The key to both flavorful and flaky pie crust is the use of both shortening and butter. The butter imparts richness, flakiness, and a wonderful flavor, while the shortening adds tenderness. Use very cold ingredients and you will be rewarded with a great flaky pie crust. I use a bit more water than most recipes say to use, because I feel that there is nothing worse than crumbling dough that won’t hold together. You just need enough water to make the dough hold together when you squeeze a clump in your hands. You may also find that you need more or less water in the dough depending upon the season. In the summer you may need less due to the humidity in the air, and in the winter you may need more because of the drier conditions. Start with less and then add more.
- 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 TB sugar
- 13 TB unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 7 TB cold vegetable shortening, cut into ¼ inch pieces
- 1/3-1/2 cup of ice water mixed with 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
- Mix flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the butter and then pulse 5 to 8 times. Add shortening and pulse another 3 to five times until the butter and shortening are both in nice small pieces.
- Remove the lid of the food processor and add 1/3 cup of ice water evenly over the top of the flour and butter mixture. Replace the lid and pulse a few times. Check to see if the dough is hydrated enough by squeezing a bit of dough and seeing if it holds together. If it doesn’t then add more water and pulse another couple of times. When the dough is hydrated enough divide it into two pieces (one slightly bigger than the other) and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes before rolling out. When rolling out roll out to a 1/8 inch thickness.