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 refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with your recipe.

If your crust requires blind baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the crust from the refrigerator 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 refrigerator for at least 30 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 refrigerator 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

  • I have a newfound crust confidence! Despite my nerves at facing the challenge of a homemade pie crust, I actually made the most wonderful, flaky, delicious crust with this recipe. The process was so clear and easy to follow. I will be using this recipe again and again! Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Kate on August 26, 2021
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  • I made this Spinach Quiche for supper, it was delicious. Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe.

    • — Lucille on July 13, 2021
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  • Thanks so much for this recipe. . .it’s the only pie crust I have been successful in making! Two questions: can the disc of dough be frozen and then thawed before rolling out, and is your salt measurement for kosher or regular salt? Thank you so much for another great recipe!

    • — Sarah F on June 10, 2021
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    • So glad you’ve had success with it! Yes, you can definitely freeze it and the salt in the recipe is regular salt (I will always specify in a recipe if it requires kosher salt). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2021
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  • Possibly silly question here. Would you use the same recipe for the “top” of the pie? Novice pie maker here!

    • — Ali on April 24, 2021
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    • Not silly at all (and the answer is yes). 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • What ready made pie crust did you use in your quiche Lorraine recipe? Thank you.

    • — Marjorie on April 12, 2021
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    • Hi Marjorie, I like the Wholly Wholesome pie crust from Whole Foods. 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 13, 2021
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  • Hi Jenn,

    I love your recipes!! Can this pie crust be made and stored in the refrigerator for a few days before using? Also, for the pumpkin pie crust, how much sugar should be added?

    Thank you!

    • — Rebecca Smith on March 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes, Rebecca! Yes, you can refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days and I’d add a tablespoon of sugar to the dough for pumpkin pie crust. You may just want to follow this recipe if you’re making pumpkin pie. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on March 28, 2021
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    • Thank you so much for your quick reply!

      • — Rebecca Smith on March 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • I can’t believe I was able to make this pie crust. But I did…then made the quiche. Amazing. Highly, highly recommend. Chef Jenn your awesome! Big Texas thank you for helping me create great tasting food for my family.

    • — Kirk Wagner on February 1, 2021
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  • I used this recipe for thanksgiving pies and my mom is still raving about how good this crust was two months later. Which is fair—it’s truly delicious, not to mention easy to work with.

    One observation on doubling the recipe—it was very close to too much volume for my old standard size cuisinart food processor. When I need more than one crust, I find it’s easier to make one, just wipe out the bowl then make another. That gives a better uniformity of texture throughout.

    • — Elizabeth R on January 31, 2021
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  • This has become my favorite pie crust recipe, it never fails me! I use butter flavored Crisco shortening along with the butter (the first thing I do is measure it onto a small piece of foil and stick it in the freezer) and follow the directions with great success. I use this for Jen’s Parmesan & Leek quiche and follow the baking directions in that recipe (which has you fork the crust rather than adding dried beans). Another winning recipe!

    • — Sandy on January 30, 2021
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  • This crust turns out perfect every time, I absolutely love it!

    • — JENN BROWNLEE on January 29, 2021
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  • I just made this pie crust recipe to go with the quiche Lorraine recipe you have, Jenn. And WOW, fabulous. Best crust yet. I just bought a new food processor and was concerned because I usually used a pastry cutter. But this was so easy and much quicker. The only part I had trouble with was getting the dough to come together before rolling. Then realized you say to ‘knead’ the dough. I’ve never done that before but it made a huge difference. The crust was so flakey and tasted great. Also, I highly recommend the quiche Lorraine. My husband loved it! Thanks, Jenn

    • — Eileen on January 28, 2021
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  • This has become my go-to pie crust recipe because it literally never fails. Unlike other crusts, it doesn’t get tough if you add a little too much water. It also makes enough crust for a deeper or bigger pie. I have not found it necessary to chill the shortening. I do use very cold butter.

    • — Diana Weber on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Do you ever make an all-butter pie crust? can you convert this recipe to all-butter? when I first started making pies 40 years ago, I always used recipe from Julia Child cookbook which also combined butter and shortening. never failed and always good. but then at some point, I switched to all-butter — but I have never found a perfect recipe! maybe it’s time to revert to the butter/shortening combination! but, if you don’t mind, could you let me know if your recipe can be changed to all-butter with good results? thank you

    • — Vicki Cohen on December 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Vicki, You can definitely replace the shortening with butter, but the crust won’t hold it’s shape well. The purpose of the shortening is to make the dough easier to work with and also help it hold its shape in the oven. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • I haven’t tried this yet. Even though it looks good, you shouldn’t assume that everyone has a food processor-I don’t, and you don’t explain options. People have been making good pie crusts for many years before there were processors. Disappointed in the assumption.

    • — Lauren Reale on December 20, 2020
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    • Hi Lauren, While a food processor makes it easier/quicker, you can use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture. Hope that clarifies! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2020
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    • my mother in law made pie crusts with no measuring tools, a bowl, and two butter knives. works just as well. this is a great crust recipe and will be doubling it later for beef pot pie.

      • — charrington on May 26, 2021
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  • I made this crust yesterday and used it to make tarts. I followed the directions exactly (except for almost forgetting to add the water) and it rolled out easily. It will be my go to recipe from now on.

    • — Sharron White on December 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • I don’t have a food processor. Is there another way for me to blend these ingredients?

    • — Danelle on November 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, You can use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2020
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    • I hadn’t read the other comments before I just left mine. I see another person stating they don’t have a processor. A lot of people don’t. I do a lot of baking and never even wanted one.

      • — Lauren Reale on December 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • I just made this recipe as a trial run for the big day. It seems every year I try a new pie crust recipe, vodka, all butter, some butter, special flour, etc. and every year I stress about the pie crust. I just wanted to let you know, the recipe turned out beautifully and I’m excited to know I won’t be stressed when I’m making all my pies this year. Thanks so much for all your recipes, but especially this one!

    • — Terri on November 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Is this the crust you used with your pumpkin pie recipe?

    • — Susan on November 8, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, but there is a touch of sugar added to the pumpkin pie dough. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2020
      • Reply
  • I need advice… I followed ur recipe strictly, but somehow my dough turns soft
    I didn’t even need to put water in the 2nd attempt, it was still soft… it doesn’t become crumbly… the butter, shortening, water was all cold…

    • — Sonya Kaur on October 31, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sorry you’re having a problem with this! I’m wondering if you’re over-processing the flour/butter/shortening mix. It only needs 15 to 20 one-second pulses. Do you think that could be the case?

      • — Jenn on November 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • perfect pie crust. rolled out beautifully. light and flaky. used this recipe for a tomato pie tonight.

    • — charrington on September 27, 2020
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  • Can I freeze this pie crust?

    • — Grace Gagnon on September 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can i freeze this crust to use later?

    • — Grace on September 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure! (You can either wrap it securely in plastic wrap and foil or a freezer bag or could freeze it in your pie plate.) Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • I have tried the King Arthur pie crust recipe, the Cooks Illustrated vodka pie crust recipe and many more. Yours is the most foolproof: holds its shape in the oven, crisp, tasty, easy to handle, easy to make. I doubled it today for a very large strawberry rhubarb pie. Lovely. Thank you!

    • — Diana on July 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • A perfect, easy crust recipe! Thank you!

    • — Jen on June 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. I’d like to make an old-fashioned double crust lemon pie for my Dad for Father’s Day. He doesn’t care for meringue. The very few recipes I’ve found online do not have many reviews so I am hesitant to pick one. I’d like to use your favorite pie crust recipe so that I know at least the crust will be a winner! Here’s my question… should I blind bake the crust for this type of pie? Does it depend on the recipe I choose for the filling? If you can recommend a good lemon pie filling recipe, I’d be grateful! Thank you!

    • — Christine on June 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Christine, without seeing a recipe it’s hard to say for sure but yes, I think to be safe, I’d blind bake the crust as I suspect the filling will have a fair amount of moisture. Unfortunately, I don’t know offhand of a great lemon pie recipe though – Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • — Jenn on June 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Love your recipes and have made at least 25 of them by now…..you have replaced Ina for my go to recipes!
    Made this crust recipe in my single 9 inch pie pan and just wondered how to adjust the measurements and baking time for the majority of my 10 inch pie pans.
    I also own small, 6 inch, pie plates from Longaberger Basket from years ago. I have no idea how long to bake the crust for in them let alone how to calculate the ingredients for a crust let alone a filling. Can you help? Would love to start using them as they’d be the perfect size for when its just my husband and me.
    Frequent The Capital Grille in Denver often so can’t wait to make the cocoanut cream pie.
    Thank-you for your time and hope you are in the works for another cookbook!
    Warm regards,
    Karen

    • — Karen Makos on April 8, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, I’m flattered that I’m your go-to for recipes!! 🙂
      Are your 6 and 10-inch pie pans deep dish?

      • — Jenn on April 10, 2020
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  • 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
      • thank you Jen, I will try the King Arthur which I also have. I am determined to keep trying. My friends say I am nuts and just to buy frozen pie crust. :). I think I should have kneaded it more too.

        • — Belinda on December 7, 2019
        • Reply
      • White Lily uses a soft winter wheat with less protein, more like a cake flour; it will make more delicate, fluffier biscuits and cakes. All purpose flour has a mix of hard wheat and soft wheat, so King Arthur AP flour works better here. The little bit of kneading helps activate the gluten to hold it together – just don’t over-knead it or your dough can get tough.

        • — BayouBlossom on February 3, 2021
        • 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
      • I had the same issues of it sticking to the counter/rolling pin as another poster. It was difficult to roll out, but easy to patch. And by the time it was baked I don’t think you could tell anyway! I will try using more four on the counter next time, as you suggested to another reader.

        The taste was great! Very flaky and decadent, just like we enjoy. Soooo much better than the frozen crusts you get at the supermarket. Thanks!

        • — Bry on December 10, 2019
        • Reply
        • use enough flour to roll! surface and rolling pin

          • — charrington on September 27, 2020
          • Reply

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