Serving: Double pie crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat (unsalted frozen butter, lard, shortening or any combination of the three), cut into
10 tablespoons ice water
An hour before starting the pie crust recipe, freeze the cup of fat and measured water in separate containers that can be frozen. After an hour, remove fat and thinly slice.
Place flour and salt in a sifter. Sift into a medium-sized bowl.
Distribute butter slices across the top of the flour mixture.
Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
Get water. It should have a thin layer of ice over the top. Break ice into the cold water.
Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over flour mixture.
Using a spatula or fork, press the mixture into itself until it forms a dough. If the dough holds
together when pinched, it is done. If it crumbles apart, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and
mix until it holds together.
Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on wooden board, paper* or pastry sheet.
Gently work the dough to form a ball. Cut ball in half.
Wrap each half in paper and place in a cold place for 1 hour or up to 2 days. Mixture will keep frozen for 3 months. Allow sufficient time to thaw before using.
*Historical Note: In the 1870’s, cooks would have used white paper. Brown paper left an unpleasant oily flavor if it contained pitch and tar. Baking parchment was not available until the 20th century.
Rolling Out the Dough:
Unwrap a dough half and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Lightly flour the work surface, top of dough and rolling pin covered with pastry cloth.
Roll dough by pressing down with rolling pin and rotating work surface after each pass to create
a circle with the dough. Roll dough to 1/8” thickness.
Cook’s Note: Dust flour over the top of the dough only as necessary (over working and using
too much flour results in a tougher finished product) to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin.
Check whether the completed circle is large enough by inverting the pie pan over the rolled
dough circle. There should be a 3″ edge around the pie pan.
Gently roll dough around rolling pin.
Unroll dough over pie pan.
Gently press dough down into pie pan. If dough tears, gently pinch it back together.
Then, using a knife or pair of kitchen scissors, trim dough hanging over the edge of the pie pan to within 1″ of the edge of the pie pan.
If making a lattice top crust, use a brush to apply cold water to the underside of the overhanging pastry.
Gently fold the hanging dough underneath itself so that it lies on the edge of the pie pan.
Push the dough up to stand above the edge.
Crimp the edge by using the forefinger and thumb of each hand to push small sections of dough
of each hand to push small sections of dough together, forming a crimp between the two hands.