Use butter and roll your own pie crust to create a classic comfort food. The crust I use works great for a savory quiche as well as desserts. Few modern cookbook recipes contain the ingredients I use. It’s an old midwestern prairie recipe similar to what I’ve seen in an Amish cookbook. The unique ingredients are vinegar and egg. They combine to create a dough that is easier to roll than any other. The recipe is coming, but first a warning: the aroma of this recipe baking with any savory or sweet filling will tempt friends who are vegan, paleo, or gluten free to compromise.
Ingredients – Makes 8 crusts and can be frozen.
5 sticks butter – 2 1/2 cups
5 – 6 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
Remove butter from fridge 30 to 40 minutes before starting. Combine butter, 5 cups of the flour, salt, and baking powder with a sturdy pastry blender or by hand. When pea sized crumbs have formed, stop blending. In a one cup measure, beat egg and vinegar, then fill to one cup with cold water. Pour into crumb mix and mix by hand. Add flour in 1/4 cup increments until dough is just combined and no longer sticky. Form into a ball. Divide by halving until 8 tennis ball sized pieces are formed. Freeze any extra for another day. Each tennis ball sized piece can be rolled into one 9 inch crust. Roll on a floured surface. Add your chosen filling. This crust deserves better than canned fruit fillings. If doing a double crust fruit pie, make it attractive. Brush top with milk, buttermilk, or egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Cut a few vent slits. Follow a recipe for baking.
This results in a flaky, buttery crust. Modern pie recipes use chilled fat to get flakiness. They work but are more more difficult to roll. Cold fat is stiff. This recipe produces a flaky crust with less effort. Baker’s who made great crusts before refrigeration commonly used vinegar and egg. Roll your own classic.