Pie Dough seems like an intimidating thing, at least to me it did, until I made it for the first time. It's so simple that I don't even bother with the pre-made stuff anymore. Don't get me wrong, there are days when I am in a little more of a hurry, but this recipe still works, because you can prepare it up to a week ahead and refrigerate it until you are ready to roll it out and use it. I got this recipe from my sister, and she got it from the Paula Deen website I believe. This recipe has changed a little over the years, and this is what I've landed on. Other pie crust recipes got nothin on this one.
The first thing I ALWAYS do when making this dough, is cube my butter and place it with the shortening back into the fridge, so it is VERY cold when it's time to add to the flour mixture. Now, in a large bowl (I like to use a large, glass Pyrex mixing bowl) sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Now add the butter and shortening. Using a pasty cutter, cut in butter and shortening until it is about the size of a pea, then STOP! If you overwork the dough, your crust wont be flaky!
Using a wooden spoon, mix in the water a little at a time. You can use your hands too, but the wooden spoon will keep the butter and shortening from melting so quickly. Mix this just until the dough starts to clump together when you press it together a little. Form into a round ball, then wrap in plastic wrap or place in a freezer bag and place the dough in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
When the dough has chilled, you can remove it from the fridge and divide it into two even pieces. Roll it out to the size you need. This recipe makes two rolled out pieces of dough, so it's great for fruit pies that need a top dough or even a chicken pot pie. If you are making quiche, you will only need a bottom pie crust, so this recipe will make two quiches. Last but not least, this dough will make four individual pies with top crust. There are so many other things you could do with this, so be creative! Once you've out your pie or pies together, follow the baking instructions for whatever you are making and ENJOY! Thanks for baking with me today!