Pre-baked Pie Crust Recipe:
1 1/4 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated white sugar
6 tsp (85 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tsp (28 grams) cold shortening (or lard), diced
2-4 tsp ice cold water
Prebaked Pie Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the cold butter and shortening and process (using the pulse button), until the mixture is crumbly (resembles coarse meal). Pour the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, through the feed tube, and process (pulse) just until the dough is moistened and starts to clump together when pinched (it should not be a solid ball of dough). Turn the dough out onto your counter and gather into a ball. Flatten into a 5 inch (12 cm) disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 - 60 minutes, or until firm enough to roll out. (The pastry can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for a month. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to fit a 8 or 9 inch (20 to 23 cm) pie or tart pan. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center outwards). When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, and unroll onto the top of your pie pan. Lightly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim and flute the edges of the pastry.
Cover and chill the pie crust while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (215 degrees C). Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and prick the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. Next, lightly butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a large round of parchment paper or aluminum foil, and place it, buttered side down, onto the pie crust. Fill with pie weights, beans, or rice and bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until the sides of the pastry have started to brown. Remove from oven, remove the parchment and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degree F (190 degree C) and continue to bake the crust for about 10 more minutes or until the pastry is dry and lightly browned. Remove from oven. If you want to seal the crust, lightly beat one large egg white with a pinch of salt. Then, with a pastry brush, brush the hot crust with a thin coat of the beaten egg white. Let the crust cool.
Makes 1 - 9 inch (23 cm) pie crust. Preparation time 30 minutes.