This week we are making the pie crust for the Thanksgiving pies. When I am done forming them, I will freeze them until the day before Thanksgiving and the day before Christmas Eve. We will be using Grandma Kahn's Perfect Pie Crust. Previously I used wax paper for my pie crusts. But for a couple years now I've been using cereal bags.
I just open them at the seams and use just like wax paper. After I have all four circles of pie crust wrapped nicely in cereal bags I put them in one bag, label with a sharpie "Nikki's coveted pie crust" and the date.
When you are done with a box of cereal, shake out the crumbs and save the bag. I like to save the cereal bags in a cereal keeper from Tupperware. I feel good knowing I'm recycling these bags and that they work much better than wax paper. Cereal bags are also great for crushing cracker crumbs in and shake and bake type recipes.
Now to the pie crust. Click on the link above to my post about Grandma's pie crust. It will open in a new window so you can toggle back and forth if you need to.
The key I believe with preparing your own flaky-shatter-at-the-touch-of-a-fork pie crust is in not over-kneading. Step 3 where it says, ". . . add to flour mixture and stir until moistened," do just that. Stir until moistened. Then stop. Do not knead and knead until it resembles playdough. It does not need to have a consistent smoothness to it. In fact, when I get to step 4, "Divide dough into 4 portions and shape each in a flat circle . . ." it is quite crumbly and falling apart. This would've bothered me years ago, but I've learned with baking that patience is the key.
I mend the crust when I'm rolling it out. If it's too moist (ugh, hate that word) and sticking to the rolling pin, then I dust a little flour on. If it's too dry and cracking and falling apart much too easily, I use a little water. Don't pour it on. Just dip your clean fingers into a small bowl of cold water and sprinkle it on. Seriously like a drop or too. Not even a half teaspoon.
I was twelve or thirteen when I made my first pie crust. It was for a dessert contest at Young Women's. I made Lemon Meringue Pie. I was so frustrated with the pie crust- mostly the rolling part. It turned out hideous but tasted really good. I was tired out from it and didn't try crusts again until I was eighteen or nineteen.
Pie crust gets easier with every try. But you can't let it go six years in between-- or you won't remember the tips and which parts you want to modify. Try it out on your family first. Make pot pies or meat pies. If it's REALLY bad on Thanksgiving, say your four year old helped you. ;)
To me this makes sense. If it doesn't to you, leave your question in the comments and I'll do my best to clarify. I'll post my pics when Danny is home to remind me yet again how to upload them. Or download. Whatever.