I’ve been fiddling around with making pie crust for quite a while now. I love pie and it took me years to start getting the hang out of making crust. I used to buy those boxes of crust mix and try to make it and it was pretty good but a bit pricey. And a few times I’ve bought refrigerated pie crusts that you just open up, unfold and put in a pie tin and that’s pretty good but even more pricey.
But, with a name like “Cheap Bastid”, I thought I’d try to go “old school”. You know, there’s nothing more rewarding than making it from scratch and it’s not really hard to do. But quite frankly, if you’d just as soon not have the hassle of mixing dough and rolling it out—a process which just about doubles the amount of time it takes to get a pie ready to go in the oven, then I’d suggest using the pre-made, refrigerated dough. Otherwise, make it from scratch.
So, here’s my version of homemade pie crust. I use a lard crust but if you want you can substitute shortening or butter or oil—there are versions out there for all of them. I use lard because it’s the most traditional, makes the flakiest crust and it’s the cheapest.
Recipe: Old Fashioned Lard Pie Crust
Summary: For a tasty, flaky pie crust nothing beats using lard. It’s simple and makes an incredible pie crust.
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chilled natural lard
- 1/3 cup ice water
- This is what’s called a 2 crust pie. There’s the bottom crust and a crust covering the top.
- Get out a good sized mixing, small bowl, rolling pin and pie pan.
- Put 2 cups flour and the salt into a mixing bowl. Add the lard. (I keep mine in the freezer and cut ¼ inch thick chunks of it and then cross cut it into small cubes).
- Cut the lard into the flour and salt with a pastry blender, fork or your fingers until there are flour coated particles about the size of really small peas.
- In the small bowl combine ¼ cup flour and the water and whisk until smooth. Pour this into the lard/flour mix and stir with a fork just until everything is combined.
- Reach into the bowl and gather the dough in your hands pressing it together, scrape up the loose stuff that doesn’t stick and press it into the dough.
- Divide the dough ball in half (actually make one just a bit bigger) and press each into a disk.
- Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and put into your freezer for a half hour to an hour until after you make the pie filling.
- Get out your pastry board and rolling pin and the larger of the 2 dough disks and unwrap it. Dust your pastry board and rolling pin with flour.
- Roll out your pie dough until it is 2 inches larger than the diameter of your pie pan. Do all your rolling from the center of the dough out until it’s about 1/8 inch or just a bit more thick. And it helps to roll something like roll north, the northeast, then east, etc.
- Don’t worry about a split at the edge or a hole in the dough. You’ll be able to “weld” a little piece over it with a piece of excess dough and a bit of water.
- When rolled out, use a thin bladed spatula to gently lift the dough from the pastry board and fold in half. Transfer it to your pie pan and open up, centering it in the pan.
- Now you may wish to trim the edge of the dough about ¼ inch larger than the top edge of the pie pan.
- Roll out your top, fold over and leave it on the pastry board.
- Fill the pin plate with whatever filling you’re going to use, and then put the top across it.
- Crimp the edges using your thumb and index finger from one hand and the index finger from your other hand “flute” the edge of the crust. Don’t worry if it’s not beautiful and perfect—it’s a home made pie.
- Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes and enjoy a homemade pie that you made with your own hands.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)
My rating 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)
The Cheap Bastid Test: This uses about $.25 worth of flour and about $.35 worth of lard, so for $.60 you’ve got a homemade, old-fashioned 2-crust pie crust compared to about $3 for a pre-made refrigerated crust.
That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!