Some people have a lot of problems with pastry-I do not. Unfortunately, the clean up crew has a problem with the mess I make making pastry. Unfortunately, the clean up crew also DOES NOT LIKE pastry. It doesn’t matter what kind. Flakey, not flakey, doesn’t matter.
However, this one is an easy peasy one for all of you and pretty much the pastry I can make in my sleep. (Yes, I grew up with a biscuit recipe and a pastry recipe in my head) Use shortening. It is good for you. I am sure of it. It certainly makes a better crust.
Never Fail Pastry
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water.
1/3 cup shortening
Sift flour and salt together into bowl. (Yes, I mean it-use the sifter. I know it says pre-sifted and modern folk don’t need to pay attention. Just do it. Your kids will love doing it even if you don’t). Measure 1/3 of mixture into a smaller bowl. Add water, stirring to a smooth paste. Cut shortening into flour mixture in the first bowl with pastry blender until like small peas. (oh forget the pastry blender-use a fork. Pastry blenders bug me.) Then stir flour paste into dough. Form dough into ball with hands. Chill if desired. Turn onto pastry cloth. (oh um I have never owned one of these- I toss some flour on the counter or cutting board or wax paper-especially if the kitchen is warm) Roll 1/8 inch thick. Fit into pie plate and flute the rim. Bake in a hot oven (450) for 15 minutes.
Non parenthetical instructions and actual measurements courtesy of Mary Meade 52 desserts of the week, Chicago Tribune, 194*.