Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
Prepare the Crust
In a medium bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour and salt. Using a blending fork, cut in vegetable shortening until the dough resembles small coarse crumbs.
Add half of the cold water. Mix dough, and then add the remaining water. Mix until dough forms a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to fit the size of your pie plate. A 9" pie plate works well. Transfer to dough to the plate and crimp edges. Set aside.
Prepare the Custard
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until combined. Add half and half and mix well.
Pour the custard into the prepared pastry. Sprinkle with freshly ground nutmeg.
Bake on lowest rack (to ensure a nice brown bottom crust) for 15 minutes at 450 degrees,. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 15-20 minutes until knife in center comes out clean. Center may be a little soft.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Serves 8.
*This recipe will make 2 single pastry crusts. Either make two pies or wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and freezer bag to freeze for another time.