I've also tried many recipes that are so difficult to roll out. The recipe says don't add extra flour because your crust will be tough, but then it sticks to your counter. Other recipes say to roll the crust between parchment paper, but the parchment slides around as you're trying to roll it. What a pain! This crust is really easy to roll out, you can add flour to it without damaging the texture, and it's easy to shape into your pie plate.
Here's how easy it is: first you add the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor. Pulse that together and then add in the cold butter and shortening. I use butter-flavored shortening, but regular will work just fine, too. Pulse it together until it’s in clumps and add in the rest of the flour. Pulse that together until it looks like crumbs. I've never tried with this recipe, but I'm sure you could use a pastry blender or knives if you don't have a food processor.
When you roll the crust out, you should start from the middle and roll outwards. Then turn the crust and roll from the middle out again. Don't roll back and forth; by turning the crust as you go, you'll help to ensure that it doesn't stick to the counter.
If you need a pre-baked crust in your recipe, here’s how you blind bake it:
Place a piece of aluminum foil over the crust and loosely wrap it around the edges. Then fill it with beans or pie weights.
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Makes 1 pie
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter cut into pieces, very cold
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cold vodka
Pulse 3/4 cup flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add butter and shortening and pulse until it collects in clumps. Add remaining flour and pulse until mixed into crumbs. Empty into a bowl and sprinkle cold water and vodka over it. Gather the dough into a ball. Chill for 45 minutes and then roll out using flour as needed so it doesn't stick to your counter. Place in pie plate, trim excess, tuck under, and form edges. If possible, chill formed crust overnight.
To blind bake: Place a piece of aluminum foil over the crust and loosely wrap it around the edges. Fill it with beans or pie weights. Bake it at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Take the beans and foil out and continue to bake for 10 more minutes or until it’s lightly browned.
Source: The geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated