STEP ONEBLEND flour and salt in medium mixing bowl.
STEP TWOCUT chilled shortening into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut in chilled shortening cubes into flour mixture, using a pastry blender, in an up and down chopping motion, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some small pea-sized pieces remaining.
STEP THREEBEAT egg with water. Pour over flour mixture. Toss with fork until mixture comes together. Add more water by the tablespoon, until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together.
TipTest dough for proper moistness by squeezing a marble-sized ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together firmly, do not add any additional water. If the dough crumbles, add more water by the tablespoonful, until dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball when pressed together.
STEP FOURSHAPE dough into a ball for single pie crust. Divide dough in two for double crust or double deep dish crust, one ball slightly larger than the other. Flatten ball(s) into 1/2-inch thick round disk(s).
STEP FIVEFor a SINGLE pie crust roll dough between two sheets of waxed paper from center outward with steady pressure into a circle 2-inches wider than pie plate for the bottom crust. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Place dough into pie plate with waxed paper side up. Peel off waxed paper gently. Trim edges of dough leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold edge under. Flute dough as desired. Bake according to specific recipe directions.
STEP SIXFor a DOUBLE pie crust, roll larger disk between two sheets of waxed paper for bottom crust, trimming edges of dough even with outer edge of pie plate. Fill unbaked pie crust according to recipe directions. Roll out smaller dough disk between two sheets of waxed paper. Transfer dough carefully onto filled pie. Trim edges of dough leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold top edge under bottom crust. Press edges together to seal and flute as desired. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to vent steam. Bake according to specific recipe directions.
TipBrush crust with whole milk or cream to achieve golden color and gloss.
Two Methods for Pre-baking Pie Crusts (Cream Pies)
STEP ONEPre-baking without weights: Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of unbaked pie dough with fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Bake crust in lower third of oven, at 425°F, 10-12 minutes or until edges and bottom are golden brown.
STEP TWOPre-baking with weights: Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of unbaked pie dough with fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Chill or freeze for 30 minutes. Line pie dough snugly with foil or parchment paper. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Reduce oven to 350°F. Bake 5-10 minutes or until edges and bottom are golden brown.