This classic buttery pie crust recipe has a high proportion of butter, which makes it extra flaky--not to mention flavorful crust. This is an all-purpose pastry crust for making single- and double-crust pies and turnovers. For savory items, like quiche and pot pie, just eliminate the sugar.
Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and chill in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Use your fingers or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until it is broken up into irregular pebble-sized pieces.
Trickle in the water and stir with a fork or your fingers until it comes together into a shaggy dough. Don't worry about dry crumbly bits. Just press the mass of dough in the bowl or dump it all out on the counter and collect them into a mass.
Cut the dough into 2 equal-sized pieces and pat each one into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes if using immediately. Or wrap it well and freeze it for up to one month, so you're ahead of the game come holiday time.
I often substitute up to half of the butter quantity with lard. I recommend you try it, if you can get your hands on some quality lard from a pasture-raised pig. Whenever using lard, chill it well and then add it after you've cut the butter into the flour so that that the dough does not become crumbly.