It REALLY is worth the trouble to make your own. I’ve employed several tricks to make it easier. One is to use a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with flour to roll out the pastry on. Another (and I’m almost embarrassed to tell it) is to use the recipe for a two crust pie, even though you need only one crust. The extra dough will give you plenty of overhand to make a pinched edge and I found that even though I left the pastry a bit thicker, it was delicious and amazingly flaky.
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco)
A scant 1/3 cup vodka with an ice cube to cool it (trust me, this works SO much better than water to keep the pastry tender
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add the salt to the flour and cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. When the mixture looks like coarse meal, sprinkle on the cold vodka, a tablespoon at a time and blend in with a fork. Continue till the mixture begins to hold together and you can form it into a ball. You may need to add a bit more liquid, at this point cold water is fine.
Roll out the pastry and line your 9 or 10 inch pie pan. (You may have more than you need – bake the scraps with a little sugar sprinkled on them for a sweet treat.) Prick the crust all over the bottom with a fork and bake (unfilled) for about ten minutes. This pre-baking keeps the rust from getting soggy on the bottom.