Good For Almost Everything Pie Dough


Makes one 9-inch single crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water
(To fully bake the crust, bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.)



1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing - some pieces should be the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley.
2. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons of the water. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour, If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough does not look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.
3. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling.
To roll out the dough:
1. Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate on hand. You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. If you are working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper or plastic, make sure to turn the dough over often and to lift the paper or plastic frequently so that it does not roll into the dough and form creases. Slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.
2. Fit the dough into the pie plate and, using a pair of scissors, cut the excess dough to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge. Alternatively, you can finish the crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork.
To partially bake a single crust:
1. Refrigerate the crust while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil. Fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes.
3. Carefully remove the foil and weights, and, if the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return the pie to the oven and bake about 8 minutes more, or until the crust is very lightly colored.
4. Transfer the pie plate to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.
Per serving: 265 calories, 3 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams sugar, 19 grams fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 221 milligrams sodium, 0.6 gram dietary fiber.

-From Baking, From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton-Mifflin, 2006)