I won't use shortening --hydrogenated oil creates dangerous trans fats. I used lard, butter or oil, except when I make a nut crust, which is expensive but so good!
Make sure everything is cold and stays cold. The worst pastry gets warm and the fat melts, losing that flaky quality. Avoid overworking the dough, or it becomes tough.
Lard dough, for 3 double crust pies (it freezes well, so why not?)
1lb of lard
1 egg stirred into 1tbsp vinegar +water to make 1 cup
5.5 c flour, pastry for preference, whole wheat works, too
2 tsp salt.
Mix dry ingredients, then cut in lard until crumbly like cornmeal. Use just enough of the wet mixture to hold together, tossing lightly with a fork. Gather into a ball, flatten, wrap in plastic and fridge 30 minutes. Divide into 6, wrap extra, roll the other 2, pan the bottom and freeze until filling's ready. Top, seal, slit and bake@475* 10 min, then @350* until done.
Freeze the rest
at 1:10 PM on Dec. 6, 2010