If you need a single pie crust, just cut the recipe in half or, you know, just make two pies. Two is always better than one.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold shortening (Butter Flavor Crisco)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup cold Vodka (optional)*
up to 1/4 cup ice cold water*
*or up to 1/2 cup ice cold water if Vodka is not being used
You will also need:
Food processor (optional)
Large, wide bowl
Kneading and rolling surface (counter top will do…. just needs to be clean)
Measure out shortening, cut butter into small pieces and measure Vodka and water. Place shortening and Vodka in the freezer and cut up butter and water in the refrigerator.
If using a food processor: Process flour, sugar and salt for several seconds until thoroughly combined. Add chilled shortening and process using several 1 second pulses until it resembles coarse meal. Add half of the chilled butter pieces and process for several 1 second pulses. Add the rest of the chilled butter and process for only a few 1 second pulses. You should end up with some slightly smaller and some slightly larger pieces of butter.
Empty contents into large bowl and proceed with steps below.>>>>
Without a food processor: In a large bowl, add flour, sugar and salt; mix thoroughly with a whisk until sugar and salt are evenly distributed throughout the flour. Add the shortening and with your fingers break the pieces apart and work into the flour until the combination resembles coarse meal. Next add the cold butter pieces just a few at a time and work in a similar fashion until the pieces of butter are small gravel to pea size.
>>>>Add cold Vodka or 1/4 cup of cold water and work in with a bowl scraper. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of cold water until the dough begins to come together and sticks together when pressed against the side of the bowl.
Pour contents out onto a floured work surface. Knead by simply folding the dough on top of itself a couple of times until it really comes together. Form into a ball and cut in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling out to place in pie plate.