Grandma's Flaky Pie Crusts Baking Secrets 

Keep Ingredients Cold: Grandma always emphasizes the importance of using cold ingredients, including butter or shortening and water. Cold fats create steam when baked, resulting in a flaky texture. 

Handle the Dough Gently: Overworking the dough can lead to tough crusts. Grandma recommends handling the dough as little as possible and using a light touch when rolling it out. 

Use the Right Flour: Grandma prefers all-purpose flour for her pie crusts. It provides the perfect balance of protein and starch for a tender and flaky crust. 

Add Vinegar or Vodka: Grandma swears by adding a splash of vinegar or vodka to the dough. This helps inhibit gluten formation, resulting in a more tender crust without compromising flakiness. 

Chill the Dough: After mixing the dough, Grandma always lets it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This allows the fats to firm up again, making the dough easier to roll out and preventing shrinkage during baking. 

Don't Forget the Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the flavor of the crust without making it taste salty. Grandma never skips this essential ingredient. 

Blind Bake for Custard Pies: For custard or cream pies, Grandma recommends blind baking the crust before adding the filling. This prevents the crust from becoming soggy and ensures a crisp, flaky base. 

Brush with Egg Wash: For a golden, glossy finish, Grandma always brushes the top crust with an egg wash before baking. This adds color and helps seal the edges for a beautifully finished pie.