These are all the ingredients you will need for pie crust. If you're new to pie baking, buy Crisco. It's better and it's more forgiving. This recipe makes one nine or ten inch double-crust pie.
Add two cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt. Mix well. Then heap a 1/3 cup measure with shortening. Don't ask me why it's necessary to do this instead of measuring 1/2 cup. Nothing else works, so this is how I do it. Add two heaping 1/3 cups.
Cut the shortening into the flour until it is completely mixed in, no little white blobs still floating around. What you end up with will be almost like dough if you've added enough shortening.Step 4.
Add 7 tablespoons of the coldest water you can get out of your tap. Mix only until the dough balls up and there are no really slimy, wet parts left. Overmixing at this point is the most common pie-making mistake.Step 5.
The dough will be very soft, maybe even sticky. Divide it in half. Dump a big handful of flour on whatever surface you'll be using to roll it out. Pat one half of the dough into a smooth ball with your hands, but be careful not to knead it. Set it in the middle of the floured surface and flatten it into an even round disc.
Turn the disc over to coat it with flour on both sides. Roll out gently, sprinkling with more flour if it sticks to your rolling pin. Pie baking is never successful unless it results in flour scattered all over the kitchen and most of my clothes.Okay, I've got two step fives, no step six, and I'm sick of trying to keep track. From here on out, we'll just skip the step numbers. Next, roll the dough around your rolling pin to transfer it to the pie pan without tearing. Set the pin on the edge of the pie pan and roll the dough out across the top.
Bake the pie at somewhere between 325 and 350 degrees for at least an hour. With fruit pies, assume they're done when the filling bubbles over and makes a huge mess in your oven. Sometimes I remember to plan in advance and put aluminum foil under the pie to catch the mess. Mostly my oven looks like nuclear waste depository. This is also an excellent way to test your smoke detector. Now, for the most important part, or at least I thought so when I was a kid and under my grandmothers' feet when they were baking. Take the extra dough you trimmed off, pat it into a ball, and roll it out. Put it in a pan. Sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon. Bake until just brown around the edges. Try not to eat it until it's cool, or you'll burn your tongue, which is why I'm sucking on this ice cube. My dad's mother called this a pie cracker.After an hour to an hour and a half (turns out altitude does make a difference, I have to bake the darn things 30 minutes longer since we moved to this mountainside) you should have something that looks like this: If you don't like your crust that brown, cut strips of tin foil and wrap them around just the outside rim for the first half of the baking.
Now, toss baking soda on that pool of flaming filling in the bottom of the oven, open the windows to chase out the smoke...and enjoy.