Shortening Pie Crust

This is the easiest of all the pie crusts to make and roll out.  You do not need a food processor or any fancy equipment to make this crust.  In addition, the crust can be rolled out immediately after mixing unlike those made with butter which need a rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour before rolling.

makes two 9- inch crusts or one double crust

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup vegetable shortening, refrigerator cold
5 to 7 tablespoons ice cold milk

Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.  Add the shortening and with a pastry blender, a fork or your fingers cut the shortening into the flour until all of the flour granules are covered with shortening and the mixture looks like peas.  Drizzle 3 tablespoons of milk over the flour mixture and gently stir with a fork.  Add the milk one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition until the flour is evenly moistened but not soggy.  The amount of milk used will vary with the moisture in the flour and the humidity in your kitchen.

Press the dough together into 2 equal balls and then flatten into disks.  You can roll the crusts right away or tightly wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.  Lightly flour your work surface and the rolling pin before gently rolling out one crust at a time.  Roll each ball until a thickness of 1/8 of and inch is achieved and the dough is approximately 12-inches in diameter.

adapted from Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies by Mollie Cox Bryan

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