Few things cause me to feel so empowered so regularly as preparing a homemade pie crust. Making pie crust means knowing how to turn the most commonplace ingredients in your kitchen into the base for a Wednesday night masterpiece. Even the clunky, crunchy ones I have made seem important, and worth the heartbreak they caused, knowing that they taught me something along the way.
1 1/4 cup flour (I had whole wheat, this time. For special occasions, I'd use all-purpose)
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold, unsalted butter (variation: 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup vegetable shortening)
1 tbspn sugar
1/8 tspn salt
1/4 cup cold water
Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Cut the cold butter into small cubes, then add to the flour mixture. Break the butter up into the flour, minimizing the amount of time your fingers come in direct contact with the butter. Keep the butter coated in flour as you work it into little pea-sized pieces.
Add the cold water little by little, working the dough into a ball. Again, you don't want the heat from your hands to melt the butter, so avoid kneading the dough too much. Once it forms a ball, you're done playing with it.
Let the dough refrigerate for at least an hour.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is the shape of your pie dish. If you don't have a rolling pin, you can always use a clean wine bottle. I've made multiple Thanksgiving pies, Easter quiches, and even a few Wednesday night creations this way.