1. You should make more pies. Start here.
Your pie won’t be bad. Even if it’s ugly or slumpy, the filling too runny or too stiff, the crust too tough or too crumbly — if you made it yourself, there’s really no way it won’t taste good. PROMISE.
If you’re still not convinced that this deliciousness lies within your power, here’s a step-by-step guide to making a flaky crust that you can fill with any fruit you like. Really. (Any fruit!)
Ready? LET’S ROLL.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (if the idea of shortening scares you, use another fat like butter or lard)
About 6 tablespoons ice water
3. First, measure your flour.
And this is important: before you measure, stir the flour to fluff it up, then scoop.
5. Put this into a bowl, along with the salt and sugar. Easy, right?
7. Cut it into the flour using a fork.
If you have a pastry blender, you are allowed to use it here — but all you really need is a fork.
8. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time.
While you do this, keep stirring and fluffing with the fork; this will help incorporate the water, and your dough will come together faster and more evenly.
9. Keep fluffing, and it will start to look like dough (!)
At this stage, you will be excited. But don’t get too aggressive with your stirring, or gluten will develop and the dough will toughen. And then nobody will want to eat your pie.
10. Stop stirring when you can do this.
It should hold together in a ball without crumbling to bits.
11. This dough doesn’t even have to rest. Which means: rolling time.
Sprinkle your surface with an ample amount of flour, and then call in plastic wrap for some back-up.
12. Separate the dough into 2 unequal pieces.
Then, fit the larger half (this will be the bottom) between 2 well-floured squares of plastic wrap. You’re going for a plastic wrap pastry sandwich.
13. Roll! Like you mean it.
Roll out from the center, working your way around the circle, to keep it even.
14. When your pie plate fits over the dough, stop.
Once the dough is an inch or so wider than the pie pan and evenly about 1/8th-inch thick, you’re good.
15. Then transfer to the pie pan.
Either slump it over the rolling pin (this is a classy but somewhat dangerous maneuver) or move it using the plastic wrap.
16. Center it.
If you miss the mark, just gently shift it into place. It’ll be okay. Try not to stretch the dough, just guide it. Then send it to the freezer while you make your filling.
18. Trim the edges of the dough.
If you want to be super resourceful, save the scraps and make a mini galette.
22. Be fancy and crimp the edges.
You can totally just fold under the edges, though, or crimp with a fork — your pie will be just as good.
23. Cut a few vents to let the steam escape, and slide it into the oven.
24. Wait patiently for about 45 minutes, and then you’ll get to eat this.
All of it, if you want.
For this rhubarb filling recipe, and to save and print the pie crust recipe, go to Food52.