Following your piecrust recipe, use a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Work mixture just until the pieces are the size of small peas. If you overwork the mixture, your pastry may not be flaky.
- Sprinkle ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time, over part of the flour mixture.
- Toss gently with a fork.
- Push to one side of the bowl.
- Repeat until all of the flour mixture is evenly moistened.
After all the flour is moistened, use your hands to gently press and form the dough into a ball. For a double-crust piecrust, divide the ball of dough in half.
- Flour the rolling surface just enough to keep the dough from sticking.
- Use your hands to slightly flatten one ball of dough.
- Roll slightly flattened dough with a floured rolling pin from the center out to the edges, all of the way around the circle.
- Use light, even strokes to form a 12-inch circle with an even thickness. If dough sticks to rolling pin or work surface, sprinkle with additional flour.
For easy transfer to the pie plate, wrap the pastry circle around the rolling pin
- Holding the rolling pin over a 9-inch pie plate, unroll the pastry. Start at one side rather than in the middle.
- Center the pastry so an equal amount is hanging over all sides.
- Gently ease the pastry into the pie plate without stretching it. (Stretching pastry causes it to shrink while baking.)
- Lightly press the pastry over the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
Transfer the pie filling to the pastry-lined pie plate. If you're making a fruit pie, such as Rosemary Apple Pie (recipe below), make sure you evenly distribute the fruit in the bottom crust.
Use a sharp knife to trim the pastry even with the rim of the pie plate. Trim after adding the filling so it doesn't pull the pastry down into the pie plate.
Roll out the second ball of piecrust dough according to the directions in Step 4. Use a sharp knife to cut slits near the center of the top pastry to allow steam to escape during baking.
Wrap the top pastry around the rolling pin and unroll onto the filled pie, being careful not to stretch the pastry.
Use kitchen scissors to trim the edge of the top pastry 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the pie plate.
Lift the bottom pastry edge away from the pie plate and fold the extra top pastry under it.
For a traditional rope edge, pinch the pastry edge by pushing forward on a slant with your bent index finger and pulling back with your thumb. Bake and cool the pie according to the directions in your recipe.