6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into small pieces and chilled
4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable shortening, chilled
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For a double crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable shortening, chilled
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
The combination of vegetable shortening and butter yields a flaky crust suited to any filling, from pecan to pumpkin.
Adapted from "Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes from Around the World" by Richard Sax
1Place the flour, butter, shortening, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse until the mixture is crumbly, about 10 (1-second) pulses. (Alternatively, place the ingredients in a large bowl and cut them together with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the butter and shortening are in pea-size pieces, about 5 minutes.)
2Drizzle the water over the mixture and pulse (or toss with a fork if not using a food processor) until the mixture begins to clump together and forms a dough. Gather it into a ball, sprinkling with a few more drops of water if needed. Form into 1 flat disk (if making a single crust) or 2 flat disks (one slightly larger than the other, if making a double crust), wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.