It has been a really long time since I’ve made a pie. I used to be pretty good at it in my early teens, but after a bout of failed crusts I walked away in search of easier things to make. This weekend I faced my fears and made a crust. The problem with making a pie crust is that shortening has trans fat in it unless you can find some in the refrigerated section. We don’t have room in our fridge for anything else so I opted to make a butter crust. It was super easy and I’m not really sure why I was so scared to begin with!
Basically you only need 3 ingredients: flour (all-purpose), salt, and butter. You need water too, but hopefully that isn’t something you have to go to the store for. I searched my recipe box for a butter crust recipe from my grandma or Aunt Lu, but all the recipes I found had shortening in them. So off to Allrecipes I went: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Butter-Flaky-Pie-Crust/Detail.aspx
Put the 1 1/4 cups flour in a bowl and mix with the 1/4 tsp salt. Drop in 1/2 cup diced, chilled butter. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. I didn’t have all-purpose flour so I used self-rising and the same amounts of everything else and it worked fine. Add the 1/4 cup of ice water one Tbsp at a time, mixing after each Tbsp is added. Continue adding water until dry ingredients are moistened. I ended up adding about 1 Tbsp more water than the recipe called for. After the water is added, ball up the dough in the bowl (you may have to knead one or two times to get all dry bits incorporated) and place the ball in saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
After refrigerating the crust, split it into two parts. Roll out one part on a well floured surface (the dough will get sticky because of the butter so flouring your hands and counter is important) for the bottom crust and press into the bottom of a 9″ pie pan. Pour filling into the bottom pie crust. Roll out the top crust and place on top of the filling. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crusts together to bind them.
For the filling I used dark sweet cherries from the frozen section at the grocery store since cherries are not in season. Other than that I followed the directions exactly and it turned out wonderfully!