Now, I sense that some people are a bit intimidated to make a pie crust from scratch. It is not hard, and even though I have been baking since I was a little girl, I am a messy baker -and sort of 'casual'. I was going to copy word for word the pie recipe directions from Joy of Cooking,but am going to do it very simply here. True gourmet bakers might cringe at some of my directions - but the point of Pino's Pies is to have fun, enjoy baking experience, and share it with another. The woman at the elder care facility will remember your time to visit her, not if the crust was flaky or not.
Pino's Favorite Pie Crust for Any Skill Level
adapted by me who got it from my mother who got it from Joy of Cooking
2.5 cups of flour [we like King Arthur's - Pino likes the name "King"]
2 sticks of butter COLD [very important][1 cup]
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tespoon sugar
8 T + chilled water
1] I use the Kitchen Aid, but within reason. Put in 1/2 of the flour with all the butter, mix until just crumbled. Add remaining flour, do a quick mix, you still want to see butter chuncks!
2] Add in water a bit at a time, maybe in 3 parts, mixing each time -you don't need to turn the mixer on and mix it for a long time, just until the bread begins forming ball dough then stop.
3] Chill one hour minimum. You can freeze the ball at this time too, or, fridge for 5 days. I usually use mine within 2 days or so if they are in fridge.Let sit out for about 30 minutes before rolling.
4] Flour your rolling surface, flour your rolling pin, and take the ball of dough, put it on surface, and pat it down a bit. If you can keep patting it with one hand, then use your other to form a circle, so the shape stays like a circle. Then roll it out., about 1/4 " thick. I scoop it up with a spatula, and quickly lift it into the pie dish [which you buttered]. Pat it in, trim edges with a knife, and then I scallop it. Just play with your edges, it's all dough!
5] You can make a lattice with remaining pie scraps, and I love to make messy lattice work..So much fun...
6] BUT don't forget to save some of the dough bits to make PIE CRUST COOKIES sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Pino's favorite.