1. FOR THE FLAKY PASTRY SHELL: Process flour, salt, and sugar in
food processor until combined, about 5 seconds. Scatter butter over top and
continue to process until incorporated and mixture resembles cornmeal, 7 to
12 seconds. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle 31/2 tablespoons ice water over flour mixture. Using blade side of
stiff rubber spatula, cut mixture into little balls, then press down on mixture
with broad side of spatula so balls stick together in large clumps. If dough
resists gathering, sprinkle remaining ½ teaspoons ice water over dry, crumbly
patches and press several more times. Form dough into 4-inch disk, wrap tightly
in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Wrapped dough can be
refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If frozen, let dough
thaw completely on counter before rolling.)
3. Generously sprinkle 2-foot-square work space with flour. Remove dough
from plastic and place disk in center; dust top with flour. (If dough has been
chilled for more than 1 hour, let stand until it gives slightly when pressed, 5 to
10 minutes.) Roll dough in all directions, from center to edges, rotating quarter
turn and strewing flour underneath as necessary after each stroke. When dough is
9 inches in diameter, flip over and continue to roll (but don’t rotate) in all directions,
until dough is 13 to 14 inches in diameter and just under 1/8 inch thick.
4. Fold dough in quarters and place corner in center of 9-inch pie plate.
Carefully unfold dough to cover plate completely, letting excess dough hang
over edge. Using your hand, pick up edges of dough; use index finger of your
other hand to press dough around plate bottom. Use your fingertips to press
dough against plate walls. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of plate.
5. Tuck overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie
plate. Press double layer of dough with your fingers to seal, then bend up at
90-degree angle and flute by pressing thumb and index finger about ½ inch
apart against outside edge of dough and using index finger (or knuckle) of
your other hand to poke dent through space. Repeat to crimp around pie plate.
6. Refrigerate dough-lined plate for 20 minutes (or freeze for 5 minutes).
Using fork, prick bottom and sides, including where they meet, at ½-inch
intervals. Press 12-inch square of aluminum foil inside shell, smoothing foil flush
against corners, sides, and over rim. Prick foil bottom all over with fork. Chill pie
shell for at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour or more) to allow dough to relax.