Bill Neal’s Pie Pastry

Bill Neal's Pie Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp lard
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp cold water
  • flour for rolling out dough

Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter and lard into 1/2-inch squares. Add to the flour and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and incorporate the fat into the flour with the fingertips or a blending fork. Work quickly and lightly. All the flour should be cream colored (no longer white) and coarse as cornmeal, but the fat may remain in small pellets. Sprinkle the cold water over and bind, using a fork. Pat the dough together into a cake, wrap airtight in waxed paper or plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out.

For a partially baked pastry shell:

After chilling, roll out dough on a thinly floured surface, form into pan and return to refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove pans from refrigerator and line the pie shell with aluminium foil, pressing gently against the edges so the crust will maintain its edge. Distribute 1 pound of dried beans or rice in the aluminium foil. Bake for 10 minutes on the lowest level of the oven, carefully remove the foil and bake 5 more minutes or until the dough no longer seems raw, but has a light crust. It is now ready for the filling. (The beans or rice may be reused for future crusts by letting them cool and keeping them in a dry container with a lid, such as a coffee can.)

Bill Neal's Southern CookingYield: one 8-ounce pie pastry (single shell)

From: Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking by Bill Neal

Gray: This was an awesome pie crust.  I am getting better at making them, and I even managed to make this one look pretty.  After making this, I really wish I had a set of clay pie weights, but I was able to work it out with our rice collection.  You are probably wondering why this recipe is just the pie crust…  Next week we’ve got something awesome to fill it with.  Stay tuned!

Katie: We’ve been making our own pie crusts for quite some time now, because every crust we have made from scratch has been so much better than any store bought crust we have used. The pie crusts we’ve made haven’t been super complicated, and the more we make, the better we have gotten at making them. Both of us have practiced on different pies, and I think even though we’ve made different recipes, that the general process and the feel of the dough is usually very similar. I think a homemade crust is well worth the extra effort, and if you’re going to the trouble to make a homemade pie, why put it in anything except a homemade crust! As Gray said, we’ll be sharing a delicious pie recipe next week!

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