Sift flour, measure and resift twice with salt. If lard is the shortening, use 1/2 cup; if vegetable shortening, use 2/3 cup. Cut shortening into the flour with a pastry blender or 2 knives, or rub in with finger tips until fat-flour particles are about the size of split peas. Now add the water by the teaspoonsful, mixing lightly with a fork and tossing aside the part of the mixture that is dampened. Gather these moistened fat-flour particles into a ball, press gently together; wrap in waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator a few minutes. (Chilling is not essential if the kitchen is cool, but in warm weather or in a warm kitchen it is always desirable.) When ready to roll pastry for double crust, divide dough into 2 portions, one only slightly larger than the other; for single crusts, divide in half. Shape larger part quickly into a thick disc and roll out for the lower crust, starting at the center and rolling outward in all directions to a thickness of about 1/8-inch. For successful rolling, have the board lightly floured, and lift the dough and turn it around (not over) several times during rollind. A floured pastry cloth and rolling pin cover are helpful, especially to the inexperienced pastry maker.
to transfer pastry to pie pan, fold it through the center and lift into the pan; then unfold and pat carefully into pan, fitting into the angle all around the pan.
FOR A PRE-BAKED SINGLE CRUST-
Trim off dough to within 1/2-inch of rim of pan, then turn dough under so folded edge is flush with rim of pan. Flute edge, then prick pastry closely all over with tines of fork. Bake in a moderately hot oven (420 degrees) about 12 to 15 minutes, or until crust is a light brown. After 5 minutes, look at the crust and collapse any bubbles in the crust by pricking. Cool in the pan on a cake rack.
FOR A FILLED SINGLE-CRUST PIE-
Trim and flute edge but do not prick. Put filling in and bake in a hot oven (450 degrees) 12 minutes, then reduce heat to temperature required by filling and continue baking according to directions in recipe.
FOR A DOUBLE-CRUST PIE-
Leave edge of lower pastry untrimmed. Put in filling, then trim even with pan rim. Roll out rest of pastry large enough to fit top of pie, and gash in center for wide open steam vents. Moisten edge of lower pastry with water. Lay upper pastry over filling then press upper and lower pastries together to seal. Trim off edge of top pastry 1/2-inch beyond pan rim, fold overhanging edge of top pastry under edge of bottom pastry so fold is even with pan rim. Flute edge. Bake in moderately hot oven (425 degrees) 12 to 15 minutes, then reduce heat to temperature indicated in directions in recipes.
FOR FRUIT-FILLED COBBLERS-
Double the pastry recipe. Divide into two parts, making one pastry division larger than the other. Roll out the larger pastry ball 1/8-inch thick in the shape of rectangular pan or dish. follow instructions for moving the pastry from the board to the pan. Press the pastry into the pan to fit the bottom and side of the pan. Roll out the smaller pastry ball in a rectangulaer shape to fit the top of the pan. Fill the bottom pastry in the pan with your fruit filling. Moisten the edges of the bottom crust and lay the top crust over the filling, lightly pressing the two crusts together. Follow the recipe directions for baking the fruit cobbler.