This easy pie crust recipe will have you making sweet and savory pies all year long. This is the only pie dough recipe you need for all your pie making adventures since it is truly a no-fail pie crust recipe.
Believe it or not, there are some people who do not like pie – my husband used to be one of those people. But fortunately, I converted him into the pie loving category with this buttery, flaky pie crust recipe. It’s not so much pie that people don’t like, it’s that most pie crusts are bland and they’re really just the vehicle for holding your favorite pie filling.
That’s a shame because a perfect pie crust is easy to make and doesn’t take much time. Let me share a few pie crust making tips with you before we get to the flaky pie crust recipe. If you just can’t wait, scroll down and there’s a printable for the best homemade pie crust recipe for you.
Tips for Making Great Pie Crust
Here’s the deal, really great, flaky homemade pie crust takes a few more minutes than just a good pie crust. If you don’t have time to implement these tips, no worries, this pie crust recipe will still result in a good tasting pie crust – not a bland one that people leave on their plates. If you want a really great flaky crust, then follow these tips, if you have time.
- Start with cold ingredients – cold all purpose flour, cold butter, cold lard or shortening or coconut oil, ice cold water, cold egg, and even cold vinegar. This takes a bit of pre-planning. If you decide to make a pie on whim, just use whatever cold ingredients you have and don’t worry that the rest of the ingredients are room temperature.
- Start with cold tools – The idea behind the cold ingredients and cold tools is that it will keep the fats from melting before they get in the oven. Again, if you’re making pie on a whim, don’t worry too much about it.
- Use a food processor to mix the dough – A food processor makes making pie crust super quick – like less than 5 minutes quick. If you don’t have a food processor, a pastry cutter or even your hands will do just fine, it will just take longer than 5 minutes.
- Don’t over work the dough – This might be the single most important pie crust making tip. There should be ribbons of butter or shortening through the dough. It should not be smooth and perfectly blended. When the fats melt while it’s cooking it will help create the flaky pie crust that we all love. If you overwork the dough, the crust will be flat and not flaky.
- Measure the flour correctly – This would be the second most important tip. It’s easy to add too much flour to the pie crust recipe. To measure the flour correctly, the flour needs to be loose and not packed down. You can sift the flour and then measure it out. If you don’t have a sifter you can put the flour in a bowl and whisk it before measuring. When you measure, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and use the back of a butter knife to level it off.
- Let dough rest in refrigerator before rolling it out – Again with the cold stuff! After making the pie crust, divide it into two balls and wrap them in plastic wrap or beeswax covered cloth and put them in the refrigerator for an hour or two before rolling out with a rolling pin.
- Let the rolled pie crust rest in the pan in the refrigerator – Are you getting the feeling that keeping pie crust cold is important for flaky pie crust? It is, so if you have time, put the pie plate with the rolled out pie crust in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before you put the filling in it and bake it.
- Cook the pie in a hot oven – The oven needs to be fully preheated before you put the pie in. There are times I fudge on preheating the oven when I’m baking something and just bake it longer – but not with pie, pie needs to be put in a hot oven.
- Use vinegar in the pie crust recipe – The acid in the vinegar keeps the gluten from fully developing and makes the pie crust easier to work with and keeps it from shrinking in the pie pan when it cooks.
- Use an egg in the pie crust – The egg will make the pie crust more pliable and so much easier to roll out and work with. Remember tip #4 “Don’t overwork the dough”? An egg helps with that.
- Use a pastry mat to roll the pie dough out – A pastry mat makes rolling out the dough and getting a perfect circle easier. It also makes clean up easier. I don’t always use one, as you’ll notice in some of my photos, because I don’t always care about making perfect circles. Just be sure no to over flour the your work surface. Use just enough flour to keep the pie crust from sticking to the surface.
Don’t let these pie crust tips intimidate you – pies should be fun!
These are things that I’m mindful of and will do IF I have time and remember them but sometimes I just want to surprise my family with a grape pie after a long day of preserving grapes or a mango lime pie because the mangoes are getting too ripe. In that case, I choose to just make the pie and not worry about making the pie crust the “right” way. No one notices because this easy pie crust recipe is just that good!
So make pie! And if you have time to fiddle with it, use these pie crust tips to make a perfect pie crust.
- 2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour
- ½ cup shortening (can use solid coconut oil, lard or even more butter)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ¼ cup ice water
Make Pie Crust Dough:
- Combine flour and salt into a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor.
- Cut shortening (or coconut oil) and butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or food processor.
In a small bowl, beat egg, and mix with water and vinegar.
Combine egg mixture with dry ingredients. Resist the urge to over mix the dough.
Divide the dough into 2 pie crusts and form them into balls of dough.
Wrap each ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for later.
To Make Homemade Pies:
- Roll dough into a circle on a pastry mat or lightly floured surface.
- Put pie crust into a pie dish and trim the edges or use the overhang to decorate.
To Blind Bake Pie Crust:
- If you're baking a bottom crust to fill later (par-baking or blind baking), use parchment paper and pie weights and bake at 400F for approximately 25 minutes.
- If your baking a filled pie crust, bake at the temperature recommended in the pie recipe.
This recipe makes 2 pie crusts and freezes well. I like to make several batches and freeze them to have on hand. Divide the batch into two balls of pie crust dough and wrap each ball in plastic wrap. Put wrapped pie dough in a freezer safe container and put it in the freezer.
To defrost, put pie crust on the counter and let thaw at room temperature until soft.
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FAQ for Pie Crust Dough
Should you sift flour for pie crust?
Technically, yes you should sift flour when making pie crust and the flour should be measured AFTER it’s sifted. However, if you don’t have a flour sifter, you can use a mesh strainer and a bowl to sift the flour. Just put the strainer over the bowl, fill it the strainer with flour and then gently move it so the flour falls out into the bowl. If you don’t have a mesh strainer, put some flour in a bowl and using a fork, gently stir and fold it to fluff it up.
How to freeze pie crust
I usually just freeze my pie crusts in balls. I wrap the balls with plastic wrap and then put them in a labeled ziplock bag. If you want, you can roll the pie crust out and put them in a pie pan and then freeze the whole pie pan. Wrap it with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is flat against the pie dough. Then put it in a ziplock bag. If it the pie pan is too large for a ziplock bags, wrap it twice with plastic wrap and then wrap it with aluminum foil.
How long does homemade pie crust keep in the refrigerator?
Homemade pie crusts will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How long does homemade pie crust last in the freezer?
When it’s properly packaged, frozen homemade pie crust will last up to 3 months in the freezer. That being said, I’ve kept it longer than three months in the freezer and it tastes just fine.
How to thaw frozen pie crust
Pie crusts can be left out at room temperature to thaw out. If you froze them in balls, it will take about an hour for the pie crusts to thaw out. If you frozen them in pie pans, it will take about 15 minutes.
What to do with leftover pie crust
After trimming the edges of your pie crust to make it look pretty in the pie pan, you might have some leftover pie dough. If you have enough dough, you can use a small muffin tin to make tarts or use it to make a hand pie or two. You can wrap it back up and freeze it. If you do this every time you have leftover dough you’ll eventually have enough to make a another pie. But my favorite thing to do with it, is to roll it out and brush it with a little melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. I cut them in strips and then bake them on a baking sheet.
What to do with one pie crust
There are so many things you can do with a single crust. You can make a single crust pie, like pumpkin pie or pecan pie. You can use it as a topping for a chicken pot pie and just skip the bottom crust. You can make hand pies or turn-overs. You can cut in thirds and re-roll it out and make a small double-crust pie – use 2/3 for the bottom crust and 1/3 for a loose lattice top crust. You can also make a fruit galette, which is basically a rustic pie that doesn’t use a pie pan, instead the edges are folded over to keep the fruit in.