Ruth’s Pie Crust for One

“Pie? Say, dear, why do you tempt me?”

Crisco’s pie crust method changed over the years, especially around 1940. Compare the pre-1940 recipe with the post-1940 below. I haven’t figured out what the “sure-mix” reformulation was, but I’ll keep looking. Either way, the amount of water required for a two-crust mixture went down from 6-8 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons.

Also note the ad copy in the recipe instructions. Crisco was heavy into advertising. In fact, in the 1930s and 1940s, they had contests to come up with radio slogans. Listeners could win $50 for providing a winning slogan. Generally, the winners sounded like something you’d expect to hear Little Richard say, minus a terminating “Wooo!”

Some winning slogans for Crisco submitted by radio listeners

Heats fast, flavors last.
Here’s a suggestion, Crisco’s kind to digestion.
It glorifies with speed and ease grandmother’s favorite recipes.
It’s so pure and sure, mixes instantly in any temperature.
Easy to blend, mix and measure, Crisco triples baking pleasure.
Erase that harassed kitchen look, be a care-free Crisco cook.
For baking day’s head start, pre-creamed Crisco does its part.
For perfection when I fry, upon Crisco I rely.
From first to last, creamier Crisco blends fresh and fast.

There’s an .mp3 linked here of another: “It’s all-vegetable! It’s digestible!”

March 29, 1934
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune
February 1942
Good Housekeeping
Crisco Pie Crust

(makes one 2-crust or 2 single-crust pies)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco
6 to 8 tablespoons cold water
Sift flour and salt. Then cut in Crisco (the creamy, fluffy shortening that’s wholesome). Cut in Crisco coarsely if you like a flaky crust–cut in Crisco finely if you like a mealy crust. Add only enough water to hold mixture together. Roll 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured board.

For baked shell, cover an inverted pie-plate very closely. Trim dough so you can fold it double at edge. Crimp edge. Prick bottom and sides well. Bake in hot oven (450 deg. F.) 15 minutes.

For two-crust pie, brush lower crust with melted Crisco to prevent filling from soaking in. Bake in hot oven (450 deg. F.) for 10 minutes–reduce to moderate (350 deg.) Bake until filling is done.

New! Easy!
Crisco’s Sure-Fire Pastry Method!

Double-crust measurements
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Crisco
1/4 cup water*

*Notice! No more guesswork about amount to use!

Sift flour and salt into bowl. Take out 1/3 cup of this flour and mix with the 1/4 cup of water to form a paste. Add Crisco to remaining flour: cut Crisco in with knives, fork to blender until the pieces are the size of small peas. (This blending is easy, with Crisco so creamy!) Next, add flour-paste to Crisco-flour mixture. Mix thoroughly until the dough comes together and can be shaped into a ball. Divide in half–roll out both crusts about 1/8 inch thick. All measurements level.

One-crust measurements: Use 1-1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup Crisco. Take out 1/4 cup flour and blend with 3 tablespoons water.


Looking for a pie to go with your crust? Check out Ruth’s strawberry glaze pie.

From the box of F.J. from Sun City, Arizona. Some cards suggest a family history in Missouri and Kansas.

Pie Crust for 1 — Ruth’s


  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 Crisco + 1 Tbsp.

2 Tbsp. water.

One Comment

  1. MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel

    “Nine out of ten doctors say that Crisco is digestible,” boasts the ad… What did the tenth doctor say?

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