Servings: Makes 1 9-inch double crust
Ingredients 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour2 teaspoons sugar1 1/2 teaspoons salt1 cup vegetable shortening , chilled5 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold heavy cream or evaporated milk , more or less as needed
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. With the tips of your fingers, pinch shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles a bowl of peas. Tossing mixture with a fork, add cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough holds together when gently pressed. With lightly floured hands, gather dough into a flat round, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other; cover and refrigerate smaller ball. Press larger ball into a disk. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 12-inch circle, rotating dough as you go, keeping the thickness between 1/4 and 1/8 inch.
Fold dough in half, then into quarters; gently place in pie plate so that the point of the crust is in the center. Unfold, press crust into plate and trim excess dough down to a 1/2-inch flap. For a single-crust pie, crimp edge. Otherwise proceed with top crust per individual pie recipe; refrigerate bottom until needed.