2 cups regular all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup shortening 1/2 cup ice-cold water
Sift flour, measure, and sift with salt into bowl. Add shortening and cut into flour with pastry blender (or two knives, cutting parallel) until pieces are about the size of large peas. Add water by tablespoonfuls, sprinkling over the top. Toss with a fork to moisten evenly.
Turn out on waxed paper and press together. Wrap well if you want to chill before rolling. Makes 1 double-crust, 9-inch pie or 2 pie shells.
Hot Water Pastry Variation. Place shortening in a bowl; sprinkle with salt. Use hot instead of cold water; pour hot water over shortening and stir lightly with a fork. Add flour all at once and stir until moisture is absorbed. Gather together and press into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper if you want to chill before rolling.
Tips On Rolling And Baking. For best results, use a canvas cover on your pastry board and a stocking cover on your rolling pin. You will use less flour and there will be no sticking.
For each crust, use half the pastry. Press into a ball and flatten lightly. Start rolling out pastry from the center, using light, quick motions. Lift and turn the pastry as you roll. Avoid letting the rolling pin go over the edges of the pastry, as this makes it thinner along the edge than in the center. The ideal thickness for pastry is about 1/2 inch. A slightly thicker pastry may be used for the bottom of fruit pies.
Fit the pastry into the pan loosely. Don’t stretch it; pat it gently into place.
For a 1-crust pie or baked pie shell, trim edge of pastry with scissors, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Fold this edge under neatly. Pinching with the thumb and forefinger, flute the doubled pastry to make a high, decorative rim. If pastry is to be used in recipe calling for a baked pastry shell, prick shell well with a fork and bake in a 425° to 450° oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
For a 2-crust pie, trim edge of bottom crust to fit rim of pan. Fill and lay top crust loosely over the filling; trim edge of top crust with scissors, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck overhang in between edge of bottom crust and rim of pan. Flute edges between thumb and forefinger, or press with a floured fork. Slit top crust in several places.