The story behind the pie crust takes me back 2 years ago when I first made Aliyah. Up till then, I relied on store bought pre-made frozen pie crusts to make all my pies and quiches. My husband and I have been invited out for a meal that Shabbat. We offered to contribute a side dish to our gracious hosts. We both had the idea of making Beer Pie for them which required a pie shell. I had the ingredients but I was lacking a base. I’ve been searching high and low through shelves at every store but couldn’t find any. I inquired about pie shells to the staff and apparently they never heard such a thing. Its incredible how an item that’s available in every supermarket in the US can be scarce where I live. I’m sure I could have found some in heavily Anglo populated communities such as Jerusalem and Ra’anana but they probably would cost twice as much. I thought it be more practical to make my own and save myself from the hassle of traveling and overspending on something that’s less than 2 dollars. Thanks to the convenience of the internet, I browsed through recipes, tried them out until I found one that worked. Ice water is a vital component to making a flaky pie crust. The less heat exposure it has, the flakier it will be. That’s why I use a food processor but if you are going to work with your hands, use a fork to break up the margarine and dough. Chilling the dough and the margarine is essential process of making the pie crust which allows the relaxation of the gluten in the flour. So here we go:
- 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 cup of Earth Balance shorting/margarine chilled and cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup of ice water
- In a food processor , combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Pour ice water into flour all at once and blend.
- Place dough on a floury surface and form into 2 balls
- Wrap with plastic and chill in refrigerator for 30 – 45 minutes until firm or freeze for later use.
Roll out each pastry disk on a lightly floured surface. Flour your rolling pin to prevent stickiness. Add a little more flour if the disk should start to crack. Roll out the pastry to fit into a 8-9 inch pie pan. Once you’ve achieved your desired size, lightly roll the pastry around your rolling pin and unroll the dough on top of the pie pan. Dust off any excess flour. Gently lay in pan and with a small floured piece of pastry or with your fingertips, lightly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Flute the edges of the pastry or use the tines of a fork to seal the pastry. If possible, chill the pie crust before filling and baking. The pastry is now ready to use. Yields 2 9 inch pie crusts.