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PASTRY DOUGH


Ingredients:
For a single-crust pie
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

 

Ingredients:

For a double-crust pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 to 9 tablespoons ice water

 

Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper

 

Preparation
Blend together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

 

For a single-crust pie, drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture. For a double-crust pie, drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture. Gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.

 

Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated. Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.

 

Turn dough out onto a work surface. For a single-crust pie, divide dough into 4 portions; for a double-crust pie, divide dough into 8 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all dough together with pastry scraper. For a single-crust pie, press into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. For a double-crust pie, divide dough with one half slightly larger, then form each into a ball and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. If dough is sticky, dust lightly with additional flour. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

 

Cooks' notes:
For sweet pastry dough (single crust), add 2 tablespoons sugar to flour mixture and proceed with recipe as directed.
Dough can be chilled up to 2 days ahead.

 

Makes enough for a 9-inch pie

 

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