This Perfect Pie Crust Recipe is delicious, flaky and perfect for sweet or savory pies. It’s easy to make this homemade pie crust with my tips and video!
The perfect basic pie crust recipe makes any pie better – and even more delicious!
My pie crust works perfectly with savory or sweet pies (so this is really the only recipe you’ll need), is made using both butter and shortening, and is so easy to make! I tell you exactly how to make it, give you tips to make it super simple and fail-proof, and have a video so you can see exactly how I make it! You’ll be baking pie crusts in no time!
The Perfect Pie Crust
Growing up, I watched my Mother and Grandmother make pie crusts as if it were the easiest thing in the world. They explained it all to me when I was older and ready to bake my own pies – and it was as easy as they made it look! I’m sharing that simple, fail-proof method with you in this recipe.
To Use Butter or Shortening or Lard?
Basically, the debate exists on whether to use butter, shortening, lard or some combination for the flakiest, best-tasting pie crust. I like a combination of butter and shortening for pie crusts. The shortening helps it to be super flaky, tender and sturdy, while the butter gives it the delicious buttery flavor. The combination results in a delicious, flaky, yet perfectly sturdy crust that works for even heavier pie fillings.
Can You Use All Butter in the Crust?
Yes, you certainly can if you either can’t find shortening or prefer not to use it. While I find that the combination of equal parts butter and shortening to make the best crust as I described, you can use 1/2 cup of butter, plus a bit more to butter your pie dish.
What’s the Best Way to Blend the Dough?
Some folks swear by using a food processor, others use a pastry blender, while my Grandmother only used two forks. I have used all methods, but most of the time to make my crusts quickly I grab my pastry blender. It’s so easy – either of these methods you prefer works just great!
Does the Butter Need to Be Cold?
Absolutely make sure that the butter is cold or even frozen. Cold fats in your dough are a must. It helps the crust to be flaky, tender and so delicious when the bits of cold butter and shortening melt in the hot oven as the crust bakes. If butter and shortening are too warm in the crust before baking, it can result in a hard, greasy and even crumbly pie crust. Some people freeze all of the ingredients before mixing the dough.
Time Tested and Easy Pie Crust
I’ve tested this perfect pie crust recipe so many times over the years and know this recipe works with most pie fillings and can be made by hand fairly quickly. It always provides a flaky crust with lots of flavor that is sturdy enough for heavy pie fillings.
In other words, this is the perfect pie crust and the only recipe you’ll ever really need.
Here’s how I make it.
How to Make Homemade Pie Crust
Prepare your pie plate by buttering it, then set it aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Gradually add enough ice water (a tablespoon at a time) while mixing with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough is formed.
Pour the dough ball out onto a lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Lightly flour the pie dough disc and place another sheet of plastic wrap over the top of it. Roll from the center until pie dough is about 1/8 inch thick.
Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, fold the dough over and lay across the pie plate and remove the bottom piece of plastic wrap. Press the pie dough lightly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Cover the pie plate with a piece of the plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to overnight. (To Freeze for Later: Wrap extra well with freezer wrap and foil to freeze for up to 3 months.)
Then simply fill your pie crust with your chosen pie filling and bake according to the pie recipe.
To blind-bake: If you are making a pie that requires a pre-baked crust, use a fork and lightly prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 8 minutes.
Can You Freeze This Pie Crust?
Absolutely! I freeze them all the time. It’s great to have them on hand when the baking urge strikes! Just wrap well as instructed earlier and freeze for up to 3 months. So easy!
Some Favorite Pies
Here’s my basic pie crust recipe. I think you’ll love it for all sorts of delicious pies. It’s so great on savory pies too!
Pie Crust Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup butter + more for buttering pie plate or skillet
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water
- Butter a 9-inch pie plate or skillet and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and the salt. Cut in the shortening and butter with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Gradually add enough ice water to the mixture while mixing with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough is formed.
- Pour the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Lightly flour the top of the pie dough and place another sheet of plastic wrap on top. Rolling from the center, roll until the dough is about a 1/8-inch thickness. Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, fold the dough over and lay across the pie plate and remove the bottom piece of plastic wrap. Press the pie dough lightly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Cover the pie plate with a piece of the plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
- If pre-baking, use a fork and lightly prick the bottom and sides of the pie dough.Then preheat the oven to 425º F and bake the pie crust for about 8 minutes.
- If not pre-baking, simply fill the pie crust with pie filling and bake according to instructions for the pie recipe.
- When using vegetable shortening, I use an organic shortening.
- To make an all butter pie crust, use 1/2 cup butter plus more for buttering the pie plate.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives, originally published 2012.