Perfect Pie Crust
1 cup flour
½ cup shortening
Cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles small peas. (Do not mix with your hands as the heat from them will melt the shortening and cause your crust to be heavy instead of light and flaky)
½ cup water
Mix together with a fork just until it forms a ball and no flour is left in the bowl.
Roll pie crust out and place in pie tin. Bake as directed for pie.
For a single crust pie shell: place dough in pan, trim edges, prick shell with fork to prevent shrinkage, bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes.
Additional Pastry Tips for Success:
-A pastry blender is a great help to cut in shortening evenly. If you don't own one, purchase one! -Its the "cutting in" of the shortening into tiny lumps that gives pastry its flaky texture.
-Anchor a pastry cloth around a board with tape and use a cloth cover for your rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. Rub flour into both; this will prevent sticking, yet the flour won't be absorbed by the dough.
-Due to the amount of fat in pastry and crusts, pie plates or pans are not usually greased.
-Nonstick pie pans can cause pastry to shrink excessively when baking one-crust pie shells. Be sure pastry is securely hooked over the edge of a nonstick pan.
-Do not stretch the dough to fit the pie pan, it will shrink from the edge if you do. Make sure to roll it out at least 1-inch larger than the pie pan.
-Do not overwork the dough, less handling makes a more tender and flaky crust.
-For pumpkin and custard pies, brush beaten egg over unbaked pastry shell before filling. This helps prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
-A pair of kitchen scissors makes the best tool to evenly trim the overhanging edge of the pastry before folding under and fluting.
-Brushing the top crust with slightly beaten egg white will give it a glazed look.
-Brushing the top with milk will give a shiny appearance.
-Sprinkling the top crust with granulated or turbinado (raw) sugar will give a delightful sparkling appearance.
-Cutting designs such as apples and leaves out of excess dough and "gluing" them onto the unbaked pastry by moistening the underside of the cut-out, makes another lovely decoration for your "masterpiece".