Pie Crust

9-Inch Single Pie Crust

1 1/4c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c.+ 1 Tbsp. butter-flavored shortening
Ice water (probably about 1/4 c.)

Making the Dough

Combine flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in shortening (room temperature) until you get pieces that are about pea-sized.

Start sprinkling the ice water by about a tablespoon at a time over the flour/shortening mixture. Very, very gently, turn the dough with your fingers so it gets exposed to the water. You're NOT mixing, just trying to moisten all of the flour/shortening mixture. Gradually, all of the flour mixture will be moistened.

Gently pat the dough into a ball (it should come together easily but not be sticky). Wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until you're ready to use.

Rolling the Dough
When you're ready to roll out your pie crust, lightly flour your work surface and place the dough ball on the surface. One of the keys in making pie crust is to handle the dough as little as possible. Don't freak out TOO much; like I said, this recipe for crust is pretty forgiving, but at the same time, the less you touch it, the more tender and flaky it will be. Starting in the center, roll the dough out into a circle shape, about 1/8" thick. When you've reached your desired thickness, place the rolling pin in the middle and gently fold the crust over the rolling pin. Lift the dough onto your pie plate and unfold it (gently; notice a theme here?).

The Edge of Reason
Unless I'm planning on doing something fancy schmancy with my edges, I just run a sharp knife around the edges of the pie plate, cutting off the excess dough. Then I use my thumb and fingers to make kind of a big, wavy edge on the crust, but that's just how I do it; there are lots of pretty pie edges.

Pre-baked Crusts
Sometimes a recipe will call for a pre-baked crust. Some people place "weights" (either little balls specifically designed for this purpose, or even beans) in the pie to keep it from puffing and shrinking, but I've found that with this recipe, I don't need them. Just prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden-brown.

If You Can't Take the Heat...
You'll want to keep an eye on your pie as it's baking because sometimes, the crust gets brown long before the pie is done. If you see this happening, take some tin foil and punch a hole a couple inches in diameter in the middle. Remove pie from oven and carefully, loosely place the shield over the pie (loose because you still want the steam to be able to escape). This will keep the edges from getting too brown while the middle finishes cooking.