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!

Christine McEvilly


Christine M. November 21, 2018
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
Smaug November 22, 2018
Good show- now I'm going to have to try it. Happy Holidays.
Amanda H. November 26, 2018
Thanks so much for the follow up! And so glad you were able to make it work!
Smaug November 21, 2018
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.
Christine M. November 21, 2018
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 November 21, 2018
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.
Amanda H. November 21, 2018
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.
Amanda H. November 21, 2018
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: ) 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 M. November 21, 2018
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 H. November 21, 2018
Happy to help! And curious how it turns out; good luck!
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