Favourite Crust, Apple Pie and Butter Tart Recipes

My mother is an amazing home style cook. Her best recipes are either handed down from her Southern Alberta pioneer relatives or come from a Purity Flour cookbook circa 1965. Mom’s pie crust recipe comes from the Purity book. Since the late 80’s I’ve tried to master her technique, but my crust always turned out tough. Until last year, that is, when I searched online for a different recipe that was highly rated and labelled as “easy”.

Finally, at Christmastime 2013, I had butter tarts worthy of serving to guests because I used this pie crust recipe:


Today, my last day of winter vacation, I decided to make an apple pie with some fruit that was going soft in the fridge. I didn’t have enough shortening to make the crust, though, so I searched for recipes that might combine shortening with butter. I read a few different recipes and their reviews and came up with my own. Its my new favourite pie crust!


Butter makes the crust taste better than shortening, but by using half shortening it handles better than using butter all on its own.

(Makes at least one double crusted pie; I had leftover dough)

3 cups white flour

1 cup butter, diced

1 cup butter flavoured shortening, diced

1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)

¼ c very cold water (I float ice in it)

Chill KitchenAid mixer bowl, whisk attachment, flour, and diced fats in the freezer or outside in winter. (It was -20C today.)

Add cold fats to flour and salt in mixer on low speed until crumbly. Drizzle water in until just wet enough to form a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Keep hands cold while working dough by plunging them into ice water and drying. (Mom insists she is so good at making crusts because her hands are always cold.)

Make two crusts, one bottom and one top, by rolling on floured counter top with a floured rolling pin. Roll from the centre out, not back and forth.

Save extra dough by wrapping and putting back into fridge or freeze. I had enough for one single crust or several tarts.


  • 8 or more medium apples, peeled, cored, diced, and toss with
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon grated dried ginger
  • 2 tablespoons white flour
  • 1—2 oz dark rum (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons of cream or milk

Combine dry ingredients and toss with apples

Put apple mix into unbaked bottom pie crust

Mix melted butter, cream, rum, vanilla and drizzle over apples

Top pie and slash

Brush top of pie with milk and sugar if desired

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 60 minutes

Remove foil and finish baking for 30 minutes

(Total baking time is 120 minutes or two hours)


Oh, if you’d like MOM’S BUTTER TART RECIPE, its almost identical to this one:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s