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Quiche Pastry

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for greasing pie tin and foil

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces

Place the flour, salt, butter and shortening in a large bowl. Rub the flour and fat together rapidly between the tips of your fingers until the fat is broken into pieces the size of oatmeal flakes. Don't over-blend. Using a pastry knife or 2 forks, add about 41/2 tablespoons of ice water, a little at a time, mixing until it just starts to hold together. Press the dough firmly into a roughly shaped ball. It should just hold together and be pliable, but not damp and sticky. Knead it briefly into a fairly smooth ball, then sprinkle lightly with flour and wrap in a sheet of waxed paper. Chill by either placing in the freezing compartment for a short time, or for about 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator (it could even be left overnight).

When ready to roll out the pastry, sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll the pastry out into a circle 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. It should be about 15 inches in diameter.

Butter a 9-inch pie tin. Place the crust in the pan and press gently to line the inside. Lift the edges of the overhanging dough and work it gently down the inside edges of the shell, which will make the shell a little thicker and sturdier. Now pinch and crimp the top to create a decorative edge. To partially bake the shell, first line the pastry with buttered, lightweight foil. Fill the center with dry beans or rice. The weight of the beans will hold the pastry against the side of the pan during baking. Bake in the middle level of a preheated 400-degree oven for about 8 or 9 minutes or until the pastry seems set. Remove the foil and beans, prick bottom of the pastry with a fork to keep bubbles from forming. Return to the oven for 2 or 3 minutes and, as soon as the shell begins to color and shrink from the sides, remove from oven.