I have always preferred to make my own pie crust. I have over the years used many recipes from the “never fail” pie crust recipe that contains vinegar and water to recipes with butter and shortening combinations. I find I like this simple recipe the best. I found this recipe from Randy’s grandmothers old cookbook “Woman’s Home Companion” published in 1942.
2 cups flour
1 t. salt
2/3 cup shortening
6 tablespoon ice water
Sift flour; measure; add salt and sift again. Using a pastry blender cut in shortening until particles of the fat are about the size of peas. Sprinkle ice water 1 tablespoon at a time over small portion of the flour mixture; with a fork press the flour particles together as they absorb the water; do not stir. Toss aside pieces of dough as formed and sprinkle remaining water over dry portion; use only enough water to hold the pastry together. It should not be slippery and wet. Press all together lightly with the fingers or wrap dough in wax paper and press together gently. Bear in mind the less the dough is handled the more tender and flaky the pastry will be. Chill dough. Makes two 9-inch pastry shells.
Note: If a flakier pastry is preferred cut all the fat into the flour coarsely until the particles of fat ae about the size of small peas. Use of ice water and thorough chilling of the pastry before baking also help to give an extra flaky crust. If more tender mealy pastry is preferred cut all the shortening with the flour until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Use water at room temperature and do not chill the pastry.
Nut Pastry: Add 2/3 c. ground pecans, walnuts or black walnuts. Good for butterscotch or chocolate cream pies and for custard pies.
Cheese Pastry: Decrease shortening to 1/2 c. Add 1/2c. grated cheese.