The literal base for your pie is the most important part of the pie-making process. Store-bought crusts and ready-made shells just don’t have the same flakiness as a well-made crust. I have a fail-proof crust that I like to make. Blend 2 cups of all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon of superfine sugar and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add 12 tablespoons of cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces to the bowl and work it into the flour with the metal blade of the processor. This could also be done in a bowl with a pastry cutter or two knives, but the food processor really does make this step incredibly easy.
Just don’t use your hands to combine the dry ingredients with the butter-- the heat from your hands will melt the butter too much, and affect the flakiness of the end product.
Combine the mixture until it looks like bread crumbs. Add splashes of ice water, a little at a time, and blend with a fork or pulse the processor until the dough just comes together. I usually end up using around 2 tablespoons of ice water. Whatever you do, do not overmix the dough! Divide the dough in half and place between double thicknesses of plastic wrap, flattening the dough slightly-- again making sure that you don’t touch the dough with your hands. Refrigerate the flattened disks until chilled.
To use, roll the dough out ⅛ of an inch thick and then ease it gently into the pie plate, or even cut into shapes. Chill the pie dough before baking. That recipe makes 1 8- or 9-inch double crust pie, or 2 open-crust pies.