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Master Pie Crust

You’ll see that I use butter as well as shortening in this crust. Why? Well, butter contains water and when the crust is baking the water turns to steam and guess what happens? Flaky crust! The water makes pockets of steam and the shortening gives it texture. It must be magic!



  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup vegetable shortening, chilled

  • 9 tablespoons butter, chilled

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • ½ cup ice water


  1. Cube butter into 1/4 or 3/8 inch pieces. Place in small bowl and refrigerate.

  2. Measure one 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening and refrigerate.

  3. Mix salt in ice water and keep chilled in refrigerator.

  4. In a food processor combine flour and sugar. Pulse two or three times to mix well.

  5. Add butter to processor and pulse several times. Add shortening and pulse until the mixture looks coarse and pale yellow.

  6. Place mixture into a large bowl and add three tablespoons of ice water. Knead the dough and water mixture until a loose ball forms. Add water one tablespoon at a time until mixture comes together. Be careful not to over knead as this will make a less flaky crust.

  7. Form pastry into a ball with your hands and divide into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Press into small disks on a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  8. Roll disks out on floured wax paper until the pastry is about 12 inches round and about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to pie pan. Fill with fruit and add top crust. Cut vents to allow steam to escape.

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