Pie Dough

This is my tried and true recipe for all purpose pie dough, be it a sweet or savory dish. You can make this ahead and refrigerate or freeze the dough until you have a special occasion to use it.

Learning how to work with pie dough is an art. I am still learning. Honestly, the quintessential flakiness of a perfect pie crust has less to do with any specific recipe and more to do with the handling of the dough. Really you should think of it as coating the fat with flour. The better doughs I have made, I could still see flecks of fat when I rolled it out.

The best trick I have learned so far: Work fast and work cold. I go as far as to freeze the first four ingredients the night before. Say you want to bake a pie out of all of the luscious fruits that will be available this summer, do not try to work with your dough in the heat of the middle of a summer day. Believe me, Disastrous! After many frustrating moments, I have made a rule, I only make pie dough in the cool of the morning.  Most of all, relax, it is just pie dough.

Pie Dough

(makes two crusts)

2  1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup water, cold

2 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine flour and salt in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter, shortening, water and lemon juice and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of fat. Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. Gently shape into 2 discs. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured. Carefully place one of the crusts onto a 9-inch pie plate. Unbaked pie dough can be kept in a refrigerator for up to three days and frozen for up to 6 months. If storing pie dough for later use, make sure to protect the dough from absorbing odors and drying out by wrapping it completely in plastic wrap and placing in an airtight container.

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