Easy Pie Crust
I will never promise to make a beautiful pie. Sometimes my pie crusts turn out a little goofy-looking, but that never affects the taste. I’ve never had any complaints!
I once read in Cook’s Illustrated that King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour is the best flour for making flaky, tender pie crusts. I switched and haven’t looked back. It does make a real difference.
I have been making an oil pastry crust that I got from the 1981 edition of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book for many, many years. I used to use canola oil, but lately I have switched to extra light olive oil. (The extra light means it has a very mild flavor, not that it is light in calories or fat.) With this recipe it is essential to use waxed paper for rolling the dough; it will be very difficult to roll out the dough without it. As a bonus, the waxed paper makes it quite easy to get the dough from the table or cutting board to the pie plate.
Here is my go-to pie crust recipe. I use the double crust version for apple, blueberry, mincemeat, marionberry, and blackberry pies. The single crust recipe is for pecan and pumpkin pies.
A tip about measuring flour:
I highly recommend that you use a kitchen scale to weigh your flour. If you don’t have one, use this method to measure. First stir the flour a bit to aerate it. Then, using a large spoon, spoon the flour into the cup without packing it down. Keep adding heaping spoonfuls until the cup is overflowing, and then use a knife to scrape off the extra. You can see this method demonstrated in this video.
Here is my marionberry pie (held by helper Bob) ready for the oven:
Olive Oil Pie Pastry
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)
For a Two Crust Pie:
2¼ cups (270 g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup extra light (mild tasting) olive oil
6 tablespoons cold milk
2 teaspoons white vinegar
Waxed paper for rolling the dough
1. Place a large baking sheet in the oven and preheat to the temperature required for the pie that you’re baking. (The baking sheet is to collect any drips that may occur from your pie. You want it hot before you put the pie in the oven.)
2. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
3. Measure the olive oil in a 1-cup measuring cup. Put the 6 tablespoons of milk in the same cup with the oil. Add the vinegar to the cup.
4. Add the liquids to the flour all at once and stir with a fork just until it can be formed into a ball.
5. Form the dough into a ball. Cut slightly more than half of the dough and put it on a 12-inch sheet of waxed paper. (If you put a little water under the bottom of the waxed paper, it won’t slide around when you roll out the dough.) Flatten it with your hand; put another sheet of waxed paper on top and roll the dough out to the edges of the paper.
6. Carefully remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Lift the bottom sheet and dough up and put it paper-side up over the pie plate. Carefully remove the waxed paper and fit the dough into the pie plate.
7. Fill the pie with your filling.
8. Roll out the rest of the dough between waxed paper for the top crust and place it over the pie.
9. Finish the edge of the crust the way you like. I simply use a fork to press into the dough around the edge.
10. Be sure to cut vents in the top crust before baking so that steam can escape.
Shown below: 180 grams of flour for a single crust pie
For a Single Crust Pie:
Use these amounts and follow the same procedure as above, rolling out all of the dough for the crust. Finish the edge of the crust before filling.
1½ cups (180 g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra light (mild tasting) olive oil
4 tablespoons cold milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Waxed paper for rolling the dough
Pictured below is dough for a single crust pie ready to be filled: