I almost go so far as to say that this crust recipe might be fool-proof. But I think the key is to NOT over-work it. I used my hands, added the ice water (for sure closer to the 1/2 cup if not more) and wrapped it up. There were still visible chunks of butter in the dough. I learned a while back that the pockets made by layers of butter between flour are what make the flakiness, so I was not afraid that there were big pieces of butter I didn't crumble down.
It's also KEY to let it rest and chill in the frig. They allows the gluten to do it's magic.
Here is the Apple Rhubarb Pie with nice flaky crust, so easy!
(My mom used to always make "snails" with cinnamon sugar from the leftover crust, I do too.)
Straight from Food Network's Paula Deen, Queen of Butter:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
- 12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat it all up with the flour. Add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter. Work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft, until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball.
When it comes together stop working it otherwise the dough will get over-worked and tough. Divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. On a floured surface roll each disk out into a 10 to 11-inch circle to make a 9-inch pie.