Many years ago I received a very special gift from my Grandma. At the time, however, I didn't realize just how special it was.
It was a recipe, written out in her handwriting, on a crisp white recipe card, placed inside a brand new pie plate. I thanked her, but didn't think much of it. However, the first time I tried to make pastry and failed, I remembered that recipe card with this No Fail Pie Crust recipe written on it.
If you've ever tried to make pastry before and failed, I'm here to make your day! You CANNOT fail with this never fail pie crust- it is foolproof. I was blown away the first time I made it and it turned out perfect, even though I was an extremely novice baker. Since then, I have made this recipe many times and it NEVER fails! I use it for both pie and tarts.
💭 The SECRET to Flaky Pie Crust
My Grandma was a master pie maker and her secret was this recipe. This recipe makes such a tender, never fail flaky pie crust that it literally melts in your mouth! The trick to making no fail pastry is simply using very cold water, as it helps to keep the fat cold so it does not melt. If the fat ends up melting before it makes it to the oven, it's absorbed into the flour and any chance of producing a flaky pie crust is lost. The cold water serves as a barrier and in turn, produces a beautiful, tender and flaky crust. You can read more about the why using cold water makes for tender and flaky pie crust HERE.
Besides very cold water, you will also need:
- baking powder
- brown sugar
👪 Serving size
Also known as "Never Fail Pie Crust" this recipe is not only a VERY EASY pie crust, it's versatile and makes a wonderful single or double crust pie or single or double tart shells. This recipe makes 5 pie crusts and although you may not need it all, it freezes well.
You can store this crust in the fridge for 1 day (as it contains raw egg) but you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Freeze it in a ball or disc shape, in a Ziplock freezer bag (with the air pushed out) for up to 3 months. You can also roll it out, put it into an aluminum pie plate, put it inside a large Ziplock freezer bag and freeze it that way. *When you go to use it, be sure it's completely thawed out (in refrigerator) and roll out, according to directions.
So, if you've ever wanted to make your own pie crust, but lacked the confidence, then try this easy recipe. Trust me -you will never fail!
If you want a simple, yet nice looking technique for pie crust, this video shows you how to crimp a pie crust with a fork:
💭 Top tip
If it tears a little, just push the tear together, once it's in the pan, then take a little warm water on the tip of your finger and gently rub it on the tear (it acts as a glue) You can use this repair method as much as you need to.
I am so fortunate that I still have my Grandma - she is now 93 years old. And although she no longer bakes her amazing pies, because I have this recipe, I can. Like her, I am now a master pie maker. And when the time comes for me to hand this recipe over to my future grandchildren, they'll probably file it away, just like I did. But one thing I know for sure, is that one day they will appreciate this recipe for No Fail Pie Crust and realize it was one of the best gifts they ever received.
This pie crust goes with pretty much any pie or tart fillings, but here are a few recommendations:
Did you make this recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below!
🥧 No Fail Pie Crust (Cold Water Pastry) Recipe
- 5 cups all- purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 lb shortening (2.21 cups) * I use Crisco or Tenderflake * or you can use lard
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 whole whole egg
- ¾ cup cold water
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter. Mix well.
- In a small bowl, beat together vinegar, egg and cold water.
- Add dry flour mixture to wet mixture and mix together until it forms small balls.
- Mix well until you can form it into a large ball. * Don't be afraid to really get in there with your hands! If it feels gooey, add a little more flour. Add only 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it no longer feels gooey or wet. You don't want it too dry, as it won't roll out properly (and you will have additional flour on the board - be very careful not to use too much flour!)
- Roll it out onto a lightly floured surface to about a ¼ of an inch thick. If you are are making pie, then lay your pie plate upside down on the dough. Do the same with tarts, using the aluminum tart plates.
- Cut out a circle around it, leaving yourself additional space -at least an inch or two. * You will trim the pie shell later (once it's in the pie plate).
- Spray your pie plate with non- stick cooking spray, flip over the pie plate, then gently pick up the crust and place it in the pie plate. *Some people like to use a rolling pin to transfer it to the pie plate (as in the video in my notes), but I do not use that method. * See NOTES on rips/tears
- Trim the pie once the filling is in and you have put the 2nd pie crust on top, if you are doing a double crust pie. I trim a little, then use a fork to press the ends down (see Video on how to crimp a pie crust with a fork in NOTES), then trim a little more if I need to. * I prefer to use kitchen shears to trim at this stage, as it gives you more control. Add some venting slits by cutting small triangles into the pie with a small paring knife.
- Bake as per instructions for the pie recipe you are making (they usually require 30-40 minutes, the first 10 minutes at 400 degrees F and the remainder of the time at 350 degrees F). If you are baking tarts, it's about half the time.