Makes enough for one 9-inch pie
If you can find and use unbleached all-purpose flour, it provides more gluten/protein that will make the dough’s texture more flakey.
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (in freezer for 10 minutes)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (makes it brown nicely)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and frozen for 10 minutes
- 2 tablespoons shortening (or lard if you just don’t care and want it perfect), cut into 2 pieces and frozen for 10 minutes
- 4-6 tablespoons ice water
1. Put the flour, salt and sugar on a large cutting board. Mix with your fingers to blend. Put the frozen butter and shortening/lard on top of the flour mixture, and use a knife or pastry cutter to cut the fats into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Must be smaller than peas-sized.
2. Gather the mixture into a mound and, using your fingers, draw a trench through the center. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water down the length of the trench, and with your fingers, fluff the flour so it absorbs the water. Repeat the process until you’ve incorporated 4 tablespoons of water. The dough should begin to clump together into large pieces. If there are any unmassed areas, sprinkle them with water, and mix.
3. Gather the dough into a mass with a pastry scraper, and, with the heel of your hand, smear a hunk of dough roughly the size of an egg by pushing it away from you. Continue with pieces of dough until the entire mass has been processed. Then gather the dough and repeat the process. Regather the dough, shape it into a flat disk, and wrap it in plastic wrap, flattening it further. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Roll out the chilled dough into a circle 1 1/2 inches larger than your pie pan. Line the pan with the dough, and trim it to leave a 1/2-inch overhang of pastry around the pan. Fold this under, forming a thick edge on the rim of the pan.
5. Use only glass or pyrex to get best results. If it is going to bake for longer than 30 minutes, wrap the edges with aluminum foil to keep them from burning.