Pie Crust, King Arthur Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups (6 1/2 ounces) Perfect Pastry Blend or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon (1/8 ounce) buttermilk powder, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, optional
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) butter
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon white or cider vinegar
- 3 to 5 tablespoons (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 ounces) ice water
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, reserving a few tablespoons of the flour. Work in the shortening, mixing until the mixture is crumbly.
Place the reserved flour on your work surface, and coat the butter with the flour. Use a rolling pin or the heel of your hand to flatten the butter to about 1/4" thick. Break this flour-coated butter into 1" pieces, and mix it into the dough, just till it’s evenly distributed; some of the pieces of flour-coated butter will break into smaller pieces.
Sprinkle the vinegar and ice water over the dough while tossing with a fork. Just as soon as the dough becomes cohesive (i.e., you can squeeze it into a ball easily), stop mixing; there should still be visible pieces of fat in the dough. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer; this resting period allows the flour to absorb the water, making the dough easier to roll out.
Flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 12" x 9" (approximately) rectangle. If it isn’t holding together well, sprinkle it lightly with a couple of teaspoons of water. Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter), then fold it into thirds the opposite way, to form a rough square. Wrap it well and refrigerate again.
When you’re "ready to roll," remove the dough from the fridge. Dough made with a combination of butter and shortening should rest for about 5 minutes at room temperature before rolling. If you've made the dough with all vegetable shortening, you’ll be able to work with it directly from the refrigerator. A dough made with all butter will need to warm slightly (10 to 15 minutes) before rolling, as butter becomes brittle when it’s refrigerated.
Roll the dough to the size needed (about 13" for a 9" pie). Fill and bake as directed in your recipe.