Homemade Pie Crust

By ERIN TURNER

The huckleberries are so abundant around Western Montana this year that it seems you don’t have to go far to find those gems of goodness!  With raspberries, huckleberries and strawberries all in season right now, it seems the perfect time for a pie!

As I was baking a pecan pie for the fair today I thought about how easy it is to make a pie crust.  A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is and how much money you’ll save by making your own.

Plus, I know I don’t have to tell you this but the taste of a homemade pie crust doesn’t even compare to a store bought one!  Pie crusts are one of those food items which you can immediately tell if it is homemade.  The rich, buttery taste and the flaky crust are all dead give-aways!

Photo-by-Seth-Werkheiser

Years ago I was in charge of the pies for Thanksgiving and the night before I realized I had forgotten to pick up a commercial pie crust.  Since it was 9pm at night, I had no intention of running to the store to get one.  So, I ventured into the world of homemade pie crusts.

Homemade Pie Crust

I remember being so shocked at how easy it was to make!  Plus, in the amount of time it would have taken to run to the store I could have made 6 pie crusts!  The last benefit of my homemade pie crust was the amount of money I saved.  Since this fateful night, I have always made my crusts from scratch!

I use a method which Martha Stewart had in her magazine over 10 years ago.  It is very clear and simple!

Recipe for 2, 8-10 inch crusts:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, chilled  (you can also use Lard!)
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼-1/2 cup ice water

Directions:

1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces and add to the flour mixture.

2. Using a pastry blender, incorporated the chilled butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal with small pieces of butter, the size of small peas.

3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture and blend well.  Repeat with additional 2 Tbsps of water.  At this point you may need to add more water.  Your goal is to be able to squeeze the dough together until is just holds its shape.  If the dough crumbles, continue adding water until you reach the desired consistency.

4.  Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface.  Divide into two equal pieces.

5. Lightly dust a clean work surface.  Place the dough in the center and being rolling out the dough until you have a 1/8 inch thick circle.

6.  Roll the dough over the rolling pin and place in a lightly greased pie plate.  Gently pat the dough into place.  Trim any excess dough leaving a 1 inch overhang then fold the dough under to reinforce the edge.

7.  At this point you are ready to add your pie filling of choice and then bake it according to your pie recipe.

This recipe gives you two crusts so you can either make one two-crust pie (popular for apple pies) or two single crust pies (popular for berry pies).

Whatever you end up making, I think you will be delighted with the results!  A flaky, buttery crust reminiscent of Grandma’s homemade pies of yesteryear.   You will also be amazed at how easy and quick it is to make your own.  You can make a pile of these and freeze them for future use!  I knew an older lady years ago who would make her pie crusts, put them in the aluminum pie plates and freeze them.  When apple season hit in the fall, she would make her apple pie filling and then pull out her pre-made crusts and fill them.  She skipped then entire step of making her crusts by prepping them early and freezing them.  What a great idea!

photo 3 (2)

Save money, time and enjoy homemade goodness by making YOUR own pie crusts!  Get out and pick some of those wonderful Montana huckleberries this summer then come home and treat your family to a totally “from scratch” Huckleberry pie with homemade pie crust!

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 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive. And Check out our new Coupon section.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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