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Plain Pie Pastry

"It takes practice," Mrs. Rowe would say about any of her dough. Her light touch took years to master.

Makes two 9- or 10-inch crusts

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening (Crisco was Mrs. Rowe's preference.)

5 to 7 tablespoons cold milk

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it is the size of small peas.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of milk over part of the flour mixture. Gently toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Sprinkle another tablespoon over another dry part, toss with a fork and push to the side of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining milk until all of the flour mixture is moistened.

Press the dough together and form two equal balls.

Roll each ball to a thickness of 1/8 inch on a lightly floured surface. Use a light touch and handle the dough as little as possible.

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