The pastry for Patti’s pies is a variation she has developed to make the dough easier to handle. “The baking powder helps keep it soft, and I add enough water to make the dough elastic and moist. The idea of using only a little water is bunk. I handle piecrust dough for a long time and work in flour until it feels right.” Her pies look picture-perfect when she’s through, and the crusts don’t shrink during baking.
With pastry cutter, mix flour, shortening, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add cold water and mix well until mixture forms into a ball. Refrigerate at least an hour before rolling on a well-floured surface.