This is my favorite crust of all: buttery, with the kind of flaking and layering that begins to suggest puff pastry. It could work with light fillings, or hearty fillings–but it’s the kind of crust that draws attention to itself, and therefore might not be the best choice for the kinds of pies (i.e. Key Lime Pie) in which the focus is never on the crust.
Makes one 9 1/2″ double-crusted pie
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch squares
3 tablespoons cold shortening
1/3 cup ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar (have an extra 1 or 2 tablespoons ice water in reserve, you may need a bit more)
1. In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt and butter. Place in the freezer until butter is hard, about 5 minutes. Dump mixture onto the counter and roll over quickly with a rolling pin, scraping off whatever adheres to the pin and repeat 2 or 3 times until the butter forms flat flakes, Scrape mixture back into bowl and add shortening in chick-pea size lumps. Freeze another 5 minutes.
2. Dump on the counter and roll and scrape 2 more times to incorporate shortening. Return to bowl, freeze 5 minutes more. Add water/vinegar mixture to bowl; toss with a fork. Press a few tablespoons of the mixture in your hand. If it clumps, you are OK; if it crumbles, add water a teaspoon at a time until mixture clumps. Dump onto the counter and bring together with your hands. Knead only once or twice, just to form a mass that sticks together. Divided into 2 flat rounds, one just slightly larger than the other. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours before rolling.