Updated: Mar 23, 2022
This pie crust is by far the flakiest crust I have ever had. some people love all butter or all lard crust but I like the best of both worlds. Add in the lightness that cake flour can bring and the acidity of vinegar to help soften the proteins in the flour, the result is a melt in your mouth pastry. The real secret here is to freeze a portion of your butter after cutting them into small cubes. This creates little butter bombs in your pastry and add even more flakiness to the crust when it bakes. Resist the urge to incorporate those butter chunks until they disappear. You want to see little chunks when you roll it out. Making a sweet pie? Brush your pie with an egg wash, then sprinkle with some white sugar or coarse sugar if you have it.
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar (extra for fruit pies to sprinkle on top)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup Ice cold water (6 - 8 tbsp)
- 1/2 cup butter cut into small cubes and frozen
- 1/2 Cup Shortening (vegetable lard)
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- Mix together dry ingredients.
- Remove 4 tbsp of dry mixture and set aside in a separate bowl
- Add crisco (vegetable lard) and behind working into the dry ingredient. Then add half of your cubes of frozen butter. (Try not to over work or over handle the butter as we want small chunks of butter to remain in the dough)
- Mix until it looks like crumble
- Toss remaining frozen butter in your 4 tbsp of flour you set aside and then incorporate into the rest of the dough.
- Stir Vinegar into ice water, then add to your dough. start with 6 tbsp and add more if needed.
- Once the dough has come together, form into disk shape and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes.
- Once cooled, roll it out into a rectangular shape then fold it into a square. Then refrigerate again for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and roll it out according to your pan size. keep what you are not using in the fridge until needed. (butter needs to stay cold to get nice and flakey when baking)
- If you prefer to pre bake the bottom layer of your pies, poke some holes in the pastry and then add a sheet of parchment paper and some oven safe pie weights on top. Bake at 425 F for 8 minutes. Be sure the weights cover the bottom in it's entirety and preferably up the side as well. You may find that the pastry shrinks down if there are no weights to hold it up.
- OR - Put your bottom layer in leaving a bit draped over the sides, then add your filling and cover with remaining pastry. Press bottom and top layer together or pinch using a fork. Using a sharp knife cut off the excess pastry. Brush the top with your egg wash and bake according to your recipe. Most recipes are to bake between 400 F and 425 F for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
- OR -You can also skip adding a bottom for things like individual portioned meat pies that will be eaten directly out of the dish or tin they are in. Just add a layer to the top, and bake as directed.
- TIP: If you add a bottom layer, bake in the lower part of your oven to ensure the bottom gets cooked fully.