Perfect basic pie crust recipe -- comes out flaky and tasty every time. Use for dessert pies, quiches or any kind of pie!
Chill your fat and water! This is essential. Cut your butter into small pieces and add to your measured flour and salt. Cut the butter in quickly and then cut in the shortening. Your mixture should resemble coarse meal. Bigger lumps of fat are just fine; aim for pea-sized at biggest. Slowly add the water and watch closely as you work it in with the edge of a spatula or continue pulsing. It should still look dry. Grab some with your hand and squeeze. Did it hold together? Then you have enough water. If it didn't, or you're not sure, add a little more and mix quickly. Test again. Divide the dough in half to make single crust amounts. Wrap up the dough up by placing a portion of it on a piece of plastic wrap. Using the wrap, instead of your hands, push the dough into a flat disk. Refrigerate this for an hour or more. Sometimes dough gets too hard in the refrigerator. If this happens to you, let it warm up a little (15 or 20 minutes) on the counter before you roll it out. Using a lightly floured board, begin by rolling from the middle of the disk up. Turn the dough one quarter and repeat. To avoid toughening of the pastry, always roll in one direction and turn the dough often. For berry pies or other pies that may leak, roll the crust a little thicker. Carefully fold the dough in half, pick it up and lay across the pie plate. Open up the dough and gently work it into the plate. If it tears or splits, just pinch it together again, or use scraps to repair any holes. Crimp the edges. Use the dough as called for in your recipe. Some call for an unbaked pie crust, and some call for a baked pie crust.