Easy Pie Pastry [Recipe]

In the world of recipes, great pastry seems to be one of those things that is hard to come by. Yet, when you do find a great one, it is one of those things that you must keep, treasure, and memorize in order that it might never escape your grasp again. Behind every great pie is a perfect pastry.

Here’s a recipe that’s been a family stand-by, and it has served us well for years. I hope you will enjoy it!

Easy Pie Pastry
Makes enough for 2 large or 3 small pies.

Ingredients:
5 c. all-purpose flour
Generous pinch of salt
2 c. shortening
Cold water (very cold – many recipes call for ice water)

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until it resembles pea-sized pieces, as shown in the picture below:

2.  Using a fork, make a little well in the side of the pastry and pour in about 1/2 c. of the cold water. Use the fork to blend the flour mixture and water together, until it comes together in a moist mass (DO NOT OVER MIX.)

 

3.  Continue blending the flour and water until the whole bowl has been moistened and comes together into a soft dough.
Note: YOU DO NOT WANT TO OVER MIX THE PASTRY! Mixing it too much will cause the little bits of shortening to blend evenly into the dough, making the pastry less flaky and more doughy. The idea is that you want to keep those little fat pockets intact throughout the dough – this way, when you roll them out, they separate the dough into layers and then bake the pastry into crisp, delicious flakiness.

 

Pictured Below: When your pastry is done, you should be able to see white fat marbled throughout the dough – This is what will give you those beautiful layers!

4.  Cover with plastic if you plan to use the pastry right away, or wrap it up (ziplock bags are awesome) and put in the fridge or freezer for later use. You will want to use the pastry within 2 days of making it, so if you plan to use it at a later time, freeze it – that works very well.

Tips on using this pastry:
– As mentioned above, don’t over work it!  When you are making pies or tarts, you will always have bits of pastry trimmings… You can use them again, but don’t keep re-rolling the same portions of dough repeatedly. I usually use all of the fresh pastry, and then keep all of the scraps and roll them all out together at the same time. I don’t like to re-roll the pastry more than 3 times.
– Have some leftover pastry at the end of your baking project?  Check out my post on What to Do with Leftover Pastry – This is always a favourite.

Enjoy!

–Naomi

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3 Comments »

  1. This recipe looks similar to the one I've used, but I'm always looking for ways to improve my pastries. I can't wait to try it and who wouldn't take to advice of a professional, right? Thanks, Naomi.

    Like

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