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How much flour do I put in my Grandmother's pie crust recipe?

I am trying to make my grandmother's apple pie recipe and need to make the crust this afternoon. I would love any help you can give me. The recipe has a horrible spot right over the measurement for the flour and I don't know how many cups I am suppose to add. I guess she always knew and never put wrote it in. Based on the way it is written out, I know that I need more than one cup, and that the measurement is in whole cups. But I don't know if I need 2, 3, 4, or even 5 cups flour? The 3-2-1 (flour/fat/water) ratio doesn't seem to work out, since this has eggs (and comes from a 1920s book). I can't find another copy of the book either! The ingredients are:

.5 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
.25 cut butter
.25 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
.25 cut cold water

Thanks for reading!

asked by Christine McEvilly 19 days ago

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added 19 days ago

Hi Christine, thanks for your great question. The quantity I'm most mystified by is the sugar -- a half cup is so much! I'm working on an answer for you but may need a few minutes.

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added 19 days ago

Christine, after much searching and leafing through my collection of old cookbooks, I've come up empty handed. I couldn't find a single pastry recipe containing these ingredients, sadly! With the baking powder, fat, and flour, it seems almost like a biscuit dough. (see here: https://www.allrecipes... ) I would start with 2 cups of flour, and I'd whisk together the egg and water and add this mixture slowly to the dough, just until it comes together. I hope this helps and that your pie turns out well!

Christine McEvilly
added 19 days ago

Thank you so much, Amanda! I know the recipe does seem a bit strange, but I will do just as you say and give it a try. I have made her press-in pie crust lots of times, but this is the first time I need the apple roll-able crust. I'll let you know how it comes out. Thanks for the super quick response.

Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added 19 days ago

Happy to help! And curious how it turns out; good luck!

Smaug
added 19 days ago

From the amount of liquid, that sounds like about 4c. flour, but this is a very odd recipe- that's really not enough fat for that amount of flour. Have you had this crust? Between the eggs and the large amount of sugar, it's going to be very solid- I don't think I'd try it with company coming without better info, and I love improvising crusts.

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Christine McEvilly
added 19 days ago

Thanks! I've never made it, but I know my grandmother used the apple pie recipe in this book, and it was great when she made it! I have a bit of time, so maybe I can make it and bake it blind to try it out, before I make it with my apples. Depends how long my turkey takes! I'll keep you posted. Thanks

Smaug
added 19 days ago

good idea- you could make some pie crust cookies; cut a few strips, sprinkle with a little sugar if you're feeling energetic- and bake them; they'll bake up in about 15 min and give you a pretty good idea of what you've wrought.

Christine McEvilly
added 19 days ago

I gave it a try, and the crust rolls out well, it sort of tastes like a cookie! I ended up using nearly 4 cups of flour, and it is a bit weird to have a slightly air-y crust, but I do think it is what my grandmother used to do! thank you all for advice! happy Thanksgiving all

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Smaug
added 18 days ago

Good show- now I'm going to have to try it. Happy Holidays.

Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added 14 days ago

Thanks so much for the follow up! And so glad you were able to make it work!

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