The “Mac” was our dear friend Barbie’s nickname for the food processor, named after a kitchen helper who was slower than molasses.
Put the metal chopper blade into the Mac. Sift 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp salt into the Mac’s bowl. Pulse it a couple of times to mix them.
Take 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter out of the fridge and cut them up into about 6 pieces. Put them in with the flour and salt. Using the pulse setting, process the mixture a few times until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture coarse cornmeal. You do not want to overprocess it, but you also don’t want big chunks of butter in there.
Now get a glass of very very cold ice water. Turn the machine on and drizzle in 2-3 tablespoons of water very slowly. The mixture will clump up into a ball and start to go thunkety-thunk. Stop the motor IMMEDIATELY. Take the ball of dough out of the machine and roll it out to fit your pie pan.
If your crust has to be baked before filling, prick it all over with a fork. Then put a big piece of foil in the pie pan and pour about a cup of dried beans into it. Bake for 7 minutes at 450 F. Remove the foil and the beans and bake for 2-3 minutes longer, until the edges are browned to your liking.
How to make a woven lattice top for a pie
Roll out some unbaked pie crust on a floured surface. Cut it into strips, about 1/2-inch wide. Lay about 8 strips on top of your pie, evenly spaced, with each strip oriented horizontally. Don’t pat them down.
You are going to weave the right side of the pie first.
Starting at the top of the pie, pick up the right side of a strip of dough and gently fold it halfway across to the left side. Skip the next strip, then fold over the next one, the third one from the top. Fold every other strip of dough over — the fifth, the seventh, etc.
Now lay a strip vertically just to the right of the center. It will be on top of every other horizontal strip, but it won’t be on top of the ones you just folded back. Fold all the folded strips back over to the right, over the vertical strip of dough you just placed.
Starting with the second horizontal row, fold it back as far as you can (it won’t go to the middle, because you just put a strip on top of it). Fold back all the even rows — two, four, six, eight. Place a vertical strip just to the right of the one you just did and replace the folded strips of dough. Continue doing this until you have woven the right side of the pie.
Use the same technique, mirrored, to do the left side of the pie. When the top is covered with a lattice, you can trim the excess dough and pinch the lattice together with the crust itself.