First, find a easy crust recipe. Mine comes from the Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 11th printing 1962 (one of the things I got after my grandmother passed away and a great resource – I’m not sure how the newest version is, but I love mine.)
Flaky Pastry IV (this is a summary of the actual recipe i.e the way I do it)
2 ¼ cups flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1/3 c cold milk
½ c plus 1 T vegetable oil
In a bowl combine flour and salt. In a measuring cup add milk and oil (I put in milk and then add oil until just a bit over 5/6ths). Do not mix milk and oil mixture. Add all at once to flour. Stir in with fork. Do not over stir. Split in half. Makes two 9” crusts. This is not the best crust that I have ever had, but it is very good and because it is quick and easy, I don’t mind making it – which means more pies for guests to eat.
Roll out on:
This is a must have. I actually like the Tupperware one the best, but DH replaced it with another manufacturer. It is not as good because the sizing lines are actually raised, but it works ok. Another helpful MIL tip is to:
1. Touch the dough as little as possible with your hands. Even the oils in your hands can change the consistency.
2. Cover the dough with wax paper when you roll the dough out. It will prevent the crust from sticking to the rolling pin and makes it much easier to flip and get in the pan.
I usually make two crusted pies. So I often paint the crust with milk or egg whites. I also love cutting in a design and never use a professional crimper. I find it much easier to pinch it with my fingers. I think the rustic nature of it makes it even better; people know that it is not a Sarah Lee pie, but mine.