Here is a recipe I have been using about a year & have no problems whatsoever.
PIE CRUST yields 2 nine inch pie shells
2 cups AP flour or 256 grams
1 tsp salt (I use sea salt or kosher, never table salt) fine grind
1/3 cup shortening (or lard) 76 grams (Crisco shortening sticks are so handy) put in fridge to get cold
1/3 cup unsalted butter 76 grams - cold
1/2 cup ice water 4 oz (this is approximate)
Mix flour & salt in a bowl. Cut butter & shortening into cubes on top of the flour. At this point you need to work quickly because the heat of your hands will start to melt the shortening/butter.
Toss butter/shortening lightly with both hands, so all cubes are coated with flour. Then I get the pastry blender to start mashing the butter mixture in, stopping every once in a while to clean off pastry blender & then tossing all ingredients to get every thing blended. You can use a fork or even your fingers to pinch the shortening into pea sized pieces. Just keep tossing & blending for about 3 turns. When things look pretty evenly distributed & there are visible small lumps, stop tossing.
Make a well in center, pour about 2 tablespoons of cold water in center & start stirring with large spoon from center out until water disappears.Toss the dough lightly & make another rough center & add water & toss again. Each time, kinda gather up the dough & see if it wants to hold together. Once it does, gently gather up everything into a lump & press into a disk & place in plastic wrap & put in fridge or freezer for about 15-20 minutes. You may need less water than called for, or you may need more to get it to start coming to come together.
Sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. Key here is technique, gentle & swift handling of dough, getting ingredients incorporated throughout flour & having visible lumps of butter/shortening. I just kinda pretend I am in a big hurry to get this done & it works wonderfully.
After 30 years of struggling with pie crusts, I went to a cooking class & this is what we learned. So glad I went.Have had success every time & I get compliments on my pie crusts.
I get a large sheet of freezer paper & tape it down with duct tape (shiny side up) to my table for rolling out the dough. Sprinkle flour on the surface & also on your rolling pin. The freezer paper is kinda a non stick surface & makes clean up a snap.
You will have success too!!!
Bless You! :-) This recipe seems like it should work everytime!...My Husband is from the South and his Mom (since passed) made such wonderful Pies and I would Love to get even close to hers...I think this will do it...As you say, it's all in the handling...
Wish me Luck! :-)
A BIG THANKS...
I've been using the simplest ratio for a few years now and it always turns out well. 1 cup flour, 1 stick unsalted butter, 1/2 tsp salt per pie crust. Use ice water as needed to get the "peas" to form. Try to keep the butter as cold as possible - take it straight from the fridge, slice it, then put back in the fridge if necessary.
If you have a food processor, this is the simplest thing in the world to make.
THANK YOU EVERYONE! What you say makes sense...I have only tried to make pie crust a few tmes but never had such a four taste...Here is the recipe I followed from Country Home Magazine:
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Butter, cut up
2 tsp Granualated Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
For Food Processor:
Cover and process with on/off turns until mixtues resembles corneal with a few larger pieces
with processor running quickly add 1/3 cup cold water
stop processor when all water added
process with 2 on/off turns
remove, shape into ball and chill
*I chilled over night and the dough was too hard to roll so I let it soften at room temperature
** I also noticed I baked it for 60 mins thinking it was done when the recipe called for 40 min then remove crust cover and bake an additional 30 mins
***I used flour I have had for several months (sorry, neglected to say that at first :->)
Maybe you should weigh the flour next time instead of measuring it. Each cup of measured flour can vary by several ounces, particularly if you use the dip and sweep method, or pack it into the cup. I use King Arthur Flour, so I rely on this chart. There are many out there, and there is probably one for the flour you use.
We need to know more, e.g. recipe, ingredients, technique, etc.
But just based on what you told us thus far, my guesses would be one or all of the following:
* Too much flour, which can be caused by too much humidity causing the flour to pack more densely. Or too little humidity, if you measure by weight.
* Improper blending, leaving flour streaks. Did you scrape down the bowl?
* Underbaking. If your thermostat is whacked, your crust could set before the flour cooked properly.