Pastry may be made with lard, cream, cottolene, suet, drippings, butter, cottosuet (a mixture of cottonseed oil and suet), chicken fat, or mutton fat, but butter is best, because it has the most pleasant flavor.
For plain paste, use as much water as shortening. To make a rather rich plain paste, use half as much water as shortening. In all cases cut the butter or fat into the flour, and then add the water. The less water used after the particles can be made to adhere the better, if you wish a brittle crust. Always have the water cold as possible. Use plenty of extra flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. Put together quickly, and handle as little as possible, because handling makes the dough tough. To roll directly from you is considered better than back and forth.
Make upper crust first, and put to chill while you roll the under crust. Make the lower crust a little thicker than you make the upper one, flour well, and set in a cool place while the filling is prepared.
A lemon or custard pie should be baked in a deep pan. If you must use a shallow tin, cut the crust very large, and make stand up by pinching into place. In making such one-crusted pies as are better baked and filled afterwards, as cream pies, pierce the crust with a fork or pastry jagger before putting into the oven.
Do not cut fruit too small, as it loses much of its flavor on account of the large amount of surface exposed. Always mix an acid with an insipid fruit, as currants with huckleberries. In apple pies, allow the natural flavor to predominate when apples are at their best, for there is no gain in wholesomeness or palability in the use of spices. Lay the fruit well up about the edges, and bind the crusts together by wetting with egg white or cold water, and pressing well before putting to bake. When the juices exude in cooking, a little dry flour mixed with the sweetening will prevent it. In using juicy fruits, it is always better to bake the crusts with a paper or linen filling, and cook the filling while the crusts bake, and put together hot as can be handled, but if one prefers to cook the fruit in the pie, the juice can be confined by using a strip of white muslin wet and applied around the edge of the pie before putting it into the oven. Remove the cloth as soon as the pie comes from the oven. Exuding juices may be prevented also by making a little paper funnel, and placing it in a perforation in the crust of the raw pie to allow the steam to escape. To prevent the lower piecrust soak -ing, paint with egg white, or dust with flour before putting the fruit into it.
One pound of butter, one pound of flour, two egg whites. Scald a large bowl, and chill with ice water. Work the butter in the bowl in ice water until soft and waxy. Chop one-eighth of the butter in the flour until fine, then rub with a spoon. Put the egg whites, unbeaten into the flour, and mix with ice water until you have a dough just stiff enough to handle easily without flour. Work this dough until it blisters, then put the remainder of the butter in, in a square piece, and fold the dough over it, same as piecrust. Then roll a little on one side, then as much on the other side, and fold over again like a piecrust, and roll not more than seven times, nor less than five, and let cool between each rolling fifteen or twenty minutes, but not too much, or it will crack and will not puff when baked. Cut with a sharp knife or cutter dipped in hot water to prevent the edges being pressed together. Let cool after cutting out before putting into the oven. Have the oven as hot as you can without burning, - have it hottest on the bottom. Protect the top at first by covering with white paper.
There are different ways of mixing. The flour, salt, and ice water may be put together, and pounded and kneaded until smooth and elastic before putting in the butter. The usual way is to put one-third or one-fourth of the butter with the ice water, flour and salt, by rubbing into the flour, then fold the rest of the butter in the dough.