Basic Pie Crust

A colleague gave me this recipe when I was a new bride years ago, and it’s absolutely perfect. I’ve tried many others, but always return to this.


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1-1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
 3–4  tablespoons  ice water

Preheat oven to 400°

1. Place the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to blend.

2. Mix in the butter and shortening using a pastry blender or fork. Work quickly, mixing only until the flour forms small, kernel-sized pieces. Don’t overwork the dough, or it will become tough.

3. Add 2 tablespoon of ice water and mix gently. Form a soft dough by adding the next tablespoon—or two—of ice water, mixing only until the dough holds together.

4. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.

5. Remove from the refrigerator and place on a clean, lightly floured working surface.

6. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough from the center outwards, forming a circle 1-inch larger than your pie pan.

7. Carefully place the dough in your pie pan and trim the edges as needed to produce a uniform 1-inch overhang.

8. Crimp or pinch the crust to form an attractive edge.

9. Place the shaped crust in the freezer while you work on the filling—the pastry cooks up flakier when it hits the oven well chilled or frozen.

10. Proceed according to the directions of your pie recipe.

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes plus 1 hour downtime.