The dough is richer in fat than ordinary flaky pastry and is thus softer and more difficult to handle, but is well worth the extra efforts for a flaky buttery crust. Dough can be used in sweet pies (apple or peach) or pot pies (chicken or pork) , it is simply the best.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar or 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks of cold unsalted butter (if using salted butter omit 1 tsp. salt)
1/3 cup water ice cold water (I use cold tap water and 1/2 cup water)
In large bowl mix flour and sugar, add cold butter cut into 1/4 inch pieces. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter and flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. Do not let the mixture soften and begin to clump, it must remain dry and powdery. Add water using a rubber spatula or fork until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula. If the balls of dough stick together, you have added enough water; if not drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons water over top and mix together. On a large plate place a piece of saran swap, take half the dough and wrap tightly pressing dough together. Repeat and place both dough packages in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or several hours, or for up to 2 days before rolling. When rolling out dough in winter, it takes a bit more water for the dough not to crumble.