How-to Make & Shape Pie Pastry

Combine flour and salt in a bowl. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (the size of small peas.)

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time over the mixture and toss gently with a fork. Repeat until dry ingredients are moist and mixture forms a ball. Use only as much water as necessary to moisten flour.

Shape into a ball. (For a double-crust pie, divide dough in half so that one ball is slightly larger than the other.) On a floured surface or floured pastry cloth, flatten the ball (the larger one, if making a double-crust pie) into a circle, pressing together any cracks or breaks.

Roll with a floured rolling pin from the center of the dough to the edges, forming a circle 2 in. larger than the pie plate. The pastry should be about 1/8 in. thick.

To move pastry, roll up pastry onto rolling pin. Position over edge of pie plate and unroll. Let the pastry ease into the plate. Do not stretch the pastry to fit. For a single-crust pie, trim pastry with a scissors to 1/2 in. beyond plate edge; turn under and flute as in step 8. For a double-crust pie, trim pastry even with plate edge. For a lattice-crust pie, trim pastry to 1 inch beyond plate edge. Either bake the shell or fill according to recipe directions.

For a double-crust pie, roll out second ball into a 12-in. circle about 1/8 in. thick. Roll up onto the rolling pin; position over filling. With a knife, cut slits in top to allow steam to escape while baking.

With scissors, trim top pastry to 1 in. beyond plate edge. Fold top crust over bottom crust.

To flute the edge, position your thumb on the inside of the crust. Place the thumb and index finger of your other hand on the outside edge and pinch pastry around the thumb to form a V-shape and seal dough together. Continue around the edge.