Prebaked Pie Crust:
In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process
until combined. Add the cold butter and shortening and process (using the pulse button), until the mixture
is crumbly (resembles coarse
meal). Pour the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, through the feed tube,
and process (pulse) just until the dough is moistened and starts to clump together when pinched (it should not be a solid
ball of dough). Turn the dough out onto your counter and gather into a ball. Flatten
into a 5 inch (12 cm) disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about
30 - 60 minutes, or until firm enough to roll out.
(The pastry can be refrigerated for
a few days or frozen for a month. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator
overnight before using.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit a
8-9 inch (20-23 cm) pie
or tart pan. To prevent
the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep
lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from
the center outwards). When the pastry is rolled to
the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your
rolling pin, and unroll onto the top of
your pie pan. Lightly press the pastry onto
the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim and flute the edges of the pastry.
Cover and chill the pie crust
while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (215 degrees C).
Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and prick the bottom of the crust
with the tines of a fork. Next, lightly butter (or spray with a non stick
vegetable spray) a large round
of parchment paper or aluminum foil, and place it, buttered side
down, onto the pie crust. Fill with pie weights, beans, or rice and bake the
crust for about 15 minutes or until the sides of the pastry have started to
brown. Remove from oven, remove the parchment and weights. Reduce the oven
temperature to 375 degree F (190 degree C) and continue to bake the crust
for about 10 more minutes or until the pastry is dry and lightly browned. Remove
from oven. If you want to seal the crust, lightly beat one large egg white with
a pinch of salt. Then, with a pastry brush, brush the hot crust with a thin coat
of the beaten egg white. Let the crust cool.
Makes one - 9
inch (23 cm) pie crust.