When I was a teenager I used to spend quite a bit of time with a wonderful 70+ year-old woman named Irene. She is an excellent baker and cook, and she told me that her favorite pie crust recipe had some “secret” ingredients. When I questioned further, she revealed the secrets to me (she’s not good at keeping secrets, it would seem) eggs and vinegar! So when I came across this pie crust recipe, I kept it, and it always turns out excellent, or at the very least (when I make it all wrong) good.
Vinegar Pie Crust
Time: 25 minutes, plus chilling
Yield: 4- 9″ crusts, or 5- 8″ crusts
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, or 2 a-p and 2 whole wheat
- 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) just soft enough to cut with a pastry blender
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter in with a
pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If you do not have a pastry blender, you can use a large fork, or 2 knives cutting across each other, or even your fingers. Make a “well” in the center of the flour and set it aside.
In a small bowl beat the egg slightly and add the vinegar and 1/2 cup water, mixing them together.
Combine the egg mixture into the flour mixture until it’s evenly moist. I like to sort of toss the moistened lumps in the dry flour to evenly moisten everything, but however you do it, try to be gentle and do not over stir it. The less handling, the better. If you need to add more water to make things stick together a little more, add it about 1 tablespoon at a time and mix it gently.
Mold it into a ball and chill it covered for 15 minutes, or until it is evenly cold throughout. I have the best results if I make my dough ahead, freeze it, and thaw it the day before I will need to use it. If freezing, I recommend cutting it into the number of sections you will be using (I usually do 2, since I generally make 9″ double-crust pies when I bake pie) and freezing them in quart or gallon freezer bags.
Roll out and bake as instructed in your pie recipe.