Perfect Flakey Pie Crust Recipe: Nana’s Secret Recipe and Tips!

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Hi. I’m Gloria Donahue. Also known as Nana by my
young adult grandchildren, who have roped me
into doing this. Time will only tell whether I
am a star or a victim of this. I said to my
granddaughter, I hope you’re not gonna make me
look really stupid in this. And she said, no Nana. We’re only filming it. That didn’t give me
a lot of confidence. But we’re moving forward anyway. I’ve cooked for a long
time, especially baking. And I know that
you want to succeed at one of your first
projects, and that’ll encourage you to do better. I’m not an Iron Chef, and
I’m sure you’re not either. And I use recipes
a lot, but this is one of the things
I make that I don’t use a recipe for because
I’ve made it so many times. I’d give credit
to where I got it, because I do very
few original things. But in fact, I’ve been doing
it for so long, I can’t. And I’ve taught
it to many people. But many friends of mine
who cook– even bakers– will say oh no, I
never make pies ’cause I don’t know how
to make pie crust. It is so simple I’ve taught it
to elementary school students. A few simple ingredients, a
few simple tools, and you’ll be able to do it too. This recipe only calls
for regular flour– the flour that you buy at the
store– regular salt, oil– I prefer canola oil and I
think that’s the one you should go for– ice water. That’s your ingredients. All you need is a bowl. I’m only going to
make one pie crust, so I just need a small bowl. I need some measuring spoons–
in this case a tablespoon and a 1/2 teaspoon– a
cup, 1/3 cup, a pie plate. If you’re going to make
pies, you need pie plates. To roll out my crust,
I use wax paper. I don’t use it for
too many other things, but I prefer it for
rolling out pie crust. I don’t need to put
any flour anywhere. I just put the paper down,
the dough, and my rolling pin. You’ll need a rolling pin. Mine is the old– I
keep it in an old paper sleeve– it’s a
regular rolling pin. You may go out and buy one
that has no little ends to it. There are different kinds. And then you need
a flat surface. I didn’t have a great
kitchen all my cooking life. I had a very small kitchen
and not very much level space. I used my kitchen table. You can too. If you don’t have a kitchen
table that’s big enough, use a card table. Anything that’s a
level surface where you can roll something out
and you can do pie crust. It’s only gonna take
me a few minutes. I don’t know why anybody
buys a pre-made pie crust. Because by the time you
open it and get it in, you could make your own. I’m just gonna go into my flour
canister and get my flour. This recipe, I just
put it very lightly. Don’t pack flour
down when you do it. Just bring it up very easily. I’m gonna level it off. My hands were clean, so
I leveled with a finger. Always wash your hands
before you start. And it’s a good thing maybe
to have a knife to level if you’d rather do that. This one pie crust
recipe calls for one cup and two tablespoons of flour. So we’re gonna
get that in there. 1/2 teaspoon of
regular table salt. If you were going
to make a savory pie crust on top of a beef pie
or chicken pie or something, you might want to add a little
parsley or something now, some dried parsley
or some herbs. But I wouldn’t dress
it up too much. I use this pie crust for
almost every pie I make, no matter where the
recipe comes from. So it’s a really good
all-purpose thing. This video is good,
because although I’ve given this recipe
to many people, it’s hard to explain
the next part. Because you put in 1/3 of
a cup of vegetable oil. Canola oil is my preference. And you put it in and you
just stir it with a fork. And maybe it’s 30 stirs. I’m not quite sure how many. That’s probably what I’ll do. And you want to
incorporate it all, but you don’t have
to go crazy about it. Because pie crust does not
really like to be handled. It makes it tough. So it does not
have to be perfect. Take a look at this. See how’s there’s
still a little flour? That’s OK. That’s OK. Now I’m going to add ice water. And here I have it. Just a little cup,
just regular water. Put in some ice cubes to make
sure it was nice and cold. And I’m going to put in two
tablespoons of ice water. Now this is kind
of the tricky part that people don’t understand. ‘Cause I’ll say,
don’t overwork it. First it looks, wow, there’s
way too much water in there. How can that absorb that? That’s gonna be a mess. Well, it really isn’t. It will absorb it. And you don’t have
to work it very much. You don’t have to work it more. Maybe 20 turns,
something like that. But again, don’t overwork it. Don’t worry if it looks a
little marbled, if there’s a little different
color in there. That’s fine. Even when you roll it out,
you’ll find it’ll bake up fine. This makes a very flaky crust. And you’ll notice you don’t
have to chill it ahead of time. Doesn’t take a lot of time. I’m just gonna roll it. See? It’s kind of marbly. That’s OK, because by the
time you got it perfect, you’d probably overwork it. Now this is the
interesting part. Because on the cooking
shows, when they roll it out, I swear it always comes
out nice and round. Mine never comes
out nice and round. I mean, you’ll see,
there’s little bits. You roll out wax paper
big enough for the pan. I put the ball in the middle. If I were doing a two crust,
I would divide it in half and you only do one
crust at a time. I put the other piece
of wax paper on top. And again, it’s nice to have
a nice work space like this so you can move out. Now I’m gonna roll the crust. And I just start from the
middle and roll out and turn it. I don’t measure it. I’m gonna allow the
rolling pin to determine how flat it’s going to be. But you see, it’s
not perfectly round. And it’s not going to
be perfectly round. And that’s OK. And the little creases? That shouldn’t matter. That should pull right
off the wax paper. I wouldn’t worry
about that either. So I just go back and forth. Because what I want to end up
with is a crust that is bigger than my plate enough so that
when I take it out and put it in the pan, I’ll have
enough dough to bring it up and then to make a lip. So that looks like
that’s gonna be fine. I’m just gonna– see? Peeled right off. Now this is a little trickier,
because it may do it perfectly. Or we may have some problems. If we have problems,
we’ll work with it. Sometimes when you go to pull
it back, some of the dough starts to stick from the paper. And so this is
exactly what you do. You just push it away from you. You see, you pull the paper
back, and if some of the dough starts to stick, you
just push it away. Did you ever see
anything so easy? Really, that’s OK. We’ll fix that too. Now what you don’t
ever do in pie crust is stretch it out if it
seems short on your edge. Because as pie crust bakes,
it shrinks up slightly. So if you stretch
this out– you say, oh, I’ll make it a
little bigger– no, because when it bakes,
it will come back. So you want to make
sure you have enough and then you tuck it in. You don’t pull it
up from the bottom. Now, oh look what I had here. I had some of my pie
crust come away from me. I’m not worried,
you can see that. Because this pie
crust is so flexible that what I’m just going to
do is take the piece that came off, I’m just gonna
roll it in my hand. I’m just gonna bring that
back along that crust. And I’m gonna to turn
under the whole thing, not to make it very deep,
but to definitely give it a little lip over that edge. And you’ll see because
it wasn’t perfectly round, I’m gonna have more in
places than I actually need, ’cause I want it
to look consistent. And so I’m going to bring it up. And again, I’m going to roll
if I need a little extra piece. That’s the advantage of
having it plenty big enough to go around the
pan, that you’ll have some extra to work with. Now believe me, even if
you bought a pie crust, you’d still have to do this. I mean, you’d still have
to do something with it. It just doesn’t bake itself. So now I think maybe I want
a little more over here. There are many different
things to do with pie crust. And I’m sure you’ve seen them. But one is to take a fork and
you can go around with a fork and you can just do like this. I’m sure you’ve all seen pies
in stores that are like that. You can do different things. This is what I usually do. I just like a
simple little thing. Your thumb and your
finger coming in, bringing it up along that rim. And this pie is ready
to go in the oven. Now you could chill it a
while, and I do sometimes if I have the time. Because there will
be some shrinkage. It will go in a little. It doesn’t matter. It’s fine. If you’re going to bake
it without filling it, you’re going to
press a fork into it. Because there’s gonna be air
that comes up under that crust, and this allows
the air to escape. When you bake it, you
want to look at it after five or so minutes. Now you’ve heated your
oven to about 425 for this. Put it in a lower rack,
depending on the recipe. If you’re going to bake
what we call blind, which is an empty
pie crust, maybe put a cream filling
or something in it. But again, you put
the holes in it. And about halfway through
the baking, open that door. And if some little bubbles of
pastry have started to rise, you just want to
press them down. They will, when it’s
warm like that in baking. But if you don’t and you take
it out and it is fully baked, whatever little bump you have
is permanently in the pie. So it’s good not to go crazy
about it, but just look at it. And it’s going to be about
10 minutes, depending on your oven. You want it to be brown. You’ll recognize
a done pie crust. I think the next time we’ll
make a Banoffee pie with this.

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