Step by step directions on how to easily make a flaky, light and tender pie crust.
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 7 tablespoons organic solid vegetable shortening (or mix of unsalted butter and shortening), cut into small pieces and chilled
- 4 to 5 tablespoons cold (ice) water
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cover and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix.
- Add the cut up shortening (and butter, if using) and process 5 to 10 seconds until the dough is the size of small peas.
- Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and pulse 2 to 3 times. Watch the dough carefully and stop the machine as soon as the dough starts to clump together. It will look rough and lumpy and there may be pieces of shortening. If it looks too dry and crumbly, sprinkle in more water and pulse 1 more time. Pinch the dough together with your fingers; if the dough holds together, it is done. Do not allow the dough to form a ball on the machine blades as it will be overworked and tough.
- Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a flat disc, wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 days). Can also be frozen at this point.
- Take dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for several minutes – this makes it easier to roll.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to an an even 1/8-inch thickness and into a 12-inch circle. Transfer into a 8 or 9-inch pie plate. Fold over edges and crimp.
- Refrigerate crust for at least 30 minutes before baking.
To partially pre-bake crust: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prick bottom of crust with a small fork. Line crust with foil and fill with pie weights. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and foil and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.