For flavor, I like butter or margarine better than shortening. For a two-crust pie, use 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup cold butter or margarine, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Use a pastry blender to combine butter, flour, and salt.
Blend until butter coats flour and starts clumping.
Pie dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
Use a fork to gradually mix in about 1/3 cup cold water.
Gather dough into a ball and wrap in waxed paper. Place in freezer for 15 minutes or refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
Cut dough in half and place on a floured pastry mat or cloth.
Roll and shape dough in a circle. I use a French rolling pin, which is one long piece of wood without separate handles.
Use the side of your hand to score the dough.
Roll to 9 inches or the size you need for your pie plate. I turn the dough over to distribute the flour evenly and make sure the dough doesn't stick. Keep a light touch.
Fold in half and then in half again.
Pick up folded dough, place in pie plate and unfold.
Fit dough into pie plate. Do not stretch.
Add desired filling. I used 2 cups fresh tart cherries and 2 cups (defrosted and drained) frozen, sliced peaches, 2/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
Roll out remaining dough for top crust, fold, and score.
Dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Then place folded dough on top, lining up the edge.
Unfold dough. Slits in crust allow steam to vent. Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust.
For a pretty edge, pinch with thumb and pointer finger.
To prevent burning, use a pie shield or strips of tin foil on the edge. Remove the last 15 minutes of baking.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until lightly browned and juice bubbles.
Enjoy a piece while it's still warm. Great with vanilla ice cream.