american pie dough for prebaked pie shell

1-1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting dough and work surface
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening, chilled
4-5 tablespoons ice water

1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in workbowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat with flour. Cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on mixture with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if it will not come together. Shape dough into ball, squeezing two to three times with hands until cohesive, then flatten into 4-inch-wide disk. Dust lightly with flour. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.

3. Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly, about 10 minutes or about 20 minutes if it has chilled overnight. The dough should be pliable. Use your hands to squeeze the dough; if you can squeeze it without applying too much pressure, it is ready to roll. Roll dough on lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch disk about 1/8 inch thick. Fold dough in quarters then place dough point in center of pie pan. Unfold dough.

4. Working around circumference of pan, press dough carefully into pan by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Trim edges to 1/2 inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is about 1/4 inch beyond pan lip. Flute dough in your own fashion. Refrigerate pie shell for 40 minutes and then freeze for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Press doubled 12-inch square of aluminum foil inside dough shell; evenly distribute 1 cup of 12 ounce ceramic or metal pie weights over foil. Bake, leaving foil and weights in place until dough dries out, about 17 minutes. Carefully remove foil by pulling up and out. For partially baked crust, continue baking until lightly golden brown, about 9 minutes more; for fully baked crust, continue baking until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack to cool as directed in individual recipes.

From America’s Test Kitchens.

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