I've experimented with dozens of pie crust recipes over the years. My tried and true method consists of both butter (for flavor) and shortening (for flakiness) for a delicious and tender crust. However, it does take practice and a sure-hand, and even then you're not guaranteed perfect results. I've had years to refine my methods and making pie crust is second-nature to me but I was intrigued when I came across a recipe that was as simple as pour, stir, and roll. I collect old cookbooks so it wasn't the first time I'd heard of an oil-based crust but it was the first time I was tempted to try it. I didn't think it could possibly compete with traditional crust methods, but the idea of simply "stir and roll" was just too tempting to pass up. The results were mind-boggling; the crust turned out both tasty and flaky. Far from perfect there were downsides, the dough can be difficult to rollout and handle. It wasn't easy to keep in one piece as it kept breaking off. However, it was easily fixed by pressing bits of the dough into the pastry to cover holes in the pan, which you can't really do with traditional crusts, lest over-handle the dough. Also, there was the oiliness. But overall, it's an easy and quick pie crust recipe that doesn't require expensive ingredients, a lot of elbow grease, or rest period for the dough before rolling out. I'd definitely use it for single crust pie recipes.
Stir and Roll Single Pie Crust
(makes one 9" crust)
1 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt (adjusted, original recipe called for 1 tsp)
3/8 c. (1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp) Wesson Oil
3 Tbsp cold whole milk
- FOR PAR-BAKED CRUST: Preheat oven to 475º F, a very hot oven.
- In a bowl, start by sifting the flour twice. Whisk in the salt and create a little well in the flour mixture.
- Pour oil and milk into one measuring cup, but do not stir. Pour into the well of the flour mixture; mix with fork until cleans side of bowl.
- Finish by gently kneading the dough together into ball, flatten slightly, and place between two pieces of wax paper. Roll out gently until circle reaches edges of paper.
- Peel off top paper, then pick up pastry and bottom paper by one edge (they will cling together). Place, paper-side up, over pie pan. Then loosen pastry at edges and carefully peel off paper. Ease pastry snugly into place. Finish edge as desired.
- FOR PAR-BAKED CRUST: prick bottom and side thoroughly with fork. Bake on lower rack in pre-heated oven 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.
(makes two 9" crusts)
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (adjusted, original called for 1 1/2 tsp)
1/2 c. Wesson oil
1/4 c. cold whole milk
- Follow single crust directions for mixing. Round up dough. Divide in half, flatten slightly.
- Roll out halves between pieces of waxed paper (as above).
- Line pie pan with bottom crust, fill, cover with top crust.
- Seal by pressing edges gently with fork, or fluting.
- Snip 3 or 4 small slits near center.
- Bake pies, such as apple, in pre-heated hot oven, 425º F, for 40-45 minutes.