This recipe, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck (Knopf, 1961), is one we often turn to when we want a good, foolproof pie crust.
- 1 1⁄3 cups flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp. cold vegetable shortening
- Put flour into a large bowl and mix in sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, work butter and shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add as much as 4 tbsp. ice water and blend quickly with one hand, fingers held together and slightly cupped, as you rapidly gather the dough firmly into a rough-shaped ball. It should just hold together and be pliable but not sticky.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.With the heel of one hand, not the palm (which is too warm), rapidly press pastry by two-spoonful bits down on floured surface and away from you in a firm, quick smear of about 6″. Gather dough together, then knead it briefly into a fairly smooth round ball. Sprinkle it lightly with flour and wrap in waxed paper. Either freeze dough for 1 hour or refrigerate it for 2 hours or overnight before using.