For several years, I rolled my pie crusts out, just the way the recipes say to do–and got frustrated when they would break as I was transferring them to the pan. Eventually, I realized that, if you’re only making a single-crust pie– that is, one that doesn’t have a second crust for a “hat”–there’s no need to roll: no need to dirty a work surface or a rolling pin or worry about breakage. Just press that dough directly into the pan, and voilà! A very handy way to do things if you’re only making one or two pies this holiday season. And here’s the recipe!
Makes a single crust for a 9″ pie.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1-1/4 C. flour, 1/2 tsp. sugar (if it’s a dessert pie), and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add 1/2 C. shortening, chilled butter, or any combination thereof. Cut in with a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, until the largest pieces are pea-sized. Drizzle 2 Tbsp. of water over the mixture, and work them in with your fingers. The dough should now stick together, and the sides of the bowl should be basically clean.
Press into an ungreased 9″ pie pan. (There’s no need to grease the pan since there’s already so much fat in the dough.) Be sure to bring the dough up to the horizontal lip of the pan and press the edge in a decorative way. You can use your thumb and index finger to make a rope-like border or press a pattern in with a fork or spoon.
Fill with your favorite filling and bake according to recipe instructions! (No pre-baking of the crust is required for most recipes. Should you need to pre-bake it, however, prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork and bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes.)