Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Best Pie Crust Ever

When my raspberry patch was overflowing with berries I made tarts and used Cristie's pie crust recipe.
It's so good.  She gave me permission to post her recipe and believe me when I say you'll want to mark this one.  Your pies will thank you and so will your dinner guests.

Cristie has modified this recipe from Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook.

Buttery Pastry Dough
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 of cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup of butter-flavored shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
3 tablespoons of sour cream
4 to 5 tablespoons or COLD water (ice water is best)

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl and whisk to blend.  Add the butter, shortening, and sour cream and cut in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles small peas. Sprinkle 3 tablespoon of ice water over, one tablespoon at a time, tossing to blend.  Press down with a rubber spatula until it dough starts to stick together.  Add the additional water, one tablespoon at at time as needed to get the dough come together.  You may need more or less water depending on the humidity (I live in the desert and had to add 6 tablespoons of water).  Do not overwork the dough.  It will be a bit shaggy and loose.  This is how you achieve flaky crust.  You want to see separate pieces of fat in the dough.  Shape the dough into two discs.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let them rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.  This allows the flour to absorb the water and gives the gluten sufficient time to relax.  This makes all the difference when you roll out your dough; it also helps to have the dough chilled.

Lightly flour your rolling surface and rolling pin.  Sprinkle one disc with flour and roll it two-inches larger then the pie or tart pan you are using.  Put the dough in the pan.  Now you can either fill the crust and put the other disc on top and crimp or you can blind bake the un-filled crusts for a cold filling.

Most pies come with instructions for baking.  This dough does best with a high heat (400 degrees) for 10 minutes; lower the heat (350 degrees) for the remaining time called for in your recipe. 

If the crimped edge is browning quicker than the bottom crust, put a ring of aluminum foil around the edge to keep it from browning so quickly.  This is easier to do before putting the pie in the oven.  You can remove the foil toward the end of the baking time to get proper browning on the crimped edge.  *It's hard to put foil on an already hot pie tin.

*Bonnie blind baked her tart crusts by filling them with foil and pie weights and baking for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  She removed the weights and foil and baked at 375 degrees F. for another 10 minutes or so until the crusts were golden brown.


  1. I'm going to try this crust the next time I make pie. I've never done one with sour cream in it, but if you both love it, it has to be great.

  2. Thanks for the pie crust recipe along with the recipes for the tarts...they sound delicious. I like shortcuts so I will also use the pastry cream suggestion.

  3. I've never heard of a pie crust with sour cream, but it makes sense -- the more fat, the merrier. I'd like to try this recipe.


  4. Ooooh, thank you for posting this recipe Bonnie, now I'm intrigued! I'll definitely be trying it!

  5. Hi Bonnie!
    I have the Mitford Cookbook. Thank you for the recipe! I wish pie was calorie free. I'd eat it every day!

  6. I've never made a crust with sour cream. Sounds like something to try next time. Thanks for sharing.