I make this quantity of pastry for any size pie shell and, truthfully, it’s a bit much for a 9 inch shell, but I like the proportions. If I have too much dough, I just trim it and keep the extra in the freezer. I use it if I ever need to cut out leaves or other shapes.
1½ cups flour
6 tbls. unsalted butter, cold
2 tbls. Crisco (or lard, if you have the nerve)
2 to 3 tbls. ICE water
Add the flour to a food processor. Pulse once.
Cut the butter into small pieces. (I quarter the stick lengthwise and then cut it into small pieces.) Add that to the food processor with the Crisco. Pulse on and off until the fat is uniformly broken up.
Add 2 tablespoons ICE water and process for about 30 seconds, just until the mixture begins to come together. If it doesn’t come together, add the 3rd tablespoon of water. (I almost always use all 3 tablespoons.) Pulse a few more times until the mixture begins to form a ball.
Remove dough from processor and knead just long enough to make a smooth ball. Pat it out into a flat round.
At this point, I lay 2 sheets of plastic wrap out on the counter. I put the dough on top and cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap, so that I’m rolling out the dough between the sheets of plastic.
I roll the dough to the size I need and then line my pie dish. THEN I refrigerate it. The plastic wrap makes it possible to roll out just-made dough easily and you don’t need any flour. I cannot stand rolling out chilled dough.
If I’m freezing the dough, I line the actual pie dish with the dough as soon as I make it and then freeze THAT.
Some recipes call for prebaked shells. Baking a shortcrust pastry shell without a filling is called baking it blind.
To bake the pastry blind, line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or waxed paper. Pour in pie weights (I’ve had the same ones since the 1970’s) or dried beans or rice to weight down the shell. Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for about 15 minutes or until just golden. Cool on a rack. (I like to chill the lined pastry shell for 20 to 30 minutes before baking blind.)