How to create a perfect pie crust

So your pies don't come out flaky like Grandma's used to? Here are some basic hints for making that perfect pie crust:
  • Don't overwork dough when cutting shortening into flour as this causes a hard, tough crust.
  • Use ice water when mixing pastry. (Put some ice cubes in water and measure from that container.) Cold water allows the shortening to stay cold and not blend into solid mass. Solid masses turn into tough crusts.
  • Make sure all equipment is cold (including your hands) when making and working with the dough such as mixing bowl, pastry blender, rolling pin and pastry cloth.
  • Use of a pastry cloth to roll out dough will help decrease the amount of flour added to crust. The less flour on the surface, the flakier the pastry.
  • Roll from center of dough, raise rolling pin up before reaching the edge, so edge won't become too thin.
  • Never turn dough over. Remove bits of dough from rolling pin as you work as not to tear the dough.
  • To fit in pie shell, fold in half and place fold in the center of plate, unfold the crust and loosely fit into plate. Don't stretch or pull the dough, which can cause the pastry to shrink as it bakes.