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Basic Pastry

Yield Makes 1 (9-inch) pastry shell
This pastry stirs together in 5 minutes, chills in the freezer, and is ready to roll in 40 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

How to Make It

  1. Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl; cut in shortening with a pastry blender until crumbly (mixture should have irregular-size pieces).

  2. Sprinkle cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, evenly over surface, and stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. (Squeeze dough firmly between your fingers after adding 3 tablespoons water; if it falls apart, add remaining tablespoon water.)

  3. Shape dough into a flattened disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 2 hours or freeze 30 minutes. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes.

  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Place in a 9-inch pieplate. Trim off excess pastry along edges; fold edges under, and crimp. Prick pastry a few times with a fork if baking. (Do not prick if pastry is going to be filled before baking.)

  5. Freeze 10 minutes.

  6. Bake at 450° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.