I found this recipe in a woman's magazine back in the seventies and have used it ever since. It has never failed ME, at any rate. No matter how much this dough is handled it is always flaky and tender even if scraps need to be re-rolled. Be sure to use exact measures, levelling off with a knife. Dough can be left in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It remains soft and can be taken out and rolled at once, or it can be frozen until ready to use (thaw until soft enough to roll). For a filled pie, bake at temperature indicated in recipe you are using. For unfilled pie, bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit as directed below. Note that it is suggested you bake a filled pie versus a pie shell on different racks of the oven. The recipe makes five 9-inch pie shells or one shell plus two 2-crust pies. Preparation time includes minimum chilling time of 1/2 hour. Cooking time is for unfilled pie crust only.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt with a fork.
- Cut in the shortening with a fork until crumbly.
- In a small bowl, beat together the water, vinegar and egg; add to the flour mixture.
- Stir until all ingredients are moistened.
- Divide dough into 5 portions and, with hands, shape each into a flat round patty ready for rolling.
- Wrap each patty in plastic or waxed paper and chill at least 1/2 hour.
- When you are ready to use the pie crust, lightly flour both sides of the patty and roll out on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth.
- Keeping the pastry round, roll, from the center, to a 1/8-inch thickness into a circle 2 inches larger than the top of the pie pan.
- Fold in halves or quarters, transfer to the pie pan, unfold and fit in loosely.
- Press with fingers to remove air pockets.
- Fill the crust.
- Place the other crust on top; flute edges with a fork and place decorative slits in top of crust to allow steam to escape.
- Bake as directed in the pie recipe you are following.
- Bake pie on the LOWEST rack in oven to prevent bottom crust becoming soggy.
- FOR A PRE-BAKED UNFILLED PIE SHELL:.
- Prick the bottom and sides of a pastry lined pie pan with a fork.
- Bake on the CENTER rack in a preheated 450 degree Fahrenheit oven 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown (a metal pan will take longer than glass).
- Cool on a wire rack (the shell will shrink and edges pull away from pan).
- Fill as desired.