This reliable buttery dough is a favorite in our test kitchen. To cut down on prep time for your next pie, make a double batch of dough, and stash the surplus in the freezer.
In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar; pulse briefly. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overmix.
Divide dough in half, and turn out onto two large pieces of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over each portion of dough; press to shape into two 3/4-inch-thick disks. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days); dough can also be frozen up to 3 months (thaw before using).
Adding the correct amount of water to pie dough can be tricky, but here's a fail-safe method: Squeeze a small handful of dough -- if it holds together, it's just right.