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    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Kitchen Fundamentals: Classic Double Crust Pie Dough

Classic Pie Dough
Today I’m introducing a new series on my blog: Kitchen Fundamentals. I’ve had so many friends (and readers) tell me recently that they wish they could cook or are too scared to try difficult recipes from scratch. What they don’t understand is that I used to be that person. In college, my go-to cake recipe was a box of Funfetti. Seriously. This series will include recipes that I think every home cook, whether beginner or seasoned, should have in their repertoire. If you have any suggestions on recipes you’d like to see in the future, please let me know!

Pie dough is one of those things that tends to intimidate people, but I’m here to tell you it’s not as complicated as it seems. I think everyone should have a go-to pie dough recipe, and this one has certainly become mine (since I made a ton of it for Clara’s first birthday party). Let me start by saying this is not an all butter pie dough (blasphemy!), but I have my reasons for choosing this recipe after trying many others. During Big Summer Potluck last year, Pam Anderson talked about testing recipes for America’s Test Kitchen. I already knew they put each recipe through rigorous testing, but hearing her explain how methodical and detailed these tests were gave me even more faith in ATK. So if they say the combination of butter and shortening will yield the best pie dough, I’m going to believe them. The other reason I chose this recipe is that I knew from prior experience that doughs made with shortening handle much more easily than all butter doughs, and I needed something easy to work with since I was making several recipes with this dough.

This pie dough is perfect in every way. The butter gives the crust that rich flavor that shortening alone can’t achieve, and the shortening makes the crust extremely tender and flaky. You get the ease and texture of a shortening dough with all the flavors of a butter one, which is pretty much the best thing ever. You can make dough several different ways – in the food processor like I did, in a stand mixer or even by hand – and they’ll all yield similar results. Give it a try! I promise you that once you’ve made and tasted homemade pie crust, you’ll never want to use store-bought again.

I’ve included a step-by-step photo of the dough as it changes with each step so that you can have a visual of what to expect the dough to look like as you proceed with the recipe.

PS – Have you entered my Theo Chocolate giveaway? Details are on this post, and the giveaway is open until Friday. 

Pie dough, step by step

Classic Double Crust Pie Dough

Yield: 1 double crust 9-inch pie

Classic Double Crust Pie Dough

This pie dough can be made up to one month in advance and will keep, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for 1 month in the freezer and 2 days in the refrigerator. Allow to thaw completely before rolling out.


2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
12 tablespoons butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and chilled
6-8 tablespoons ice water


Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter shortening over the top and process until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter over the top and continue pulsing about 10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 6 tablespoons of water and pulse just until the dough comes together, adding additional water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. (If you're worried about the food processor overworking your dough, you can always do this step by hand, using your hands or a rubber spatula to press the dough together. My food processor is very efficient and only takes a few pulses to bring the dough together.)

Weigh the dough, if desired, then divide into two equal pieces. Pat each piece into a disk about 4 inches across and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Before rolling dough, allow it to sit out for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly.

Roll the dough, on a lightly floured work surface, into a 12-inch circle. Carefully fold the dough over the rolling pin and gently unroll it into a 9-inch pie plate, allowing the excess to hang over the edge. Press the dough into place.

Trim all but about ½-inch of dough from the edge of the pie plate. Tuck overhang under itself and crimp the dough with your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes before baking.

Proceed with baking as directed in your recipe.


  • Ali Ebright

    I love making pie dough in my food processor! This totally makes me crave some dessert now. :) Great tutorial!

  • Tracey

    For as many ATK recipes as I’ve tried, I’m not sure this is one of them. I am excited you shared it! Looking forward to future posts in this series :)

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    I just made pie dough in the food processor last weekend and loved it. I actually followed Martha Stewart’s recipe and froze 3/4 of the butter. It turned out great! I love that you’ve got great photos of what things are supposed to look like. I’m a work in progress when it comes to pie crust, so this is wonderful!

  • tina vanmoorsel

    iam looking for a reci for flour tortillas i have been looking every where i have looked at lots of sights and this is my fave but there is nothing for flour tortillas can you help me im in need of great flour tortillas please if you can help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tina vanmoorsel

    is there no one that makes flour tortillas?