Everyday Flaky Piecrust

My sister Judy gave me this recipe years ago; it’s the perfect recipe for a good, flaky piecrust that’s easy to work with. She makes her crust with all-vegetable shortening, which makes it extra flaky. I make mine with a mixture of butter and vegetable shortening because I like the flavor of butter as well as the flaky texture the shortening gives the crust.

Makes two 9-inch piecrusts or one 9-inch double-­crust pie

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your hands and work surface

3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for dusting your hands and work surface

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces and chilled

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled

1⁄3 cup ice water, plus 2–4 more tablespoons as needed

1 large egg

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the shortening and butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a handheld pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal with pea- to almond-size pieces of butter and a few larger chunks. It is important to work quickly to make this dough so that the butter and shortening remain cold.

In a separate small bowl, beat the egg with 1⁄3 cup of the water and the vinegar. Pour the egg around the edges of the flour mixture while working it into the mixture with a fork just until the dough starts to clump together. Do not over mix. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together.

Lightly dust your hands and work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and press it together. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a flat, round disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too hard, let it sit for 5–10 minutes before rolling. Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough to form a 12-inch circle about 1⁄8 inch thick. Brush off any excess flour after rolling. Fold the dough in half or gently roll it up onto the rolling pin and lift to place in the 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough lightly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

Trim the edges of the dough with a pair of kitchen shears, leaving about 1⁄2 inch of dough draping over the side. Turn the extra dough under itself. Crimp the edge of the pie or flatten it with the tines of a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for at least 1 hour before baking. Repeat with the other piece of dough. At this point the crust can be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. This way you’ll always have a piecrust on hand.

From Pie: a Savor the South® cookbook by Sara Foster. Copyright © 2018 by Sara Foster. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.