This recipe is for pies and tarts that do not require an overly sweet crust and makes one crust. For double crust pies (top and bottom) double the recipe.

Be careful not to add too much when adding ice water. You may always add more water, but it is difficult to take it away! If the dough is too wet, you’ll need to add more flour which will likely result in a tougher crust.

Remember, it is important that the fat(s) are very cold (but not frozen).

While this recipe calls for both butter and shortening, you could alter the ratios to change flavor and texture as long as you do not exceed eight (8) total tablespoons of fat. If you have home rendered lard, by all means, feel free to use it!

Traditionally made in a bowl, I find that the food processor makes very quick work of this.

Makes one crust

1-1/4 cups (175 g) all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons (28 g) cold vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon (3 g) table salt
4 to 6 tablespoons (60 – 90 ml) ice water


  1. Combine all ingredients except water in the food processor fitted with pastry blade, and pulse until it resembles coarse meal with some small pieces (about the size of a pea or a kernel of corn) of butter / shortening. Or combine ingredients in a bowl and mix with your finger tips or pastry blender.
  2. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse again until it is incorporated.
  3. Take small amount of dough and squeeze it together. If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, about 1/2 tablespoon and pulse until incorporated. Repeat until dough just holds together. Don’t work the dough too much.
  4. Dump out dough onto a work surface (cold marble would be perfect) and gather into a rough ball.
  5. Divide into three or four equal parts and using the heel of your hand, firmly push each part down and away from you. Repeat the process with each part.
  6. Re-gather the portions into a rough ball, then flatten into a disk about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. If dough is sticky, dust very lightly with additional flour.
  7. Wrap with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate at least one hour and up to 1 day before using.