Perfect Pastry


2 cups SIFTED all-purpose flour
¾ cup shortening
1 tsp salt
4 to 5 Tbsp ice water


  1. Sift flour with salt into medium bowl

  2. With pastry blender or 2 knives cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal

  3. Quickly sprinkle ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time, over all of pastry mixture, tossing lightly with a fork after each addition and pushing dampened portion to side of bowl: sprinkle only remaining dry portion

  4. Shape pastry into a ball; wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use

  5. Divide pastry in half; flatten each half with palm of hand

  6. Sprinkle small amount of flour on pastry or on rolling pin and roll out pastry starting from center. Change angle of rolling pin and sprinkle more flour regularly

  7. Fit crust into pie plate. Press gently with fingers toward center of plate, but do not stretch the pastry. See notes for more hints and options.

  8. Repeat for upper crust.

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