2 ½cups(312 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
2tablespoons(25 g) granulated sugar
⅔cup(126 g) vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
½cup(113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 to 6tablespoonsice water
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Add the chilled shortening and using a pastry cutter, or two forks, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse sand. Next, add the cold butter cubes and use the pastry blender, or two forks, to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, with bits about the size of small peas. If there are a few larger bits, no worries, that bite of pie will be extra good.
Sprinkle the ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time, into the bowl. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Once large clumps start to form, do not add any more water. I typically use about 6 tablespoons.
With your hands, form the dough into a large ball and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equally-sized disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days, before rolling.
Use cold ingredients. I put my flour in the refrigerator for 10 minutes as well.
Avoid overworking the dough. Gluten will start forming in the flour and the butter will melt. This will result in a tough pie crust.
Use ice cold water. Put ice in a cup of water and stir it around until the ice melts. Measure your water 1 tablespoon at a time when adding to the ingredients.
When ready to roll your pie dough, you may have to let it sit at room temperature for a 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is malleable.
High altitude adjustments: If you are baking at high altitude, you will need more water to make up for the lack of moisture in the air and flour. You will likely need 8 or more tablespoons. Also, decrease sugar by 2 teaspoons.Recommended Tools:
Mixing bowls: I suggest using metal bowls to keep ingredients cold.
Kitchen scale: It's more accurate weighing your ingredients instead of measuring them.
Pastry cutter: This handy tool makes it easy to cut butter and shortening into dry ingredients.
Rolling pin: This makes it easy to roll your dough out evenly. I like the kind that has the measurements on the side to tell me how thick the crust is.