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Pie Crust with Shortening

unbaked cherry pie

With just a few simple ingredients, this homemade pie crust recipe will give you delicate, flaky crust every time. Use it for all your favorite pie recipes. It’s so easy and delicious. You’ll never buy pie crust again.

closeup of lattice pie crust for cherry pie

Butter or Shortening? Which makes the best pie crust recipe?

It’s the ultimate question with no real answer, but for me, shortening truly does make the best pie crust recipe. That’s how my mom made it, and so naturally I do the same.

While I can appreciate flavor of an all butter pie crust, I have always gotten the best results with Crisco. I think the difference is in the density.

Butter weighs more than the same volume of shortening, making the latter light and airy. Therefore you get a more delicate, and I would argue, flakier crust.

unbaked pie crust with scalloped edges in a pie plate

Pie crust ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar – I always add a bit of sugar to add flavor. You can skip it if you want (or if you’re making a savory pie), but I think it adds a really nice flavor to the crust.
  • Salt – Don’t skip this, it brings out the flavor in the crust and is extra necessary when using shorting because it doesn’t have the same flavor as butter
  • Vegetable shortening – I like to use Crisco sticks for this because it makes measuring easier than ever and you can cut it into cubes really easily.
  • Ice water

How to make pie crust with shortening

First, make sure your shortening is really cold. If you didn’t have time to chill it, put it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Ideally, chill it in the fridge overnight.

Next, mix your dry ingredients. If you’re using a food processor, just pulse them a few times, and if you’re doing this by hand, whisk them together until they’re combined.

Add the shortening and pulse in the food processor until you’ve created a crumby texture. By hand, cut in the shortening using a pastry cutter (or two knives) until you achieve the same results.

Drizzle the water, and continue to pulse (or mix) until a dough forms.

Divide the dough into two parts and roll into 1-inch thick discs. This will make it easier to roll later. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Why is my pie crust cracking?

Sometimes, pie crust with crack when you’re rolling it out. Don’t worry. There are a few reasons this happens, but it’s fixable.

  • It might be too dry (add more water when you’re making the dough).
  • It might be too cold (let it rest for a few minutes before continuing to roll it out).
  • You might be rolling to quickly. Take your time and work in a circle pattern rolling in all directions to achieve the best result.
unbaked cherry pie

Use this pie crust in these recipes:

baked cherry pie with lattice pie crust
unbaked pie crust with scalloped edges in a pie plate

Shortening Pie Crust

Melissa Belanger
With just a few simple ingredients, this homemade pie crust recipe will give you delicate, flaky crust every time. Use it for all your favorite pie recipes. It’s so easy and delicious. You’ll never buy pie crust again.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 crusts
Calories 1498 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening chilled (190-200g)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water*
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt, pulsing until well mixed.
  • Add shortening and pulse until mixture looks crumbly/mealy.
  • While continuing to pulse, slowly drizzle water through the top opening until the mixture forms a dough.
  • Divide mixture in half and roll each half into a ball. Flatten into a round disc and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  • Remove from fridge and roll to desired thickness and size.

Nutrition

Calories: 1498kcalCarbohydrates: 125gProtein: 16gFat: 104gSaturated Fat: 26gSodium: 1170mgPotassium: 167mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gCalcium: 23mgIron: 7mg
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