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. The thing is, most pie crusts don’t taste very good, they’re just the vehicle for holding the great tasting pie filling and are bland.
That’s a shame because great tasting 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 pie crust recipe for you.
Tips for Making Good Pie Crust
Here’s the deal, really great, flaky 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 pie 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 about the rest.
- 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 blender 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, it 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.
- 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 pan 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.
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 my 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 an even better pie.
- 2 ½ cups sifted all purpose flour (or freshly ground pastry wheat flour)
- ½ cup shortening (can use solid coconut oil or even more butter)
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ¼ cup ice cold water
- Measure flour and salt into a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor.
- Cut shortening (or coconut oil) and butter into flour and salt.
- In a small bowl, beat egg, 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.
- Roll pie crust into a circle on a pastry mat or floured surface.
- Put pie crust into a pie pan and trim the edges or use the overhang to decorate.
- If you're baking an empty pie crust to fill later, 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 thaw, put pie crust in the refrigerator for several hours until soft.
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Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Pie Plate (9.5-Inch, 2-Pack)
Pastry Mat Silicone Non Slip - Extra Large Thick Non Stick Silicone Baking Mat For Rolling Dough Pie Crust Fondant Pizza and Cookies - Heavy Duty Easy Clean Kneading Mat With Measurements - 20" x 28"