Get a perfectly flaky pie crust that’s the perfect fit for you! Recipes below for flaky butter pie crust, flaky shortening pie crust, and flaky combination (butter & shortening) pie crust.
Oh, the pie crust, the pie crust. How intimidating is the pie crust for so many come Thanksgiving! So intimidating, that we often resort to store-bought (raw or pre-cooked), or fill in a graham cracker crust, or whatever else we can do to avoid this blessed and cursed food item.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. But, I’m here to tell you, that YOU CAN DO IT! You just have to find your style.
And if someone’s pie crust just doesn’t work for you, you can try a different version! THERE IS NOT ONE THAT IS THE PERFECT PIE CRUST (despite many a Pinterest pin claiming such). It just depends what you like.
Here are three pie crusts that we currently have on FoodApparel.com. Each is a little different. Each is good in its own realm. Each has its tricks and tips.
Go check ’em out, and give em a try.
You’re thinking, but Christina, if I tried them all out, then I will have SIX pies. Exactly. Now……… wait, what was the problem? 😉
All Butter Flaky Pie Crust (recipe makes a double crust, or two single-pastry crusts)
The cursed all butter. People love the flavor (rich and butter), complain about the texture (not flaky). This version uses the trick of sour cream which aids in flakiness but assisting in preventing gluten strands from forming.
What else? Well, it has a tendency to bubble up…..and then shrink! If cooking the shell without any filling (meaning, you add the filling later to the pre-cooked shell, for example, in a cream pie), it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that you line the pie with pie weights (either legit weights, or a load of dried beans) during the first part of cooking to help the crust hold its shape. It also does tend to take a little longer to cook.
All Shortening Flaky Pie Crust (recipe makes a double crust, or two single-pastry crusts)
Oh shortening. You love it. It’s definitely easier to work with through and through. And so good at being flaky. But the flavor is just so…..BLAH.
This recipe calls specifically for Butter-Flavored Crisco in order to help out in the flavor department. When doing a pre-cooked shell, usually some fork pricks along the bottom and side will prevent any shrinkage (in contrast to all the pie weight and lining talk).
Combination Butter and Shortening Flaky Pie Crust (recipe makes a double crust, or two single-pastry crusts)
The best of both worlds! The richness of butter, but the stability of the shortening. It’s a match made in heaven! However, this pie, like the butter, does require a little more love with the shaping and with the pie weight issue when cooking. And some of your friends turn their nose up with even the mention of a little shortening in the crust.
So which one is my favorite? That is an absolutely difficult decision! I honestly cannot answer that question. I like each one in its own realm. They are all different and all delicious in my eyes. However, I do think I could recommend the following:
In a pinch: All Shortening – it cooks faster (for pre-cooked shells), and you don’t have to let it sit as long before you roll it out. Like you can literally roll it right after you form it (although it’s still good to let it chill a little bit, if you have the time).
For the richest flavor and the pickiest Southerner: All Butter. Some pie crust snobs will turn their nose up at even the mention of shortening in a pie crust. It’s like an evil pollutant. I think that’s a little extreme, but I would have to agree, that for the BESTEST flavor, you are still talking all butter and the sour cream hack does help a lot! But I would have to say that this one is probably going to be the hardest and most frustrating of the three if you are still learning…..
To appeal to the masses: The combo crust can be a great winner. You can find a happy balance here between the two extremes. Just know, that you still do have to put a little extra effort in when shaping and doing a pre-cooked shell, just like the butter.
What kind of pie crust do you use? Are you a butter, shortening, combo, or none-of-the above? Leave us a comment and let us know! We are still developing many more pie crust recipes and would love your input for our future posts.
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Dawn Nicole (@ByDawnNicole) says
This is such a great idea to test all 3…thanks for doing the work for us! I have to say I LOVE butter in general so it doesn’t surprise me that it had the BESTEST flavor! 🙂 Pinned and shared on FB.
Food Apparel says
No prob. We will test pie crust ANYTIME 😉
Homemade pie is sooo much better than the store bought kind! Thanks for the great recipes!
Food Apparel says
Absolutely. There’s not even a comparison IMO
Sounds delicious! I love homemade pie crust.
Food Apparel says
Michelle De La Cerda says
I’ve made the all shortening pie crust. But for Thanksgiving I am conducting my own experiment. One pumpkin with shortening crust and one pumpkin with all butter crust to see which I prefer.
Food Apparel says
Let me know for sure! I think I honestly still prefer shortening with pre-baked shells just because of the shrinkage factor that occurs with butter, but I’m still up in the air when you bake in the shell. (-Christina)