My Favorite Pie Crust Recipe

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With this simple recipe, making a tender and flaky homemade pie crust is totally doable, even for beginners!

This is my go-to pie crust recipe. It has a buttery flavor and a tender, flaky texture. The dough is relatively easy to work with and roll out, and it holds its shape in the oven. The recipe only requires a few ingredients and if you follow the steps, making a delicious homemade pie crust is totally doable, even for beginners.

What You’ll Need To Make Pie Crust

how to make pecan pie

Some pie crust recipes call for all butter; some call for all shortening, lard or oil; and some call for a combination of fats. I like to use a blend of butter and shortening. The butter lends delicious flavor and flakiness, while the shortening makes the dough easy to work with and also helps it hold its shape. It’s important that the butter and shortening are both very cold. (I keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to add them.)

As for the dry ingredients, in addition to all-purpose flour and salt, I like to add a bit of baking powder to my homemade pie crust. It helps the crust expand into the pan, rather than shrink and slip down the sides as it bakes (a genius tip from pastry chef Nick Malgieri).

How to make pie crust

To begin, combine the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.

how to make pecan pie

Add the cold butter and shortening in pieces.

how to make pecan pie

Pulse until you have coarse crumbs with lots of pea and chickpea-sized clumps of butter and shortening within. Don’t overprocess the dough: all of those clumps of fat steam in the oven, creating layers in the pastry that make a flaky crust.

how to make pecan pie

Add ice cold water and pulse a few times until the mixture is just evenly moistened and very crumbly. It will not come together into a mass — that’s good!

how to make pecan pie

Dump the crumbly dough out onto a work surface. (I know this looks all wrong, but have faith!)

how to make pecan pie

Gather it into a ball.

how to make pecan pie

Then pat the dough into a 5-inch disc. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 3 days to rest.  Allowing the dough to rest helps the gluten relax and also ensures that dough stays chilled — both important in making a tender, flaky crust.

pie crust ready to refrigerate

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and dust your work surface lightly with flour. Place the dough on top and sprinkle a little flour over the dough.

pie crust dough on floured work surfaceUse your hands to quickly knead the dough into a soft and malleable disc (don’t overwork it; you want it just supple enough to roll).

kneaded pie crust dough

Roll the dough, turning it frequently and adding more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick, into a 13-inch circle.

pie crust dough rolled to 13-in circle

Fold the dough into quarters without creasing it and transfer it to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (the pan should be at least 1-1/2 inches deep).

folded dough in pie dish

Gently fit the dough into the pan, easing it inwards rather than stretching it outwards. Don’t worry if it tears, just patch it right back up.

pie crust dough laying in pie dish

Trim the edges to 1/2-inch beyond the lip of the pie pan, if necessary. Turn the edges under to create a rim on the crust (you can use the scraps to patch in any thin areas); then press the rim against the lip of the pan, forming it into an even edge as you go. Using your fingers, crimp the rim.

crimped rim Place the crust in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before proceeding with your recipe.

If your crust requires blind baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the crust from the freezer and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust at least halfway full with dried beans or pie weights.

pie crust filled with dried beans

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is pale and partially cooked. Remove the parchment and dried beans/pie weights and then proceed with your pie recipe.

blind baked pie crust

That’s all there is to it. Happy pie baking!

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My Favorite Pie Crust Recipe

With this simple recipe, making a tender and flaky homemade pie crust is totally doable, even for beginners!

Servings: 1 9-inch deep dish pie crust
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus at least 45 minutes to rest

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled with a knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons very cold vegetable shortening, in 3 pieces
  • 4 tablespoons very cold water

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process for 5 seconds to blend.
  2. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse until you have coarse crumbs with lots of pea-sized clumps of butter and shortening within, 15 to 20 one-second pulses.
  3. Add the water and pulse until the mixture is just evenly moistened and very crumbly, 7 to 10 one-second pulses.
  4. Dump the crumbly dough out onto a work surface and gather it into a ball.
  5. Pat the dough into a 5-inch disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 3 days to rest.
  6. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and dust your work surface lightly with flour. Place the dough on top and sprinkle a little flour over the dough. Use your hands to quickly knead the dough into a soft and malleable disc (don’t overwork it; you want it just supple enough to roll).
  7. Roll the dough, turning it frequently and adding more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick, into a 13-inch circle.
  8. Fold the dough into quarters without creasing it and transfer it to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
  9. Gently fit the dough into the pan, easing it inwards rather than stretching it outwards. Don’t worry if it tears, just patch it right back up.
  10. Trim the edges to 1/2-inch beyond the lip of the pie pan, if necessary. Turn the edges under to create a rim on the crust (you can use the scraps to patch in any thin areas); then press the rim against the lip of the pan, forming it into an even edge as you go. Using your fingers, crimp the rim. Place the crust in the freezer for at least 15 minutes, and then proceed with your pie recipe.
  11. If your crust requires blind baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the crust from the freezer and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Fill the crust at least halfway full with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is pale and partially cooked. Remove the parchment and dried beans/pie weights and proceed with your pie recipe.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn, Oh my gosh I am so awful at making pie crust and my Mother made pie crust to die for. It must have skipped a generation. I tired to make this before Thanksgiving. It looked like the pictures, throughout the food processor process. I left it in the frig for 24 hours, sat it on the counter for 15 minutes and when I tried to roll it out it completely fell apart and part of it stuck to the roller. It was a mess. Did I not put in enough water? Also I used White Lilly flour because I saw it had less protein and might make a flakier? Was it not enough to hold it together? I should have taken a picture. Any thoughts are appreciated.

    • — Belinda on November 29, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Belinda, Sorry you had trouble! It may have something to do with the white lily flour. I’d try it again with all-purpose (I use King Arthur) and be sure to knead it just a bit when you take it out of the fridge to help make it supple enough to roll out. Also, don’t be shy about adding more flour as you roll it out to prevent sticking.

      • — Jenn on November 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Thank you for this gorgeous looking pie crust recipe!
    I am making a beef pie (it will be a little saucy). Do you think I should blind bake the crust?
    Also, can I double or triple this crust recipe, or better to make 3 batches?
    Thanks!

    • — Bry on November 24, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Bry, I would definitely blind bake the crust — and, yes, you can double or tripe without any issues. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2019
      • Reply

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