6.5 Cups AP flour.
1& 1/4 Cup ice cold water with 1 TBS of lemon juice or cidar vinegar mixed in.
1 pound brick of vegatable shortening
1/2 pound BUTTER
Chill the butter and shortening for at least two hours in the freezer!!
Put Flour in a deep bowl.
Using a cheese grater..alternately rolling the shortening and butter in the flour..grate the shortening and butter on the LARGE hole side of the grater..After every four or five swipes on the grater..roll the butter/shortening in the flour..this helps to keep the fat from clumping...every once in a while, reach into the blowl and "fluff" it up to keep your bits of fat coated in flour.
Once all the fats have been grated and "fluffed" through the flour...chill the whole bowl in the freezer for about a half hour.
Take out and make a well in the mixture and start pouring the water/lemon juice into the well a little bit at a time...as you pour in the water..use your finger tips to gently flip the flour mixture into the well from the outside in..
This will mix it without KNEADING it..you want the fats to stay as firm and whole as possible!!
When all the water is incorporated into the mixture...it should resemble a flaky ball...and you should be able to SEE the bits of fat through the dough..
This is very important..because it is the melting of the fat that make the pastry flaky..if over worked or over rolled..your crust will be tough and hard.
NOW..divide the pastry with a knife into usable portions..each portion should be smaller than a grapefruit..but slightly larger than a navel orange.
Wrap and chill in fridge.
Each portion is a pie shell ..one for an open pie..two for a closed pie.
When rolling out your pastry it is IMPERATVIE to do so correctly...I like to roll pastry on an old cotton table cloth...Sprinkle and smooth down a hand full of flour..put your dough ball in the centre and gentle flatten out the ball by pressing it down with the rolling pin...then starting in the centre of the dough roll outwards ...ie..Cnter to top..center to bottom..center to 3 o'clock and so forth..your crust should take NO MORE than 6-8 swipes from the rolling pin!!
There you have it folks...My secret weapon pie pastry....I once made a pie so bad for a Thanksgiving family pot luck..that my Brother verbally and LOUDLY denounced it at the table!! I was Mortified!
I have since been working on my pastry...and if you follow my secret tips..and ingredients...your pastry will be as secret a weapon as mine is today!!
Stay tuned for my Ham and Egg PIE!!