This is my basic pie crust recipe. It can be a difficult recipe to follow, which is why I added the step by step picture block. So if you decide to tackle baking pies, use the pictures as a reference. The basic recipe can be used for desserts or main dishes, such as quiche or chicken pot pie; but usually if I'm baking a dessert pie, I add the sugar, but it is optional.
This recipe is for a double crust pie (top and bottom, like an apple pie) or two single crusts (like pumpkin pie, or my quiche).
2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
**1/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening
8-9 T. cold water
Mix flour salt and sugar (only use sugar if you're baking a dessert pie!!). Add shortening and with a fork mix in the shortening. With the fork you lift from bottom to top, you don't press down to break up the shortening. It will take a little bit of time, and the pieces of shortening should all be pea size or smaller.
Take a few fork fulls of dough crumbles and set aside. Add the water to the flour mixture. If you're adding sugar to the recipe, you may need the extra tablespoon of water. The dough should come together as a ball in your grip, add a few more drops of water if necessary.
On a floured surface roll out dough with a rolling pin. Just roll it out to the edge of your surface or about 1/4 inch thick. It doesn't matter the shape or look of the dough at this point. Sprinkle the dry dough mixture, that had been set aside, on the top of the dough, to the edges. Roll dough up, like a fruit roll up, and close off the edges so the crumbs don't fall out. Cut into fourths, stack on top of each other, and smash down, so you have one large mass of dough. Cut in half and set one half aside.
Again on a floured surface roll out dough. This time you're going to eventually need a close to perfect circle, so when rolling out, try to keep your shape. After you've rolled dough out an few inches wider than pie pan. Place pan in the middle of dough and cut a circle out, use the extra pieces of dough to fill in places that didn't quite keep shape. Using rolling pin, roll dough over and then onto the top of the pie pan. Lift dough into pan, making sure that it's up against the walls and edges. Using your fingers roll the edges of the crust down and in so that it sits just along the edge of the pan. Once you've circled the whole crust, go back around, using your thumb and index finger to shape the crust. You can make the wave as tight or loose, as big or small as you would like.
Your crust is done! Whether or not the crust is cooked now or after filled depends on the pie being made.