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Vinegar Pie Crust
From Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies, by Mollie Cox Bryan

The vinegar in this crust is a flavorless stabilizer, making the dough more forgiving and patchable. In addition to being easy to work with, it also tastes great even butter-loving pastry fans enjoy the flavor.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1-1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Instructions:

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it is the size of small peas. Add the vinegar, egg, and just enough ice water to moisten the dry ingredients.

Form the dough into 2 equal balls, then flatten into disks. Roll out the crusts right away, or wrap the dough tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to a thickness of 1/2 inch.

To prebake an empty crust, preheat the oven to 400F (205C) Press 1 rolled-out crust into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Line with parchment paper and weight the crust down with dry beans or pie weights to keep the crust from bubbling or shrinking. Bake for 10 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. To parbake the crust, remove it from the oven after 10 to 20 minutes, when you first see a golden hue to the crust.

Yield: Makes two 9-inch crusts

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