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Easy Hot Water Pie Crust

Updated on November 24, 2016

Good Cooking from the Mountains

I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains surrounded by many remarkable women. One of the best of the bunch was Mrs. Eloise Pope.

In addition to being a great person, Mrs. Pope was an excellent cook. In fact, she was so skilled that in the 1990s, at 81 years of age, she could write with authority to Southern Living Magazine, taking the editors to task for their strict edicts regarding the making of pie crusts.

Ice water only? Careful handling required? "Not true!" she told them--and she knew what she was talking about! She made two, sometimes three dozen pies per week. (Oh my, were they good.)

To prove her point, Mrs. Pope submitted the recipe below.

It was published (in much fancier language) in the "From Our Kitchen to Yours" section of the magazine, and she became something of a local celebrity, at least among the Sunday School/Church Social/Mission Society/Garden Club set.

I still have a copy.

Southern Living called it "Water-Whipped Baked Pastry Shell." We just called it "Mrs. Pope's Hot Water Pie Crust."

Mrs. Pope's Hot Water Pie Crust

Tender, flaky and delicious

Source

Rate Mrs. Pope's pie crust.

4 stars from 9 ratings of Hot Water Pie Crust

Practice makes perfect.

If your first attempts don't result in the perfect shell, keep trying. Homemade crust costs very little to make, and it doesn't take much time either, so ... keep at it! You'll eventually get it just right.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C. shortening
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 C. boiling water
  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

With a hand mixer, beat the first 3 ingredients on medium speed until fluffy. Add flour and salt. Beat on low until the dry bits become moist and the dough forms.

Divide the dough in half, shape both pieces into balls and wrap the balls in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or more.

Roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper to form two 12-inch circles. One circle at a time, peel off the top sheet and invert over a 9-inch pie pan. Pull away the remaining pieces of wax paper, fit the dough into the plates and flute the edges. Then prick the dough with a fork.

Use the shells immediately or store them in the refrigerator. They'll keep for about a week.

Bake the shells at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.

A Vintage Version of Hot Water Pie Crust

No Mixer Required

This recipe is in a yellowed copy of The Milton Garden Club Cook Book that belonged to my grandmother. It was written at a time when most women were referred to by their husband's names, and the majority of recipes end with Mrs. Paul Harshbarger, Mrs. Raymond Smith, Mrs. William H. Blenko Jr., and similar appellations.

Source

Mrs. Pope used her own name. Here's what she wrote exactly as she wrote it. It appears right below her recipe for Raisin Pie:

"Water-Whip" Piecrust

Put 3/4 cup Crisco in mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water and 1 tablespoon milk. With fork, whip until smooth and thick. Sift two cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt onto mixture, stir into dough. Shape into two smooth balls. This will make two pie shells. Keeps well in refrigerator.

Mrs. Eloise Pope

Fluting? It's as easy as pie.

Here's Gin's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie in a pie crust made with vinegar.
Here's Gin's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie in a pie crust made with vinegar. | Source

Using Gelatine

If you've never used gelatine before, don't be too weirded out by the clear gummy substance that you get when you mix it with water. When you stir it into the hot pumpkin mixture as you're making Gin's Chiffon Pumpkin Pie, it will dissolve thoroughly, giving the filling a silky texture.

Gin's Chiffon Pumpkin Pie

Good at Thanksgiving or anytime.

My paternal grandmother was born and raised in a small West Virginia town where she spent her entire life. The friends she had in elementary school were the same friends she had when she was in her nineties. Gin Crookshanks was one of those friends. My grandmother always bragged on her, saying she was "a beautiful housekeeper and a right fine cook." If you like pumpkin, you'll love Gin's Chiffon Pumpkin Pie. It's the best!


Ingredients

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 1/4 C. canned or cooked pumpkin
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatine
  • 1/4 C. cold water
  • 3 stiff-beaten egg whites
  • 1 baked pie shell

Instructions

Beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until thick. Add pumpkin, milk, salt and spices. Cook in double boiler until thick. Add gelatine, softened in cold water, and mix thoroughly. Add remaining sugar and allow to cool. Then fold in stiff-beaten egg whites.

Pour into baked pie shell and chill thoroughly. Top with sweetened whipped cream if desired.

How to Use a Double Boiler

A double boiler (also called a bain-marie or water bath) is easy to use! Just watch the video below from Mahalo Baking. Although the instructor makes a distinction between a double boiler and a bain-marie, they really perform the same function. And either one works well if you're making Gin's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

Pie Crust Making Equipment

Keep it simple.

To make Hot Water Pie Crust, you'll definitely need a deep mixing bowl, wax paper and a rolling pin.

If you use the newer recipe, you'll also need a mixer that has two speeds. Or, you can follow the older version of Mrs. Pope's Hot Water Pie Crust and just use a fork.

NINE-INCH PIE PANS

A handy size to have in the kitchen.

You can keep hot water pie crust in the refrigerator for about a week before using. Fit it into a pie pan, flute it and prick it with a fork. Then wrap it in plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before baking.

BONUS RECIPE: Mrs. Pope's Raisin Pie

It's goooood--and it's good for you!

Like the vintage water-whipped pie crust recipe above, Raisin Pie appears in an old copy of the Milton Garden Club Cook Book.

Ingredients

  • 2 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. margarine
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 3 eggs
  • well beaten
  • 3 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 C. raisins
  • 1 unbaked pie shell

Instructions

Wash raisins in warm water and dry thoroughly. Cream sugar, margarine, cinnamon and allspice. Add well-beaten eggs, vinegar and raisins. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

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    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Good luck with your pies, frogyfish. Have a great Thanksgiving! DF

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      I am always looking for 'easy' and will bookmark your hub. The crust in the video was so thin yet handled very well without tearing...interesting. I'll have to try your hot water crust for my pumpkin pie. Thanks for sharing.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Awesome comments, sagebrush mama. You ought to try the pie crust made with vinegar too, if you haven't made that kind before. With it, you may get your hands a bit messy, but it's even easier than the hot water pie crust & really flaky. I made a batch today (1 recipe makes at least two crusts) for an apple pie. Keep baking, girl! And thanks again for your comments. DF

    • sagebrush_mama profile image

      sagebrush_mama 5 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

      Well...the good: the dough is really easy to make! Really easy! And no messy hands! I love this!

      The "Needs Work" elements of my first effort with this recipe: 1. Don't use cheap Walmart beaters...they don't do well when things thicken up; 2. Will be more careful with flour measuring next time, and read the whole hub CAREFULLY...second batch was a little dry; 3. Will try waxed paper rather than parchment paper, which is what I had on hand, and which stuck a little.

      The bad: Trying to make fancy leaves on the edge of a pie crust proved problematic...dd broke off pieces when she pulled the pie from the oven. Since the oven was really hot, and we wanted the next batch of pies to go in, we left the pieces til later...later came when we opened the door to find a small blaze. Nothing a little baking soda couldn't handle, of course, but the house is going to be airing out for a couple of hours! :)

      The not burned pieces of crust that broke off made for perfect samples, and I must say that the flavor and texture is heavenly! I've never had such a tender pie crust, EVER!!! I will definitely be working on my technique, but this recipe is a keeper! Thanks, DF!!!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @ cgreen7090--Awesome! Thank you so much. You rock!

      You're welcome, Guanta! And thank you for reading & commenting.

    • cgreen7090 profile image

      cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Returned the favor by linking to 3 of your links. Happy hubbing!

    • Guanta profile image

      Guanta 5 years ago from New York City

      Thank you so much for an excellent hub. I love the idea of making a simple and economical pie crust. I'm definitely going to try it. Thank you much.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Go for it, sagebrush_mama! Thanks for reading. DF

    • sagebrush_mama profile image

      sagebrush_mama 5 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

      I'm going to give this a try...I always watched my Mom use ice water for her pie crusts, never dreamed of a boiling water version! Maybe I'll actually make a decent pie crust this year!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @RTalloni--Thanks! And thanks for stopping by.

      @CJ Andrews--You better start making pies, boy. It's almost Thanksgiving! (Just think how much your family would love it.) Thanks for reading & commenting!--DF

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @ Rebecca M--That would be terrific! Thank you.

    • CJ Andrews profile image

      Chris Andrews 5 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Interesting article, I make use of bain-marie's but didn't know the name. Nice to learn new stuff - I appreciate it and will have to make a pie soon now too.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Congrats on Hub of the Day!! :)

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Awesome, Sinea Pies! Thanks. Hope your readers enjoy the recipes.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Good job! I am soon planning to be publishing some of my Mom's favorite southern pie recipes (after the Holidays) and I would like to link this Hub for crust ideas if that's OK.Congratulations!

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Oh, I wish I could get my pie crusts to look so pretty. Thanks for the great recipes. I'm sharing this hub on my blog! My readers will love it.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Hi jrport! Thanks for reading & commenting. That is a good video on fluting, and as you can see, it isn't hard. Like anything else, making a good (and a good looking) crust just takes a bit practice. Good luck to you! DF

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks, sharewhatuknow. Make a big pot of coffee or tea & have a fun, relaxing time in the kitchen. I think you'll like the chiffon pie. It's a nice change from a traditional pumpkin pie. Take care! DF

    • jrport profile image

      jrport 5 years ago

      I loved the video on fluting a pie crust! What a great idea! And, since I love pie, I'll try this recipe.

      I enjoyed reading your Hub as it is well planned, easy to follow and offers a "novice" pie maker easy directions for making, what many people catagorize as a "painstaking" task at holiday time. Bravo! And Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks, jrport

    • sharewhatuknow profile image

      sharewhatuknow 5 years ago from Western Washington

      What a great tip on how to make pie crusts. The pumpkin chiffon pie sounds wonderful, so with that being said, will attempt to make a one. I haven't made a pie from scratch in over 20 years. Great hub The Dirt Farmer, voted up.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @ sidds123450 & randomcreative--Thanks, you guys! Glad you checked out the recipe.

    • sidds123450 profile image

      sidds123450 5 years ago

      Congratulations for your selection in "Hub of the Day".

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great topic for a hub! Your crust is beautiful. Thanks for the recipes and detailed tips. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      DzyMsLizzy--Thanks for the vote, etc.! A delicious button would be great. I've been reading some good hubs by a very young hubber called cookie512 and would have hit it several times! Take care, Ms. L.

      @wanzulfikri--Glad you like it. That's a real compliment, especially since you don't like recipes much. Thanks for reading & commenting!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congrats on Hub of the Day! Woo-Hoo!

      What a great bunch of recipes! (

      ...note to self...MUST bug HP about adding a "delicious" button....)

      Bookmarked and voted up!

    • wanzulfikri profile image

      wanzulfikri 5 years ago from Malaysia

      A well thought hub and great recipe. Although I am not a fan of recipes still I am attracted to the hub. Great work

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @Derdriu--Crazy, huh? Thanks!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks, MsDora! So glad you stopped by!

      @Justsilvie & Gloshei--Of course! Butter! What was I thinking? Thanks, Silvie. Hope butter works for you, too, Gloshei.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      TheDirtFarmer: Congratulations for hub of the day!

      Respectfully,

      Derdriu

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 5 years ago

      Great Hub!

      Tried the pie crust recipe and since they don't sell Crisco here I used Butter and it turned out fantastic also. The Pumpkin Chiffon Pie is next on my list to try out.

    • Gloshei profile image

      Gloria 5 years ago from France

      Thanks Dirt Farmer, will see if I can get here in France but I won't hole my breath.

      Will let you know how it goes.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations! Well-deserved for an authentic, instructional, practical hub. Thanks.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @ibbarkingmad--OMG, doublecreamy custard pie, pumpkin chiffon pie-- it sounds fantastic. I want to spend Thanksgiving at your house! Have fun & thanks for reading! DF

      @trimar7--Thank heavens everybody isn't using pie crust from a tube. It's just not the same. Thanks for commenting!

      @Debora--Thanks, girl. I'm amazed! Appreciate your comment.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Hey, Gloshei! The shortening most people in the States use is probably Crisco. You could use lard, too, if you like the taste. Happy pie making! And thanks for commenting. DF

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Congratulations on having the hub of the day!

    • trimar7 profile image

      trimar7 5 years ago from New York

      I can't wait to try these. I am always looking for great pie crust recipes. Great hub and thank you for sharing!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @golden--Thanks you! Thanks for reading & commenting.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @homesteadbound--Like most things, making a crust just takes practice. Thanks for your comments!

    • ibbarkingmad profile image

      Brian 5 years ago from Utah

      I'm just gonna have to try this recipe this Thanksgiving. I'll show it off to my family with my Doublecreamy Custard Pie recipe I made up the other day! I;m excited to see how the family likes both!

    • Gloshei profile image

      Gloria 5 years ago from France

      These recipes sound great, thanks for sharing, already 'bookmarked' I have one question dirt farmer as I come from UK some of the recipe ingredients throw me. In Mrs Popes 'Hot water pie crust' what is shortening? haven't heard of that one.

      I hope you can help me out here.

      Good cooking.

    • Julz09 profile image

      Julz09 5 years ago

      excellent information. That's quite interesting about the pie crust.

    • golden2484 profile image

      golden2484 5 years ago

      good .......nice work

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      This is a very comprehensive hub and is done very well. The pie crust you made int the picture is amazing. Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
      Author

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @Derdriu-- Sounds like you're going to have lots of company at Thanksgiving! Have fun baking--and glad you like the recipes. DF

    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      TheDirtFarmer: Thank you for the recipes to be used in preparing my Thanksgiving Thursday, Friday and Saturday desserts! The hot water crust really sounds scrumptious.

      Voted up, etc.,

      Derdriu

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @Simone Smith--It does sound unlikely doesn't it? There's a good recipe made with vinegar, too. Now that's even weirder! Thanks for commenting! --Jill

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I've never heard of hot water pie crust before! This is fascinating!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Here's Mary's pie crust recipe from her mother. It's made with oil. Thanks, Mary615!

      http://mary615.hubpages.com/hub/My-Miniature-Schna...

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Interesting info on the pie crust. My family has used oil instead of shortening for many years, and that makes a very flaky crust. I wrote a Hub about it. Check it out when you have some time. I'm coming back to read the chiffon pie, sounds yummy!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Great, RTalloni. If anyone could make it healthier, I'm sure it's you! Thanks for reading. --Jill

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for sharing these recipes and tips. I wonder how this pie crust will turn out with coconut oil...if I get to try it I'll also try to let you know.

      Bookmarked, voted up.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image
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      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      @moonlake--Awesome! Hope you enjoy them.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      These sound good. I'll be keeping the recipes.