So I decided to try my hand at my Aunt Carol's Never Fail Pie Crust again with a few tweaks. I had abandoned this recipe because it calls for shortening which I avoid buying since it is such an unhealthy fat. I used real butter in place of shortening. To make the dough easier to handle, I freeze the butter ahead of time and use ice water.
The result: A delicious, flaky pie crust made with butter instead of shortening.
1 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed (2 1/2 sticks)
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbsp. ice water
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1. Cut up butter and put it in the freezer for a while before starting.
2. Cut butter, flour, and salt into coarse crumbs with a pastry blender. This takes a little of work since the butter is frozen. You can also process this step in a food processor.
3. Combine egg, vinegar, and water. Pour liquid into flour mixture all at one time.
4. Blend with a spoon just until all the flour is moistened.
5. Roll 1/2 of the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Fold flattened dough in half and then in half again so that it can be easily lifted into the pie pan. Lift the dough into the pan and unfold so that it covers the pie pan.
6. Press the dough into the pan and trim and shape the edges for a one crust pie. For a two crust pie, pour filling into the pie. Then cover with top crust, seal and shape the edges.
7. To bake without filling, generously prick sides and bottom of pie crust with a fork to prevent the crust from collapsing into the pan. Or line with foil and pour pie weights or dry beans onto the foil to weigh the crust down and prevent it from shrinking into the pan.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown at 425 degrees. If making a two crust pie, follow baking instructions in the filling recipe.
You can freeze extra dough for future use.