My grandmother, Viva, makes all her pies from scratch, even the dough. This is her favorite recipe. She likes her pie crust thin, but you can make it a little thicker, depending on whether or not you want a thick, decorative crust. This recipe can be used for a 9-inch single crust, or a 9-inch double crust.
Perfect Pie Pastry
For a 9-inch single-crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks
3 tablespoons cold solid shortening, cut in chunks
For a 9-inch double-crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks
6 tablespoons cold solid shortening, cut in chunks
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk the flour and the salt. Add butter and shortening. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the fats (butter and shortening) with your fingers until the largest pieces are pea-size.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cold water (single crust) or 4 tablespoons water (double crust) over flour mixture. Fold (take the fork and move the dough from the bottom of the bowl to the top of the bowl, rotating the bowl with each stroke) with a fork just until evenly moistened. Gently squeeze about ¼ cup of the dough into a ball; if it won’t hold together, crumble the lump back into the bowl and sprinkle with more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir with a fork until evenly moistened.
With lightly floured hands, gently squeeze dough into a ball. For a double crust, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Pat dough into a 4-inch wide round (2 rounds for a double crust), pressing to make edges smooth.
Lay dough (1 round for double crust) on a lightly floured surface. Coat a rolling pin with flour and roll firmly but gently in short strokes from the center of the dough outward to form an 11-inch-wide round. (Make sure that you don’t add too much flour, as it will make your dough really tough.) If edges split while rolling, push them back toward the center to make the round relatively smooth.
Occasionally lift the dough or turn over, dusting small amounts of flour beneath the dough to prevent sticking. Fold the dough round in half, lift it gently without stretching, and lay the folded edge across the middle of a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold and ease dough into pan without stretching. Trim dough edges evenly ¾-inch beyond pan rim. Prick with a fork.
Bake 10-15 minutes, but check about 8-10 minutes in. The dough should be a light golden brown color.