You can make this basic crust by hand or in a food processor. The most important tips are to work with butter straight from the fridge, use ice water, and not to overmix – make sure your butter doesn’t melt and you don’t overwork the flour. You can also add flavorings to this crust: I like to substitute rum for some of the water and add a little cinnamon for pecan pie, or add a bit of seasoning if I’m using the crust for a savory pie.
This recipe makes a single crust. For a double crust pie, double the recipe.
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, any dry flavorings, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (If working by hand, cut butter into flour, being careful not to warm butter as you work)
Begin adding water 1 Tbsp at a time until dough just comes together, pulsing or mixing as you go. If you are adding liquid for flavor, alternate with the ice water.
Turn out onto plastic wrap and form into a disc. Chill to firm, about 15 minutes.
Roll out with a heavy rolling pin and place in pie dish.