A lot of people are afraid to make pie crust from scratch for various reasons, but with a little bit of practice, making a great pie dough is easy to master. Just remember, you want your ingredients to stay cold as long as possible. Also, the less you handle the dough, the more tender the crust. Over-mix it and your crust could turn out greasy and tough. A food processor is the easiest way to go so if you have one, use it, but by no means is it an absolute necessity. You could just as easily make your crust by hand using 2 knives or a pastry blender to mix the butter and shortening into the flour.
FOR SINGLE CRUST
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1-1/4 sticks very cold (frozen is okay) butter, cut into pieces
- 2-1/2 tbsp. very cold (frozen is better) shortening, cut into 2 pieces
- about 1/4 cup ice water
- Put flour, sugar and salt in food processor fitted with metal blade.
- Pulse just to combine.
- Drop in butter and shortening and pulse until just cut into flour. Don’t overmix! You want some pea-sized and some barley-sized pieces.
- Add 3 tbsp. of water, one tablespoon at a time and pulsing once after each addition. Then use a few long pulses to blend water and flour well. If dough is still dry after a dozen or so pulses, add as much water as necessary to get dough to stick together when pinched.
- Scrape dough out onto work surface.
- Gather into a ball, flatten to a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Chill dough for an hour before rolling out.
FOR DOUBLE CRUST
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 2-1/2 sticks very cold (frozen is okay) butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup very cold (frozen is better) shortening, cut into 4 pieces
- about 1/2 cup ice water
- Follow directions above up to Step 5.
- Gather dough into a ball and cut in half.
- Flatten each half into 2 disks and wrap each in plastic wrap.
- Chill for an hour before rolling out.
NOTE: Dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.