I make different amounts of pastry, depending on what I'm making. But if you're new at making pie crust, I'd suggest you stick to making the same recipe in the same amount every time, until you've mastered it. The recipe below calls for 2 1/2 packed cups (12.5 ounces) of unbleached all-purpose flour and makes enough pastry for one 9-inch double crust pie or two 9-inch pie shells.
It's also important to use the exact same ingredients every time until you've mastered it. The same brand of flour, butter, etc. I use organic unbleached all-purpose flour and organic unsalted butter. A lot of excellent pie makers use lard or shortening in their pastry, but I always use butter (except for those occasions when I've been called upon to make a pie at someone else's house and used whatever they had on hand--including a wine bottle for a rolling pin!).
I've still not tried the recipe that calls for vodka in place of some of the water. It might work, it's just that I've never had the problem that the method is supposed to solve, so ... And then there are recipes that call for an egg or sour cream, milk or buttermilk. You might want to try them all eventually. But, as I said, it's best to master one before branching out.
I always use glass pie plates, the classic 9-inch Pyrex pie plate to be precise, for which you need to roll the pastry out to 13 inches for the bottom crust and 11 inches for the top. The easiest way to roll it out is between two 12-inch squares of parchment paper. Always roll from the center to the outer edge, doing quarter-turns to make it round. There are three different types of rolling pins: the kind with handles and ball bearings, the straight (or baker's) pin, the tapered (or French) pin. I have one of each, all wooden, and can't quite decide on a favorite. There is a fourth kind--handles but no ball bearings--and I'm looking forward to trying one of those soon. (Tried it--fabulous--read about it on Pie Crust By Hand tutorial.)
Pastry for One 9-Inch Double-Crust Pie or Two Pie Shells (food processor* method)
2 1/2 packed cups (12.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 15 minutes
2 tablespoons lemon juice or cider vinegar
Ice water to make 3/4 cup liquid
1 With metal blade in place, add flour, salt and baking powder to work bowl of food processor. Turn on for three seconds to combine. Add half the frozen butter and pulse for six 1-second pulses or until the frozen butter is the size of large peas. Add remaining butter and pulse for three 1-second pulses.
2 In cup, combine lemon juice or cider vinegar and ice water. Pour 1/2 cup of liquid over all of flour mixture and pulse for three 1-second pulses. If needed, add a tablespoon at a time, over all of flour mixture, doing a 1-second pulse after each tablespoon, or just until dough forms large clumps; do not over-process. (The amount of water you will need depends on your climate and the moisture content of your flour.)
3 Turn dough out, dividing onto two pieces of plastic wrap and flatten each slightly into a 4-inch round disk; wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you're making two pie shells, make the disks the same size; if you're making a double-crust pie, make one disk a little larger for the bottom crust.
4 Place a disk of dough on a lightly floured 12-inch square of parchment paper; save the piece of plastic wrap as you'll be using it again. Lightly flour the top of the dough and top with second 12-inch square of parchment paper. Roll the dough into a roughly 12x9-inch rectangle. If it is too crumbly, sprinkle it lightly with a teaspoon or two of water. Using a bench scraper or just the paper, fold the dough into thirds like a letter (it won't look neat), then fold it into thirds the opposite way, to form a rough square. Wrap it well with the reserved piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate again for at least 30 minutes or up to three days. Repeat with second disk of dough. If you've chilled dough for just 30 minutes or so, you can roll it out without waiting. You'll need to let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes before rolling.
Note: You can even freeze the dough at this point, wrapped well, for up to a month. To defrost dough, move it from freezer to refrigerator for one day before using it. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.
5 When making a two-crust pie, save the plastic wrap again (yes, again - I'm pretty fanatical about using as little of the magic stuff as possible) and roll out the bottom crust between two 12-inch squares of parchment, rolling from center to edge a few times and rotating by quarter-turns to attain round shape. (And you don't really need to worry all that much about getting it perfectly round as you'll be trimming off the excess anyway and can make it round then.) It should be 13 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. Remove the top paper and transfer dough to pie plate, paper side up; remove paper, cover with reserved plastic wrap and refrigerate. Roll out top crust (again, save the plastic wrap) and place it on a rimless baking sheet; cover with reserved plastic wrap and refrigerate. Make pie filling. Then assemble pie and bake as directed.
6 When making a single-crust pie, roll out and transfer to dough to pie plate, pressing dough (but not stretching it) to fit pie plate with a half- to one-inch overhang (trim with knife or scissors), crimp edge, cover with reserved piece of plastic wrap and chill until ready to bake. If blind-baking crust (baking the empty pie shell), preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put a pie tin inside the pastry-lined pie plate and bake for 25 minutes. If partially baked crust is needed, remove pie tin and proceed with recipe. If fully baked crust is needed, remove pie tin and continue baking another 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
* I've had my Cuisinart DLC-10E since I was a girl, so as you might imagine, it was discontinued long ago. Check out the Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor.