Perfect Pie Crust

I learned how to make pie crust from my grandmother Farish. She made the best pie I've ever tasted. Ever. I like to use a silicone mat to roll out my dough, but any hard surface will do. You can also roll your dough between two sheets of freezer paper -- it's easier to transfer the rolled crust into a pie tin. Don't panic if your crust doesn't look perfect. Mine never does -- I don't mind if it looks a bit rustic. I care more about taste than presentation.

2 cups flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup butter 
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup very cold water (you may need more or less depending on the weather)

Place the flour, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. 
Place butter and shortening in freezer for 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove and cut both into 1/2 inch cubes.  

Add the butter/shortening to the flour mixture and toss with your fingers to coat all of the butter/shortening  in flour. 
Using a pastry blender, cut into the butter/shortening and flour until the shortening and butter are the size.of peas. 
 Using two tablespoons at a time, sprinkle surface of flour mixture thoroughly with water. Toss the flour with a fork to incorporate the water.   Repeat until you have used all the water. 

Gather the dough into a loose mound. When lightly squeezed, should hold together.  If not, sprinkle a little water on the dry areas. (Be really careful not to get the dough too wet, or it will be soggy and end up tough when baked). 

Gently knead the dough once or twice and shape it into a ball. Cut the ball in half and gently flatten each piece into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 20 minutes before rolling out. 

To roll out, Prepare your work surface by dusting it generously with flour. Do the same to your rolling pin. Remove dough from refrigerator. Roll out working from center outward. to about 1/8” thickness.  Don’t use a rolling back and forth motion or your dough will be tough and uneven. 

Fold the rolled out crust in half, lift into pan. Open the dough and shape to the pan so that it is secure against the bottom of the pan. You want excess dough to hang over the edge of the pie pan . Add pie filling and then roll out the second disc of dough for the top crust. Place it on the top of the pie and using scissors, cut off excess dough around the edge and crimp edges with fingers. If there is excess dough, roll out and cut decorative shapes with small cookie cutters to decorate top crust. 

 Bake according to pie directions. If you are baking shell only line the inside with parchment paper and weigh it down with dried beans filling the tin with beans so they are level with the edge of the pie tin . Bake at 420 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. I would check the crust at about 30 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. 

If you don’t plan to make pie immediately, you can keep these discs in the freezer until ready to use. Let the dough thaw for about 20 minutes before rolling out.

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