Process flour and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture and process in 10 one-second pulses, until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs with butter bits no larger than small peas. Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture, one tablespoon at a time. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Press down on the dough with the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding another tablespoon of water if the dough is too dry. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Roll pie dough evenly into a round large enough to cover a 9-inch pie plate, with the edge extending from ½" to ¾" over the rim of the pie plate. Fold the overhang under so that it is even with the lip of the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Flute the edge, cover loosely with foil and freeze.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line frozen crust with heavy foil, covering the fluted edge. Fill pie shell with 2 cups of pie weights or pennies. Bake for 25 minutes. While crust is baking, combine the first six ingredients of the filling in a medium bowl. Mix well. Set the medium bowl inside a larger bowl filled with very hot tap water, stirring occasionally.
When crust is set, take it out of the oven and very carefully remove the foil and weights. Using four 2” strips of aluminum foil, cover the fluted edge of the pie crust and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the filling bowl from warm water and stir in the pecan halves.
When the 5 minutes are up, add the warm filling to the pre-baked crust, keeping the foil over the fluted edge for now. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake the pie for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the fluted edge, and bake an additional 10 minutes until the crust is golden.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream.
Filling recipe courtesy of Don and Annette Pate. Pie crust recipe courtesy of Rebecca Greenhaw.
Couch Orchard. Luther, Oklahoma. (405) 277-9249