An easy tutorial on how to make your own homemade pie crust! This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients and turns out perfect every single time. This post also includes several different ways that you can use this pie crust recipe!
Making your own pie crust should never be intimidating. In fact, if you have a good recipe and instructions it’s actually pretty easy.
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ve probably seen this pie crust recipe at some point. But today I wanted to share this simple recipe with you again because it’s one that I use all of the time! You’ll absolutely love this recipe because it’s:
- Super flaky
- Ridiculously easy to make
- Uses simple pantry staples you likely have on hand
- Tastes better than anything that you can buy at the store
Trust me when I say that you’ll never go back to buying store-bought pie crust again once you learn how to make your own!
To make this easy pie crust recipe you’ll need some all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, unsalted butter, shortening, and ice water. Each of these ingredients plays a crucial role in creating a delicious pie crust, so let’s break them down.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour when making this homemade pie crust because it creates the perfect crust. One important thing here, make sure to measure your flour correctly. Too much flour in your pie crust can take your crust from flaky and tender to dry and crumbly. Here’s my post about how to measure flour with the spoon and level method. Or even better, use a food scale to measure your flour! You’ll need 315 grams of all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- Salt & Sugar: The salt and sugar help to enhance the flavor of the pie crust. Salt is a very important ingredient when it comes to making your own homemade pie crust, so don’t leave it out or cut the amount down. As far as the sugar, you can leave it out if you prefer.
- Fat: Some pie crust recipes call for all butter, a combination of butter and shortening, oil, etc. For this recipe, I use a combination of cold butter and cold vegetable shortening. The butter gives your pie crust a delicious buttery flavor and the shortening gives the crust structure and keeps it tender.
- One important thing – Make sure your butter and shortening are cold. Not soft, not warm, I’m talking straight from the refrigerator right before you add it to the flour mixture. Why? When you put the pie crust in the oven, you want little bits of cold fat in the crust. The little bits of fat will melt as the crust bakes and create little air pockets, which is what gives you a beautiful flaky crust.
- Ice Water: You’ll also need some ice water to help bring the dough together. Measure out some water, add some ice to it, and stir it around so it’s nice and cold. Then measure out the exact amount of ice water the recipe calls for and add it one tablespoon at a time. Too much water in your pie dough and you’ll end up with a sticky mess, too little water and you’ll end up with a crumbly dough that won’t hold together. I suggest gently mixing in one tablespoon of ice water at a time.
How To Make A Pie Crust
To start, you’ll whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, and sugar. Then add the cold cubed butter and cold vegetable shortening and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. If you don’t have a pastry cutter you can also use a fork to cut the fat into the flour mixture.
If you want to make this step even easier, feel free to use a food processor. If you do use a food processor, I recommend just pulsing the mixture. You want to see pea-sized pieces of fat, but a few larger pieces are fine too.
Next, you’ll slowly mix in your ice water. One tablespoon at a time is the perfect amount, so you don’t end up with too much water in your dough and a sticky mess. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of ice water, but you may not need the full amount. Just use enough ice water to get the dough to come together.
Once you add enough water, the mixture will start to look like the picture above and when you squeeze it in your hand it will hold together. Just try not to use your hands too much when making the dough because your hands are warm and can quickly melt the fat in your dough.
Once the dough comes together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pack it into a ball. Cut the dough in half and flatten it out into two discs. Wrap each disc of dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour. You may also store these in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If it’s too hard to roll, just let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
Once you’re ready to roll out your dough, lightly flour your surface and rolling pin. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on the lightly floured surface. Using your rolling pin, apply even pressure and gently roll it from the center out, turning the dough about a quarter turn after a few rolls. Make sure to lift your dough and flour your surface and the top of the dough as needed to prevent it from sticking.
It’s best to roll the dough out to about 12 inches in diameter. I suggest using a ruler to measure the dough and make sure it’s the right size. This is the perfect size for a 9-inch pie plate, so you have a little overhang and have enough dough to decorate the edges. I like to cut off the excess, leaving about 1 inch of overhang. Then, just fold the overhang under and decorate the edges.
Can I make it without shortening and use just butter in this recipe?
Yes, you can replace the shortening with the same amount of butter. Just keep in mind that this will slightly change the taste and texture of the pie crust.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
If using salted butter, reduce the salt in this recipe from 1 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon.
How long do you bake the pie crust?
This will depend on if you’re needing a partially baked crust or a fully-baked crust. I have a full tutorial to show you how to blind bake a pie crust here.
Can I cut this recipe in half?
Yes, absolutely! You may cut the recipe in half to make just one pie crust.
- When measuring your flour, make sure to use the spoon and level method. Too much flour can lead to a crumbly, dry pie crust.
- Be sure to use cold butter and cold shortening for best results.
- Only add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and stir gently until the mixture starts to come together and you can squeeze it together in your hand.
- Want to make a lattice pie crust topping? You can find my full tutorial for how to make a lattice pie crust here.
Different Ways To Use This Recipe
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- Mini Pecan Pies
- Classic Apple Pie
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Mini Apple Pies
- Classic Pecan Pie
Homemade Pie Crust
- 2 and 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) cold unsalted butter cubed
- 1/2 cup (95 grams) cold vegetable shortening cut into a few pieces
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) ice water
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt until well combined. Add the cold cubed butter and cold vegetable shortening. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut them into the dry ingredients until you have small pea-sized crumbs (some larger pieces are okay).
- Slowly drizzle in one tablespoon of ice water at a time (you may not need the full 1/2 cup) and gently mix it in until the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pack it into a ball. Cut the dough in half and flatten it into two discs. Cover each one tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- To bake the pie crust: Roll the dough out to 12 inches in diameter, transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, gently fit it in, trim any excess dough, and decorate the edges. Line the pie dough with parchment paper or foil, making sure to cover the bottom and the sides, then fill with pie weights (dried beans or dry rice work well too!). Bake with the pie weights at 400°F (190°C) for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the parchment paper (or foil) and the pie weights. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to prevent bubbling and return to the oven. For a partially baked pie crust: Return the crust to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry. For a fully baked pie crust: Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Adapted from Better Homes & Garden New Cookbook 15th Edition