Vinegar Pie Crust

The vinegar in this crust is a flavorless stabilizer, making the dough more forgiving and patchable. In addition to being easy to work with, it also tastes great—even butter-loving pastry fans enjoy the flavor.–Mollie Cox Bryan

LC What To Put In the Pie Crust Note

Any pie filling, of course, although you may wish to try the Peach Pie, which comes from the same charming collection of recipes as this tender, flaky crust.

Vinegar Pie Crust Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes two 9 or 10-inch crusts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Directions

  • 1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or, if you must, your fingertips until it is the size of small peas. Using a fork to lightly mix the ingredients, add the vinegar, egg, and just enough ice water to moisten the dry ingredients, being sure to add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be sticky.
  • 2. Divide the dough in half, form it into 2 equal-size balls, then flatten each ball into a disk. Roll out the crusts right away or wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to bake a pie, on a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch, fit it into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate, and proceed according to your pie recipe.
  • 3. To bake an empty crust, preheat the oven to 400°F. Press 1 rolled-out crust into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Line with parchment paper and weigh the crust down with dry beans or pie weights to keep the crust from bubbling or shrinking. To parbake the pie crust, bake for 10 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. To prebake the crust, remove it from the oven after 10 to 20 minutes, when you first see a golden hue to the crust.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Karen Depp

Jun 11, 2010

The Vinegar Pie Crust recipe is a TC for all the right reasons. Now if this tester could only get her act together and learn how to roll a pie crust, it would be mind-bending! The recipe is uncomplicated, straight-forward, and makes one sticky dough. Never mind what it looks like or how it behaves—when it came to the finished bake-off, my tasters were licking their plates, and the pie plates, too. I used this for a from-scratch banana cream pie for a Father’s Day Treat. I only used 1 tablespoon of the ice water, and even that made a really wet, sticky dough. But after baking, who really could remember all of that when faced with the flakiest, most delicate, delicious pie crust this side of a spatula? Certainly not us, and we give it a TC+.

Testers Choice
Julie Dreyfoos

Jun 11, 2010

Pie crusts are always my least favorite thing to make, but this one was easy as pie! What I really liked is that I could either use it right after making it, or put it in the fridge. I put it in the fridge for a few hours and was concerned that when I was ready to roll it out, it would be too stiff to roll. But this was not the case. This dough is fairly moist, so you can use a good amount of flour to keep everything from sticking without drying it out. I used this with the Peach Pie recipe and it was a hit all around. Brushing with the butter right out of the oven really helps to keep this a flaky, moist pie.

Comments
Comments
  1. Jessica says:

    I have seen a similar pie crust in an old Southern church cookbook. I love how the dough is so easy to work with. I’ve used butter-flavored Crisco before and it works well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Many thanks, Jessica. Appreciate your suggestion. The vinegar trick is an old one but a good one…anyone else have any other tricks or tactics they find particularly useful when it comes to vinegar pie crust?

      • Morgan Pickering says:

        Patch the crust into the pan with your hands, It is much easier than rolling it out. But when it comes to the cover, just do your best with flour and a spatula.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

          Love that approach, Morgan. I’m all about the rustic look when it comes to pie crust…

  2. Allison Parker says:

    I used this crust for the peach pie that’s linked here (also a winner). I definitely echo the comments already made: a simple crust that’s light, flaky, and fabulous. Like Karen, I added only 1 Tablespoon of ice water to my crust recipe and was afraid it was instantly too moist. I was nervous about all the flour I used to compensate while rolling it out so that it didn’t stick, but I needn’t have worried, it seems. To prevent sticking, I also rolled on a sheet of parchment paper, which had the added benefit of helping me flip the top crust over the pie without drama or disaster. Definitely this is a keeper in my repertoire of pastry crusts.

  3. Replace the vegetable shortening with lard and you will really have it going on!

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