Basic Pie Crust

Back when Meagan and Pete Alvarado were living in Madison, Wisconsin, Meagan fought homesickness for her native Traverse City by mastering the art of pie making. Her mentor was her mother, Mary Ann Warner, who taught her using a piecrust recipe passed down from her grandmother—Meagan’s great-grandmother.  By the time the Alvarados moved back to Traverse City (where Meagan sells real estate for Century 21 Northland and Pete is a doctor at the Thirlby Clinic), Meagan had turned pie making into an all-out hobby, combining the family piecrust recipe with local fruits and berries, which she bakes into pies in season and then freezes for winter pies. “I’m like a squirrel,” she says, laughing. —E.E.

(Yields two single crusts or one double crust.)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 1/2 cup ICE cold water


Cut flour, salt and shortening with pastry wire until crumbly.  Slowly sprinkle ice water over flour mixture, pausing to mix until dough forms. Gently form into a ball. Split dough in half to yield two crusts. *For single crust (used for cream pies or fresh berry pie): place crust in pie dish and pinch edges. Place pie weights (or dry beans) on crust and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.