How to Make a Single Crust Pie

As with most things in cooking, success with pie crusts depends on being organized, having the exact ingredients called for, careful measuring, and a few skills. Here are some basic tips that should help you master the art of making pie crusts:

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  • If the dough is sticky and difficult to handle, refrigerate it until firm. The easiest way to roll out pastry dough without sticking is to use a rolling pin cover and pastry cloth. Lightly flour the covered rolling pin and pastry cloth before using.

  • Handle the dough quickly and lightly. A tough pie crust is often the result of too much flour worked into the dough or over-handling.

  • Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough, as this will cause it to shrink during baking.

Single Crust Pie

Single crust pies are pies that have only a crust on the bottom. Though the exact measurements may vary slightly and there may be a surprise ingredient slipped in now and then, single pie crust recipes are all pretty much the same. Just follow these easy steps.
  1. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening using pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture forms pea-sized pieces.

    Use a pastry blender to cut in shortening when making single crust pie pastries.
    Use a pastry blender to
    cut in the shortening.
  2. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Toss with fork until mixture holds together. Press together to form a ball.

    Toss with a fork until the mixture holds together when making pastry.
    Toss with a fork until the
    mixture holds together.
  3. Press dough between hands to form 5- to 6-inch disk.

  4. Lightly flour surface and rolling pin. Roll dough in short strokes, starting in middle of disk and rolling out toward edge. Rotate dough 1/4 turn to right. Sprinkle more flour under dough and on rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Continue to roll and rotate dough 2 to 3 more times.

  5. Roll dough into circle 1/8-inch thick and at least 1 inch larger than inverted pie plate.

    Roll dough larger than inverted pie plate when making single crust pie pastries.
    Roll dough larger than inverted pie plate.
  6. Place rolling pin on 1 side of dough. Gently roll dough over rolling pin once.

    Roll dough over rolling pin when making single crust pastries.
    Roll dough over the rolling pin.
  7. Carefully lift rolling pin and dough. Unroll dough over pie plate. Ease dough into pie plate with fingertips. Do not stretch dough.

    Ease dough into pie plate when making single crust pastries.
    Carefully unroll dough over pie plate.
  8. Trim crust, leaving 1/2-inch overhang; fold overhang under. Flute edge of crust as desired.

  9. To flute pie into a special, sunburst effect, press the edge of the crust flat. Cut slits around edge of crust at 1-inch intervals, cutting in toward center about 1/2 inch.

    Cut slits in the crust edges when making single crust pastries.
    Cut slits around the edge of the crust.
  10. Fold dough flap under on a diagonal at each slit to form a point.

    Fold at slits to make a point when making single crust pastries.
    Fold at the slits to form a point.
  11. Cover pie crust with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to allow dough to relax.

  12. To blind-bake crust, pierce crust with fork at 1/4-inch intervals, about 40 times.

  13. Cut a square of foil about 4 inches larger than pie plate. Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or ceramic pie weights.

    Fill foil-lined crust with dried beans when making single crust pastries.
    Fill foil-lined crust with dried beans.
  14. Bake in a 425°F oven for 10 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. Gently remove foil lining and beans. Return crust to oven and bake 5 minutes or until very light brown. Cool crust completely on a wire rack before filling and finishing the pie according to recipe directions.

    Bake until crust is a very light brown when making single crust pastries.
    Bake until crust is a very light brown.

Learn about double crust pies in the next section.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Pie Recipes: From fruit to cream, the variety of pie recipes in our collection is sure to make your mouth water. Find the one (or several) you're looking for here.
  • How to Make Pastries: Pastry dough can be temperamental to work with, to say the least. Find tips on how to work with it and make delicious pastries only at HowStuffWorks.
  • How to Bake a Cake: Find basic instructions and definitions that will help you bake a cake in this article. You'll learn about everything from selecting the proper baking pan to cooling and frosting a finished cake.
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.