Kimberly Quintal Recipe

My Mom's Flaky Pie Crust

By Kimberly Quintal KQuintal

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Kimberly's Story

It doesn't matter where my mom takes one of her pies, she receives compliments on her light flaky pie crusts. You never see the crust still sitting on the plate when someone eats a slice of her pie!

This is a versatile crust recipe and can be used for more than just pies. Plenty of appetizers start with a crust too!

When I was learning how to make crust, I would practice with mom's recipe, roll it out, cut the dough into 2-3 inch wide strips, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar, bake and eat, YUM!


2 c
all purpose flour
1 c
crisco shortening (or butter flavor shortening if you prefer)
1/4 to 1/2 c
cold milk or cream or half n half (if using the crust for something like chicken pot pie you can use stock/broth for the liquid)
1 tsp
1 tsp
i have added lemon zest when making a lemon pie and have also added cinamon when making an apple pie. you can play with flavor add-ins like that!

Directions Step-By-Step

Pour 2 cups flour into a mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and stir. Add 1 cup shortening. With pastry cutter, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles sand.
Add 1/4 cup of milk at first. Sometimes you will use the full 1/2 cup of milk and sometimes not depending on time of year and humidity, etc. With a large fork (I like to use a large serving fork for example) stir until it "comes together" and STOP! Over mixing is what causes a tough dough. With floured hands, form a dough ball then flatten a bit into a "disc". Wrap in plastic wrap and set in fridge for about 20-30 minutes to rest and allow the dough to relax, making it easier to roll.
During the last 10 minutes of resting, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. When ready, on a well floured surface (you can use less flour if you have one of those pastry discs with a pastry cover on it) roll dough out to whatever shape you need it for the pan or pie plate you are using. "Dock" the crust (poke holes in it with a fork, toothpick or other utensil to make small steam release holes) before baking, usually bakes for about 25 minutes if you are using for a no-bake pie filling to add in afterwards. For crusts that bake with the filling, follow your recipe's instructions.
This recipe makes enough dough for a double crust pie but I love crust so much that I sometimes use 3/4 of the dough for a thicker crust then roll out the remaining dough, cut into strips and sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar and bake, making YUMMY treats!
Why not butter? Butter gives good flavor but makes crust hard/crunchy not light & flaky. Shortening really is the key. I've known people to combine both like: 3/4 shortening to 1/4 butter but I stick with mom's success! I suppose butter flavor shortening would work.

About this Recipe

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Straw's Kitchen CinCooks
Jul 13, 2014
I tried this recipe and say it's Family Tested & Approved!
Kimberly Quintal KQuintal
Jul 4, 2013
I have found that using half and half or even heavy cream works best, even better than milk. Due to the completely different protein make up of other "fake" milk products, I don't believe they would work as well in creating the overall light and flaky crust. I would say experiment at your own risk and don't blame the recipe if using one of these more watery substitutions doesn't work. While the recipe will work and I have tried it with chicken stock, and it is still good, it is not as tender as when the liquid used is a dairy product.

I find the crust to be plenty sweet keeping the original measurements and with the fillings that usually go into a pie being sweet, the extra sugar really not needed.

Thankfully, the recipe I posted was only for the crust and mentions to follow your recipes instructions for the rest of the pie but my mother may have misunderstood the posting as being for an apple pie. She does make one of the best apple pies though so it's good advice to follow. (Maybe she'll be willing to post her apple pie recipe=o) from her own JAP kitchen and she can give more advice or elaborations there!)
Noreen Quintal greekladybug
May 1, 2013
This is Kimberly's Mom. I just wanted to add that when I bake an apple pie (2 crust pie) I don't dock the crust and use a glass pie plate. It helps to make the bottom crust brown and not soggy. I must say that my daughter has mastered the pie crust beyond my abilities, and that may be because I don't mix it to the "sand" stage, as I get mine to the "cake crumb" stage and then add the liquid. I have found that if you want a sweeter crust, I increase to one tablespoon of sugar. I use 1/2 tsp salt because of "my" salt sensitivity. The recipe is forgiving for these slight variations, so you can experiment within reason. If I don't have fresh milk on hand, canned milk mixed 1/2 with water works. Or, now that I only use almond milk (or coconut milk, soy milk, hemp milk, etc.), also works. I have used water when desperate, but milk is the key, flavorwise and texturewise.
Kimberly Quintal KQuintal
Mar 3, 2013
I've never tried doing that but I sure will in the future! That sounds so delicious!
Billie Neal WildExpectation
Jan 21, 2013
We did the same thing with the left over crusts also! We rolled it out, buttered, added cinnamon and sugar, then we rolled it like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls and would cut pieces about 1/2" thick and bake until golden brown!! If you added enough butter it would bubble at the top with the cinnamon and sugar, and the bottom would be crusty and wonderful!!! Oh, the memories!!! Thanks for that trip down memory lane!!!!