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Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Easy no-fail homemade pie crust recipe. Flaky pie crust made with butter, shortening, flour, salt and sugar yield the best pie crust recipe in less than an hour.

Pie crust placed in pie pan

Today’s recipe for a homemade pie crust is so versatile.  It’s super flaky, easy to make and tastes fantastic.

This is my Grandma’s pie crust recipe from scratch and I use if for hand pies, fruit pies, cream pies and it never fails.  

There’s an option to add sugar if you want a sweet pie crust but it’s optional if you are making something savory like a chicken pot pie or a meat-filled hand pie.

How to make a pie crust from scratch

Start by placing all of the dry ingredients into a bowl.  Using a whisk mix all of the ingredients until they are well blended.  Doing this makes sure the sweet and salt is distributed evenly

Then you’ll want to use your hands and add the chilled butter and shortening to the flour.  The texture will be pebbly as you can see in the photo below. 

Why do you need chilled butter for flaky pie crusts?  

You want chilled butter so when it bakes it takes longer to melt which gives a more flaky crust.  For the same reason, you want the water chilled so it doesn’t warm the butter.

Bowl with pie crust ingredients Flour, butter, sugar salt just whisked together

Add the chilled water a little bit at a time.  It may not take the whole amount.  In the photo below you can see what it looks like — kind of clumpy, with the flour not completely incorporated. The dough is very scraggy.

Bowl of flour mixture with butter and shortening mixed in; showing crumbled pebbly texture goal.

To test the dough before adding more water you can do a “bind” test with your hand to see if it stays together and doesn’t crumble. (See the photo below)

Testing pie crust dough with hand pressing it together so it barely binds

The ultimate flaky dough has just enough water to have it stick together, but not a solid wet dough.  Once you have the dough to the right consistency you’ll want to place the dough into two discs (this recipe yields 2 crusts.) 

Wrapping the discs in plastic before chilling prevents drying out and keeps other odors out of your pie crust.

Pie crust discs wrapped in plastic to go in fridge for chilling

Why do you refrigerate dough before baking it to a flaky crust?

Chilling once again is necessary to yield a flaky crust.  By chilling the butter-filled crust the butter gets cold and helps the dough keep its shape when baking and gives a better crust. 

Why use Crisco Shortening in pie crust?

Using a little bit of shortening helps keep the pie crust a little lighter.  You can absolutely get a flaky pie crust with all butter but it will be a little bit flakier and a lighter crumb crust if you add a scant amount of shortening.

Pie crust dough being rolled out to 1/4" thick

 

The #1 secret to the best homemade pie crust with butter?

Rolling the pie crust out evenly.  How do I do this?  I swear by these even pie crust bands.  You place the bands for whatever width you would like the final dough to be on the ends of the rolling pin and you roll the pie crust until the dough fits into the designated width. 

I think a thinner dough yields a flakier crust and roll the pie crust to a 1/4″ width for the most successful crust.

When rolling out the dough place some flour on the board (or piece of parchment paper) and on the disk, place the bands on the ends of the roll that will yield a 1/4″ dough.  You’ll roll out the dough to be 2″ wider than your pie plate or pie pan.

Once the pie crust is at the right width, place the dough in the pie pan and tuck under the edges before filling your pie.  

Pie crust in pie tin/plate

Recipes that are perfect Flaky Pie Crust Recipe:

Savory Recipes that use a homemade pie crust

Common Questions You may have About Pie Crusts:

Can I use this recipe for a savory dish?  This recipe is easily adapted to savory crusts you might need for a chicken pot pie or a quiche.  The only change you will make is to delete the sugar when making it!

Can I make this with all butter instead of adding shortening?  This pie crust works without Crisco easily. Substitute additional butter equally for the shortening.

What other things can I use this crust for?  This pie dough recipe makes great cinnamon and sugar cookies.  Roll out the dough, cut into fun shapes and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Yield: 16 slices of pie (2 pie Crusts)

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Pie crust placed in pie pan

Easy no fail homemade pie crust recipe. Flaky pie crust made with butter, shortening, flour, salt and sugar yield the best pie crust recipe in less than an hour.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons butter Unsalted chilled
  • 1/4 cup shortening chilled
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 cup iced water in a spritzer bottle see notes

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl place flour, salt and sugar and mix well.
  2. Cut in the butter and shortening using either a pastry blender or your hands. You want the mixture to be mealy (think small pebbles, not creamed.)
  3. Slowly mist in ice cold water and mix with your hands until dough is just mixed together. DO NOT OVERMIX IT. The dough should be dry in some areas (imagine that later that will be flaky.) Mix it until it just holds together. You will not use all the water, use only enough to get the dough to hold together.
  4. Divide dough in half. Then shape into a disk and cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for an hour to chill.
  5. Roll out Pie crusts. (Roll crust out to be 2" wider than your pie plate.--- to about 1/4 " thickness)
  6. Place one pie crust in the bottom of a pie pan with the edges hanging over by 2 ".
  7. Tuck under edges and them crimp edges. At this point, cover the edges of the pie with foil to protect it from over browning. (It's easier to do before you add the filling.)
  8. Follow baking instructions of the pie you are making.

Notes

These can be made ahead of time and placed in the freezer until the day you wish to bake them. Remove them from the freezer 24 hours before you wish to bake them and place them in the fridge so they defrost, but remail chilled.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

All recipe calorie information was calculated on what I purchased to make this recipe in Nutritionix. When you make the recipe, the calorie content could vary depending on what specific ingredients/brands you actually use. Please take that into consideration if you are following a strict diet.

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Michaela Kenkel

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

I use my Grandma's pie crust recipe, too. They really knew what they were doing back then, didn't they?? Of course - they had to I suppose, since they couldn't just grab one from the freezer section like we can do in a pinch! ;) So many great tips for making the perfect pie crust. Thank you!!

Jeff

Tuesday 25th of June 2019

I love this recipe. Perfect for savory pies as well as deserts.

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