Classic Pie Crust


1/2 cup of shortening or lard
1/4 cup fat drippings
1-1/2 cups of flour (sifted pastry flour is best for pies)
pinch of salt


  • With pastry blender cut the cold shortening into the sifted flour until the shortening is in pieces as small as peas.
  • Then pour in six or eight tablespoons of cold water (during summer use ice-water).
  • Work with the knife or pastry blender until well mixed (never use the hands).
  • Flour a board, roll the dough out thin, sprinkle with a little flour and put dabs of soft fat drippings here and there, fold the dough over and roll out thin again and spread with fat and sprinkle with flour, repeat this and then roll out (not too thin) and line a pie-plate with this dough.
  • Always cut dough for lower crust a little larger than the upper dough and do not stretch the dough when lining pie-pan or plate.
  • If fruit is to be used for the filling, brush over top of the dough with white of egg slightly beaten, or sprinkle with one tablespoon of bread crumbs to prevent the dough from becoming soggy.
  • Put in the filling, brush over the edge of pastry with cold water, lay the second round of paste loosely over the filling; press the edges together lightly, and trim, if needed.
  • Cut several slits in the top crust or prick it with a fork before putting it in place.
  • Bake from thirty to thirty-five minutes until crust is a nice brown.
The recipe given above makes two pie crusts.

Bake pies having a cooked filling in a hot oven and those with an uncooked filling in a moderate oven. Let pies cool upon plates on which they were made because slipping them onto cold plates develops moisture which always destroys the crispness of the lower crust.

Homemade Shortening: For homemade shortening you can use drippings and mix with chicken, duck or goose fat. In the fall and winter, when poultry is plentiful and fat, save all drippings of poultry fat for pie-crust. If you have neither, use beef fat or lard.

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
When the filling of the pie you are preparing does not require so much baking as the crust, it is good idea to bake the crust partly before putting the filling in. This is particularly advisable for the custard pies, jelly and preserved fruits pies. You can cover them with whipped cream or meringue, that way you will not have to bake the top crust shell.

If the filling for your pie must be baked slowly, start the baking in a very hot oven, so that the crusts will have the benefit of the high temperature. Then the heat should be gradually reduced until the filling will cook and the crust will not burn.