My Mum always made her own pastry and she always used this recipe.
This pastry is made with "Tenderflake Lard". Not shortening. It looks somewhat like shortening and has a similar consistancy and is stark white in colour. You can substitute the lard in this recipe for shortening. This particular recipe makes the best and the flakiest pastry I've ever had or made and it comes out perfect every time. This recipe stores and freezes well.
I'm not this ambitious any longer and buy the Tenderflake frozen pie shells for the rare pies I bake - almost as good :)
Step 1 - Mix together the flour and salt. Cut in lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.
Step 2 - In a 1 cup measure, combine the vinegar and egg. Add water to make the 1 cup measure full. Gradually stir liquid into the flour/lard. Add only enough liquid to make dough cling together. You will probably have some liquid left over. You can use your pastry blender or knives to mix the liquid in well.
Step 3 - Gather this into a ball and divide it into 4 portions. Be sure to cover whatever you are not using at the moment with saran wrap to keep from drying out. Roll out each portion as you need it on a lightly floured surface or in between 2 pieces of waxed paper. *NOTE* for pie shell you obviously just roll out one shell at a time. Make it bigger than the pie plate so there is plenty to edge the pan with. If you are making tarts, I use the lid of a one lb margarine tub to use as a cutter. Perfect size for muffin tins.
Step 4 - Once rolled out, transfer to a pie plate. The easiest way to do this is to roll the dough a bit on your rolling pin (to about the half way mark) then lift it on the pin, put the rolling pin at the halfway mark on the pie plate and unroll. Lifting it and depositing it this way makes for less opportunity for any crust to tear. (You can try to transfer it from the waxed paper, but it may prove more difficult.
Step 5 - Gently ease the pie dough into the shape of the pan. Make sure that the dough fits smoothly (without air bubbles) on the bottom and sides then trim off the excess.
Imperfections are easily fixed! Roll a small portion of excess dough out and cut a piece large enough to cover the needed area. Simply place the patch over the imperfection and smooth the dough into place. To keep extra dough if leftovers simply wrap it in saran wrap and it will keep for a couple of days in the fridge or you can freeze this dough! For a double crusted pie, don’t flute the edges of the bottom crust. After filling pie with fruit, etc., make 2 or 3 small slices in the center of the 2nd rolled out pie crust then repeat step 4 with 2nd pie crust, trim excess crust, then flute edges of both crusts together.
Bake pie according to your recipe.
Note: For a pre-baked pie shell like for lemon meringue be sure to poke a fork all over the bottom shell then bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350°F. Watch so it doesn’t get too well done. Poking the pastry will help keep it from rising in the bottom and getting air bubbles in it. This step is not necessary for pies that you fill and bake in one step, such as fruit pies. For strip top or criss-cross crusts, cut rolled out dough in strips and pattern over filling and crimp to edges