For those who fear a traditional short-crust pie crust — or who just plain ‘ol love cookies — a crumb crust is a very easy, low-stress way to go. All you need are some crumbs, a little butter and a pinch of salt and you’re on your way. Here I’m doing a graham cracker crust. I put my crackers, the sugar and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor…
Crumb crusts are great for citrus curd pies: key lime, lemon meringue, orange cream, that sort of thing. Graham cracker crusts are probably the most popular crumb crust, but you can also make terrific pie crusts out of vanilla wafers, gingersnaps and other kinds of simple cookies.
The Brits make several kinds of pie crusts, all of them wetter than American-style pie crusts (though they sometimes make those too). This one is sometimes called a “hot water” crust — though “hot fat” is more accurate — and is specifically for meat pies. It contains:
7 ounces leaf lard, rendered
2 ounces water
2 ounces milk
17 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
This pie crust isn’t as perfect as oh, say, the Perfect Pie Crust on the site, but then sometimes being perfect takes a little too much time and energy. This recipe is time-tested, and when done well rivals even a “perfect” crust for that elusive combination of tenderness and flakiness that pie lovers live for.
I’ve received lots and lots and lots of requests for a pie crust that’s simpler than the one that’s currently on the site. This is an excellent standard pie crust that comes together quickly. Of course it still needs lots of resting, both after it’s made and whenever it’s shaped, to ensure it doesn’t shrink up during baking. This recipe makes enough for a double crust pie. If you’re making an open-topped pie, that’s fine. Just freeze the remainder for next time! Talk about pie the easy way.
13 ounces (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold butter
5.5 ounces (11 tablespoons) cold vegetable shortening or lard
4-5 tablespoons ice water
I can already see the list of emails in my in box complaining about the complexity of this technique. Pie dough, at least for most people, should be a simple operation. All I can say is, first, that it’s really not all that complicated, and second, that this is the method that gives me the […]