Quick! Check your measuring spoons!
Do They Measure Up?
The tablespoon measure I reach for most often doesn't hold a full tablespoon! I discovered this while working on the Tiramisu recipe for this site. I have three one-tablespoon measures and they each hold a DIFFERENT AMOUNT OF SUGAR! Two are very close. But as you can see from the picture, the first spoon with sugar in it holds significantly less than the other two.
This may be why I have always had trouble with my pie crusts. When I was younger, a mentor told me to measure my fat for pie crusts with a tablespoon measure and to slightly round the measure. That makes the crust tender and flaky. This used to be called "short," which is how the fat used to make flaky baked goods came to be called "shortening."
Well, the tablespoon measure that I have always used for this process is the one that doesn't hold a whole tablespoon! No wonder I've always had trouble with my pie crusts! Since I started measuring the shortening with the good tablespoon measure, my crusts have been easier to manipulate and have turned out more tender and flaky.
So be sure to compare you measures and make sure they measure up!