Preparation time: 45 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 1 crust
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
* 5 tablespoons shortening
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons ice water
Measure the flour into the processor with the regular blade attached. Add the unsalted butter, cut into cubes, and shortening, cut into cubes. (Your fat should be frozen or very cold. You may vary the proportions, or use some lard, but the total should be 9 tablespoons.) Add salt. Pulse three times with three counts per pulse to lightly mix the ingredients.
With the motor running, pour ice water into the workbowl just until the dough just starts to get noticeably crumbly. Don't wait until it is a big clump or it will be way too wet and will turn out tough.
Stop the machine, dump the crumbly dough into a bowl, and gather the dough into a ball with your hand. You can squeeze it a bit to make it stick together. If it just won't form a ball, add a tiny bit more water. (Note that if you are making crust in the food processor, you will use less water than most recipes call for.)
Wrap your dough ball in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill it about 30 minutes in the refrigerator, then roll it out.
When you are ready to bake the pie shell, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C) . To bake a one-crust pie shell, fit the crust into the pie plate, and flute the edge. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.
If the shell will be filled with a cream filling that will not be baked further, place a piece of parchment paper the size of the pie plate inside the pie shell, then scatter pie weights or beans on the bottom to weight it. This helps the shell to retain its shape. The shell should be baked at 400°F (205°C) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fluted edge is a golden brown. The weights and parchment should be removed after 5 minutes of baking. I did mine for 15 minutes.
If the shell will receive a filling that requires further baking, the crust should be prebaked 5 minutes only, without the addition of the parchment paper and weights.