STEP ONECOMBINE flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
STEP TWOSPRINKLE one tablespoon ice-cold water or milk over part of mixture. Toss gently with a fork; push to side of bowl. Repeat just until mixture is moistened and can be formed into a ball. (The dough shoud hold together when picked up and pressed, and should not crack).
STEP THREEFLATTEN ball of dough into disks (one for one crust, two for double-crust). Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.
STEP FOURREMOVE one disk of dough from refrigerator. Turn onto very lightly floured surface. (If the dough is too hard, allow it to sit for 5 minutes to soften.) Roll dough gently, use a back and forth motion from center. Do not roll over the edge or it will be thin. Turn dough 45 degrees between each roll to keep it round. If dough sticks to surface, dust lightly with flour. Roll to 12 inches in diameter for a 9 inch pie.
STEP FIVETRANSFER dough to 9-inch, 4 cup capacity pie plate, being careful to avoid stretching pastry. Trim edge of pastry 1/2 to 3/4 inch beyond edge of the pie plate.
STEP ONEFOLD extra pastry under to build up edge. Flute edge by using the forefinger of one hand and pinching the dough next to it between your forefinger and thumb of the other hand. Continue around pie.
STEP TWOCOVER and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight before baking unless otherwise specified in recipe.
DOUBLE CRUST SOLID TOP
STEP ONEROLL dough as described for single crust. Cut to 10 inches in diameter with an even edge. Transfer the crust over filling, being careful not to stretch the pastry. Tuck edge of crust under bottom crust; press to seal. Flute edge of the pastry as described for single crust. Prick with fork or cut slits to vent steam. Brush with a lightly beaten egg; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Create a decorative design in top of crust, if desired, or decorate top with cutout pieces of leftover crust.
STEP ONEROLL dough as described for single crust; cut into strips 1/2 inch in width. Some strips should be 9 inches long. (A pizza cutter works well for this) Place strips over pie in a horizontal direction. Fold alternate strips back; place a strip vertical across top. Unfold strips, and fold the strips back that are under the last vertical strip. Place another strip vertically across. Continue until pie is completed. Tuck the strip edges under the bottom crust and press to seal. Flour the edges of the pastry as described above. Brush the dough with a a lightly beaten egg, being careful not to get egg on filling.
STEP TWOBAKE according to directions for pie recipe.