Martha White's Perfect Pie Crust

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“While the ingredients are familiar, it is the technique that sets this recipe apart. Cutting in the first half the shortening in small pieces developes tenderness, and the cutting in the second half until the size of small peas gives flakiness. Martha White and other Southern flours have less protien (less gluten to develop) which helps to produce a more tender crust.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine flour and salt; mix well.
  2. With pastry blender or fork, cut in half of shortening until mixture is fine and mealy.
  3. Cut in remaining shortening until mixture is consistency of small peas.
  4. Sprinkle water over mixture; stir gently with fork until dough leaves sides of bowl.
  5. If some dry particles remain in bottom of bowl, sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon water; continue to stir with fork until particles are worked into dough.
  6. Mixture should be moist enough to form a ball, but should not be sticky.
  7. Shape dough into 1 or 2 balls (depending on one- or two-crust); flatten to 1/2-inch thickness, rounding and smoothing edges.
  8. On floured surface, roll out dough to 11-inch round.
  9. Carefully roll dough around rolling pin; unroll unto 9-inch pie pan, or 9- or 10-inch tart pan; Fit evenly into pan; do not stretch.
  10. For one-crust baked pie shell (unfilled): Heat oven to 475F; Prick bottom and sides of pastry generously with fork; Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown; Cool on wire rack 15 minutes or until completely cooled.
  11. Continue as directed in pie recipe.
  12. For Two-Crust Pie: 2 cups Martha White All Purpose Flour 1 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup shortening 4 1/2 to 5 tablespoons cold water.

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