James Beard's Pastry Dough

James Beard

Author and Educator

James Beard's basic pastry dough for a sweet or savory pie.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter or 1/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • Ice water


Sift the flour and salt onto a pastry board. Make a well in the flour and add the butter and shortening, cut into small pieces. Cut with two knives or blend with fingertips until flour is mealy and the size of small peas. Add just enough ice water to make the flour and shortening form a firm ball. Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.


One two-crust pie or two pie shells