Important step- be sure to measure the flour properly. Place some flour (enough to be sure you have at least 1 1/2 cups) into a medium bowl. Whisk it to remove any clumps.
Spoon flour into measuring cups and use a back of a knife to scrape off excess flour so that flour is exactly level with top of measuring cups.
Place measured flour in a large bowl and mix in salt.
Cut shortening into pieces and add to flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter to cut it in until it resembles coarse crumbs. You want to still be able to see the pieces of shortening though so don't work it in too much.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over the mixture on one side of the bowl. Use a fork to mix it into the flour mixture just in that section. Gradually work your way across the bowl, one tablespoon at a time. Only working 1 tablespoon of water into 1 small section makes it much easier to get the water evenly mixed into the dough instead of some portions (usually the top) being too wet and others too dry.
You've added enough water once it will hold together in a ball.
Form dough into a disc and be sure to smooth out the edges. Any uneven edges at this point will just form cracks when you roll it out.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Remove dough from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. I like to use a pastry cloth. You will have virtually no sticking with it and can use much less flour.
Roll dough out turning dough 45 degrees between each roll.
Once dough is 12 inches in diameter, transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Carefully fit dough to pie plate and trim dough to within 3/4-inch of rim.
Fold excess dough under to build up edge. Use your fingers to flute edge.
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before baking.
This recipe originally appeared on spicysouthernkitchen.com