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.
Homemade pie crust really elevates your desserts (and savory tarts and quiches too), and isn't as hard as you might think, especially if you use a food processor to make the dough. Even if you don't roll it out exactly evenly or press it in to your pie plate perfectly, the buttery taste and flaky texture will more than make up for any cosmetic imperfections. Give this easy pie crust recipe a try next time you bake—and if you want to use it for a savory dish, just leave out the sugar in the recipe. Read more.