Here are a few ground rules for pie crust:
Butter = firm & crumbly
Shortening = flaky and light
Over mixing = tough crust
I know, I know: shortening? I use shortening for only two things in this world: pie crust and buttercream frosting that will be piped on a cake. Sorry, but even the Culinary Institute of America, which promised no-trans fats on campus, had to make an exception to that. There is simply no way to achieved the right texture with either of those without the dreaded shortening. Luckily Crisco has a no-trans fat formula so we can live with ourselves.
This will make one 9 inch bottom crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco
3-4 Tbsp cold water
This will make one 9 inch double crust:
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco
6-7 Tbsp cold water
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl and toss together. Drop in the Crisco.
With your hands, blend the ingredients together, working quickly until you have a mixture that looks like bread crumbs. Sprinkle on the water, just 1 Tbsp at a time. Continue mixing with your hands.
Add just enough water for the dough to come together as one mass.
Take two pieces of wax paper that are square. Put the dough in between.
For a single crust, decorate the edges and trim. If it should be pre-baked, baked for 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on it at 425 degrees.
For the double crust, fill it and them repeat he same procedure with the next crust and set on top. Pressing the top and bottom crust together and decorate and trim. Follow the individual recipe for temperature and baking times.