust comes apart when placing the crust in the pie pan, piece it together, don't re-roll the dough.
4. Use half whole grain flour along with the unbleached white flour called for in the recipe.




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