If you have ever feared making pie crust from scratch, you need to give this Hot Water Pie Crust a try. It is easy to make, flexible and creates a tender flaky pie crust every time.
I have a fear of pie crusts, they intimidate me. I have ruined far too many pies because of the crust. Yes, one is too many in my book.
Sometimes it falls apart before I can get it into the pan. Other times it was tough like a cracker.
When I saw this recipe in an old cookbook from the PBS Series Cooking from Quilt Country: Hearty Recipes from Amish and Mennonite Kitchens, I knew I had to give it a try.
It worked like magic!! The resulting dough was easy to work with and has become my go to pie dough recipe for both sweet and savory pies.
What type of fat should I use for pie crust?
The original recipe calls for lard, but I substituted shortening. But which fat is best for pie dough?
Vegetable oil will produce a crumbly textured dough.
Lard produces a crisp flaky crust. It has a high melting point making a dough that is easy to work with.
Shortening also has a high melting point and dough made with shortening will hold its shape better. Perfect for decorative pie crusts.
Butter has a lower melting point making it more difficult to work with. But, with its 15-20% water as opposed to the 100% fat of the others. The water steams when baked making the crust puff up with lovely flaky layers.
Many expert pie makers use a combination of fats to get the best of both worlds: buttery flaky layers that is still easy to work with.
Hot Water Pie Crust
- 1 cup shortening (or lard or butter)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup boiling water
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- Beat the shortening and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add boiling water and beat until combined. Let cool to room temperature, stirring again if the shortening and water start to separate.
- Stir in flour and form the mixture into a ball. Do this quickly and do not over mix or you will get tough crust. Chill for several hours or overnight.
- To bake, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling.
- For a prebaked crust roll out to ⅛" thickness. Place in pie pan and trim edges as needed. Prick crust with a fork (or use pie weights) and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes until golden.