I found these tips on a package of store-brand shortening I bought the other day and wanted to share them with you. This makes for an easy post where I don't have to think too much! LOL
Tips for tender pastry:
Add only enough liquid so dough just holds together when gently pressed. Too much water makes pastry tough.
Do not overhandle the dough or knead it. Overhandling develops gluten, which makes pastry tough.
Allow dough to rest after making.
To prevent sticking, lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Use a floured pastry cloth, if you prefer, or roll dough between two sheets of waxed paper.
Roll dough from center of disc out. Roll to about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm.) larger than pie plate.
Patch any tears by lightly moistening edges of tear with wet finger and pressing on a thin piece of dough to cover gap.
If dough sticks while rolling because it is too soft, cover and chill 15-30 minutes before proceeding.
How to transfer to pie plate:
Loosely roll dough circle onto floured rolling pin and unroll onto pie plate. Or lightly fold dough circle in half; place fold over center of pie plate and unfold.
If rolling between two sheets of waxed paper, remove top sheet of paper, invert dough onto pie plate and remove paper.
Ease dough into pie plate without stretching dough to prevent shrinkage during baking.
For single crust pie, with kitchen scissors or sharp knife trim dough to 1/2-inch (1 cm.) overhang beyond edges of pie plate. Fold crust under for double thickness edge; press with tines of fork or pinch between thumb and finger for decorative edge.
For double crust pie, trim bottom crust before filling pie. Trim top crust so it hangs over edge of pie plate 1/2-inch (1 cm.). Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust. Press to seal as for single crust pie. Brush top crust with beaten egg or cream for golden crust. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired, for a sweet pie.
For a fast and easy fruit pie, fill with your favorite pie filling.
For a single crust pie, fill and bake as directed in recipe used.
For double crust pie, slash or prick top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake as directed in recipe used.
Cover crust loosely with foil if browning too quickly.
Empty crust: Prick empty single shell evenly with tines of fork. Line crust with foil. Fill with raw rice, dried beans or pie weights. Bake in center of oven preheated to 400 degrees F. (200 degrees C.) for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake another 5-10 minutes or until crust is golden.
For more tips on making pastry, check these links:
Robin Hood Flour
King Arthur Flour
Chef Rick's Southern Cooking
Busy Cooks at About.com
Julia Child - Tricks of the Trade