Aunt Sis. Isn’t that a great Southern name for your dad’s sister?
Aunt Sis was a master crust maker. Her pies were famous because her crusts were famous. And one summer, she brought me into her kitchen and said, “Today, sweetie, I am going to teach you to make a crust.” I was fourteen and felt honored to just be in her inner sanctuary. I still remember her stressing the importance of icing the water and turning the dough under before pinching it together for a double crust.
Years later, my sister found this recipe in her files. And because we’re family – I’m sharing it with you. No more dry crust that you have to work with quickly or it becomes unmanageable. No more kitchen melt-downs because your crust is cracking. Maybe we should just name this the “No More Tears” crust. Honestly, you just might actually enjoy making this one.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ Crisco shortening
1 to 1 ⅓ cup ice water
Chill flour, then measure out accordingly. (I keep mine in the freezer, just for this purpose). In separate bowl, add a couple of cups of water and ice. Let sit for a minute.
Meanwhile, add salt to flour. Mix well. Cut shortening into flour and salt with your hands, squeezing it through fingers until it resembles course meal. Scoop ice out of water with a slotted spoon. Measure water. Start with 1 cup. Stir vigorously into flour. If it seems dry, add more water. It’s fine if it’s a bit sticky. Separate into three equal portions. (Freeze to use later, if you making only a double crust).
Prepare large square of waxed or parchment paper to use for your rolling area. Well-flour paper. Pat one of the portions onto your paper. Turn over and add flour until you can work with it without it being sticky. Add another layer of waxed or parchment paper on top. With a rolling pin, roll out larger than your pie plate, keeping top of dough well-floured to keep from sticking. Remove top layer of paper. Pick up two adjacent corners of the parchment paper and cause dough to fold in half onto itself. Repeat in order to fold into fourths, using appropriate two corners of paper. Move folded dough to pie plate and carefully unfold. Dough should be large enough to lap over edges of pie plate.
For single crust pie: Use kitchen shears to snip off any excess crust that that is touching the cabinet. Roll remaining overhanging crust within itself, tucking the crust underneath itself all the way around. Now, pinch the crust all the way around. In order to do this, I use my forefinger and my thumb on my right hand to push the rim of the crust into the thumb of my left hand. Bake according to directions.
For double crust pie: Fill bottom crust, lay rolled out top crust onto filling, then follow instructions for single crust pie.