Pie Crust Mix & How To Roll A Pie Crust

My Mother-in-law, Virginia, taught me how to make really simple, good pie crusts. Once I finally got it down, I was a pie-making fool.

8 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3 c. Crisco shortening

In a large mixing bowl, blend flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two table knives pulled across each other in shortening and flour. Blend until crumbly. Store in airtight container in pantry. Keeps indefinitely.

For Pie Crust:

1 1/2 c. mix
5 T. ice water

Place flour in deep, medium mixing bowl. Make a "dip" in center of mix. Add ice water to "dip". Using large table spoon, slice into water and mix using up and down strokes with the edge of the spoon. Mix just until dough leaves the side of the bowl and has a smooth, "smooshy" consistency. Should not be sticky. Do not over mix or crust will be tough. Makes pastry for one crust. Pat into 1" thick patty and use immediately, or wrap and refrigerate or freeze for later use. Bring to room temperature before rolling. When ready, on a clean, floured surface, a pastry cloth, marble slab, or countertop, set patty on flour. Sprinkle patty with flour. Flour rolling pin by taking some flour in the palm of your hand and running the rolling pin through your palm. Set it on the center of the patty and using even pressure, roll out dough, top to bottom, side to side, as needed to create a round crust. Roll it out so it is at least 1 " in diameter bigger than pie plate. For bottom crust, place rolling pin at bottom of circle, lift up edge of dough and gently roll up circle around rolling pin. Place rolling pin of dough above top of pie plate, and gently unroll dough over pie plate to the bottom, centering the circle. Fill with pie recipe, or if making single crust pie, follow recipe directions. For top crust, gently fold circle of dough in half, then again in quarters. With sharp knife, make 2 or 3 short slices along edges of folds. Move crust, still folded, to filled pie. Place on one quarter of pie and carefully unfold top crust to cover. If you wish to make a more artistic design, like a simple apple or leaf, or a word, like "DAD", while top crust is still a flat circle, take sharp knife and make design in center of crust. Do not make completely connected figures or they will be left behind when you lift up the crust. Do not get too close to edges. Roll up crust with rolling pin as with bottom crust, and place carefully on filled pie, centering design if needed. Trim top and bottom crust, if needed, to 1/2" overhanging pie plate. Turn under both crusts together and seal with a pinch and twist around the edge, a pressed fork around the edge, or sealing the dough by pushing the index finger on one side of the edge of dough, into the space between the thumb and index finger of the other hand, on the other side of the edge of dough, moving around the pie to make a wavy patterned edge. Bake according to pie directions.

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