Pie Dough

Makes 2 10-ounce dough balls

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 Tablespoons chilled lard or room temperature vegetable shortening

6 Tablespoons ice water

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and shortening and use your fingertips, a pastry blender or a stand mixer to break up the butter until the largest pieces are the size of large peas.

Dribble 5 tablespoons of ice water into the flour mixture in several stages, tossing and mixing between additions. Toss the mixture with your hands, letting it fall through your fingers, or with a fork.

Keep tossing the mixture until it starts to pull together; it will look rather ropy, with some dry patches. If it looks like there are more dry patches than ropy parts, add another tablespoon of water and toss the mixture a little more.

Press a small amount of the dough together in your hand. If it holds together, it is ready, if not, add a few drops more water. Divide the dough in half, gently press each half into a ball, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pressing down to flatten each ball into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out.