No matter how much you handle this dough (and you can beat it with your rolling pin if you like), it will always be flaky, tender and delicious. Scraps can be re-rolled if necessary and crust will never be tough. Dough can be left in the refrigerator up to 3 days. It remains soft and can be taken out and rolled at once, or it can be frozen until ready to use (thaw until soft enough to roll). Recipe makes two 9-inch double-crust pies and 1 pie shell or about 20 tart shells. Use standard measuring cups and spoons for measuring ingredients, leveling off top with edge of spatula. Give recipe your undivided attention.
4 cups all-purpose flour (not instant or
self-rising), lightly spooned into cup
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups shortening (not refrigerated;
do not use lard, oil, margarine or butter)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 large egg
In large bowl, stir together with fork flour, sugar and salt; cut in shortening with fork until crumbly. In small bowl, beat together water, vinegar and egg; add to flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are moistened. Divide dough in 5 portions and, with hands, shape each in flat round patty ready for rolling; wrap each patty in plastic or wax paper and chill at least 1/2 hour.
When you are ready to use the piecrust, lightly flour both sides of the patty and roll out on lightly floured board or pastry cloth. (If possible, cover rolling pin with stockinette and rub in a little flour.) Keeping pastry round, roll from center to 1/8-inch thickness and 2 inches larger than inverted pie pan; fold