The best Pastry Ever
This is the best pastry ever and I have tried a few. It is simple to make and always yields tender, flaky pastry that is good in many recipes, sweet or savory. I make tourtiere every Christmas Eve and this is the tried and true crust that I and many of my family make. It’s great for sweet desserts, like pies and tarts. it is also the recipe I use for my butter tarts, you can find the recipe for my butter tarts here. They are a Canadian Classic that can’t be beat!
This pastry tastes just like one your grandma might have made, it is truly very flaky and tender. I use it for savory pies like my tourtiere and chicken pot pies as well as for sweets like pumpkin pies or butter tarts.
Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the thought of homemade pastry. It’s not difficult. Once you make it you will realize that it comes together quite quickly and certainly in less time than having to run to the grocery store for pre made pastry. I don’t know about you but I have bought pre made pastry and I have found ones that are a good substitute in a pinch, however I have also found ones that taste like cardboard. I find the ones that are rolled up in the refrigerator section at the grocery store are not tasty at all.
If you have the time and ingredients on hand I suggest making your own, give it a try. You will end up with a far more tender pastry and likely have leftover pastry that you can use in another recipe or freeze for later use.
This is a pretty traditional shortening only pie crust recipe. It’s the one my mother used and it’s the one I continue to use. It’s pretty basic and doesn’t have any unusual ingredients.
All purpose flour
The best pastry
- 5 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp fine salt
- 1 lb lard or shortening of choice
- 1 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 1 Egg
- Ice cold water
- Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl
- Using a pastry cutter or two knives, add lard/shortening and cut in until the lard is the size of peas in the flour
- In a 1 cup measuring cup, add the egg and vinegar and mix, then add enough cold water to make 1 cup
- Gradually add the water, egg, vinegar mixture to the flour mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon. Add only enough to make the dough hold together otherwise it will be tough
- Gather the dough into a ball and divide it into 6 equal portions, then wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes before rolling out.
- When you are ready to use the pastry and it has chilled for the minimum amount of time, roll out each portion on a lightly floured surface. (Note* if the dough is sticking, chill it a bit longer)
- Once rolled into your circle, transfer to your pie plate. I find that if I roll the dough up onto my rolling pin at least half way it transfers better.
- Fill your pie shells then flute the edge and bake according to your recipe. If making a double crust pie, then fill and top with second crust and crimp the edges so the contents don't leak out. Vent the top crust to allow steam to escape. Then bake according to your directions.