Basic Flaky Pie Crust

Chilled vegetable shortening and ice water make this classic crust true to its name--flaky.

Yield

1 9-inch pie crust

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
3 tablespoons ice water

Directions

Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.

Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate. Fill with desired filling and bake.

Additional Information

Shortening must be used. Do not substitute oil, lard, or butter for shortening.

When pre-baking ("blind baking") a pie crust, line it with foil or parchment paper and fill it with pie weights, dried beans or rice, or a jar's worth of loose change. Bake until the rim just begins to color. Remove the weights and carefully prick the bottom and sides with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Return it to the oven and continue baking until pale golden. Brush with egg wash, if desired, and bake a few more minutes to create a seal. See Blind Baking (Pre-Baking) A Pie Crust for more detailed directions on pre-baking a pie shell.

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