Every cook should know how to make a from-scratch piecrust. Our perfect recipe gets its flavor from butter and its flakiness from vegetable shortening.
8 – 10 servings
15 minutes plus chilling
21/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine (1 stick), cut into pieces
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- In large bowl, with wire whisk, stir flour and salt. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with fork after each addition, until dough is just moist enough to hold together.
- Shape dough into two disks, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or up to overnight. (If chilled overnight, let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.)
- On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll larger disk into 12-inch round. Roll dough round onto rolling pin and ease into pie plate, pressing dough against side of plate. Trim edge, leaving 1-inch overhang. Reserve trimmings for decorating pie, if you like. Spoon filling into crust.
- Roll remaining disk of dough into 12-inch round. Cut 3/4-inch circle out of center and cut 1-inch slits to allow steam to escape during baking; center dough over filling. Or make desired pie top (opposite). Fold overhang under; make decorative edge (opposite). Bake as directed in recipe. Makes enough dough for one 9-inch 2-crust pie.
Each 1.10th pastry : About 235 calories, 3g protein, 23g carbohydrate, 15g total fat (7g saturated), 25mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium.
FOOD PROCESSOR PASTRY DOUGH
In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour and salt to mix. Evenly distribute butter and shortening on top of flour mixture; pulse just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With processor running, pour 1/4 cup ice water through feed tube. Immediately stop motor and pinch dough; it should be just moist enough to hold together. If not, with fork, stir in up to 2 tablespoons additional ice water. Refrigerate and roll as directed.
SHORTENING PASTRY DOUGH
Prepare as directed but use 1/4 cup vegetable shortening and omit butter; use 1 teaspoon salt.
VINEGAR PASTRY DOUGH
Prepare as directed but substitute 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar for 1 tablespoon ice water.
Fold a 12-inch square of foil into quarters. With scissors, cut out an 8-inch round from middle. Unfold foil and place over pie, folding foil edges around piecrust to cover it.
Place a 12-inch square of foil over pie. Fold foil edges around piecrust to cover it.