Pastry for Pies and Tarts


One-Crust Pie (9-inch):

  • 1 cup all-purpose or unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. shortening
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

Two-Crust Pie (9-inch):

  • 2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. shortening
  • 4-6 tbsp. cold water

In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tbsp. at a time, tossing with fork until all the flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 tsp. more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface (for Two-Crust Pie, divide pastry in half and shape into 2 rounds). Wrap flattened round of pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Roll pastry on lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch pie place or 3 inches longer than 10- or 11-inch tart pan. Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate; or roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unfold or unroll pastry and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side and being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.

From here, prepare dough as directed on pie or tart directions. You may need to partially bake or fully bake before adding the filling. For Two-Crust pie, fold top pastry over top of filled pie and cut slits so steam can escape. Press rim to seal.

Bake as directed on pie or tart recipe.
by The Savvy Kitchen