Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
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
Hi Danielle, Great job instructing is how-to-do-it! I am an old guy new to this and loaded up on bread flour as baking bread is my primary interest. You said that you use APF just because…So do you think bread flour would work without any alterations (realizing that the texture might be slightly different)? If need be, I obviously can get some APF and keep it on hand. Thanks
Glad you found it helpful, Ed! I would recommend sticking with all-purpose flour in this recipe if you can. Bread flour has a higher protein content and might make the crust a bit chewier.
Thanks, Danielle. I can do that!
I used bread flour and my crust turned out great. I made a chicken pot pie with it. Super yummy confort food!
If I were to use salted butter, how would it affect the recipe?
Also great job with the step by step! Thank you!
If using salted butter, you’ll want to reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.
I have been baking pie crusts for some time and decided to give your recipe a try. In all honesty, the half cup of shortening is very overwhelming. In the past I have used no more than 1/4 cup to the exact same recipe with great success. Sorry, at least I gave it a try.
I’ll use butter!?
Don’t usually leave reviews but this was THE BEST tasting pie crust – so light and flaky! I had difficulty rolling and keeping it together (probably because I didn’t watch the tutorial) but it didn’t matter. Used it on my chicken pot pie and it looked a bit rustic but made them especially delicious.
I’ll let you know if we are similar mind. Just placed pie into the oven.
I just made apple pie using your recipe. It was so yummy (did not last long, everybody loved it. Hahah). It is not soggy but not too dry either. So perfect. Thank you Jenn.
This is the first time I’ve made a flaky crust. It was delicious! Thank you for this recipe and all your pointer. Success!
Hi, can I substitute the vegetable shortening for something else like veg oil or more butter? ?
You can replace the shortening with butter and just use 1 cup of butter.
If using margarine how much amount to use
Hi, Marieta! I wouldn’t recommend using margarine for this recipe.
In ireland we use self raising flour, plain flour or cream flour what is all-purpose flour classed as??
It should be the same as plain flour.
If I use all butter (and I only have salted), what can I do? I saw your comment about reducing salt, but I don’t have any shortening.
If you use 1 cup of salted butter, you can reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
Love the instructions not a great cook so I’ve made the pastry just placed in fridge so then going to blind bake before making steak pie.
If I replace the plain flour with the.self raising flour (which already has baking powder and baking soda), do I need to add baking powder and baking soda in this recipe? if yes then how much do I add?
I haven’t tried it, but I’m not sure that it would work well to use self-rising flour since it has baking powder and salt already added to it.
All I have is butter shortening. Is that ok?
I think it would probably be okay.
After baking this wonderful pie crust, with wonderful step by step instructions, how do I then use this baked pie crust to make and apple pie?
Hi, Elizabeth! You usually don’t need to pre-bake the pie crust for an apple pie. I actually have an apple pie recipe here.
I think I did something wrong, I didn’t use all the water and it was all sticky, It’s my first time using shortening but it was at room temperature, so I don’t know if that was the problem?
Hi, Carolina! If you shortening was warm, that could be one reason it was a bit sticky. I recommend using chilled butter and shortening. I would also only use 1 tablespoon of water at a time and stir everything together gently until the mixture is a little crumbly and you can squeeze it together in your hand.
i loved all of your step by step inshtructions
Danielle This is the first recipe that makes enough dough for a decent crust, and explains WHY not to mix too much. Thank you, it’s in the oven now and I can’t wait to taste what might be my best pie 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the pie crust, Diane! Thanks for the heads up on the ads too, I’ll see if there’s a way to get that fixed!
After making the dough, how long can it sit in the fridge for? Can I leave it in the fridge for more than 1 hour?
Yes, you can leave it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Hi Danielle, I cant wait to try this and I am so happy that you went into great detail with the instructions. I heard that using butter and shortening is the best but I am not allowed to eat dairy. Can I use all shortening or 1/2 shortening and half coconut oil? If so, which do you think would be better? I dont mind the coconut flavor.
I think it would probably be okay to use all shortening, I’m not sure about the coconut oil.
This is my go-to recipe for pies. I used to use a vegetable oil (liquid) recipe which rolled out well but was a little mealy. This is nice and flakey, tastes great too. I also roll out my crusts between two sheets of wax paper which helps in handling the dough. Thanks for the great tutorial!
I LOVE this type of pie crust, I have made it for many different pies. though, I always use butter instead of shortening and it still works great!
I recently used it for a peach pie. to make it the best I thinly sliced 2 tbsp. of butter and put it on top of the filling right before I put the crust on, then brushed an egg yolk and water each on top of the crust right before baking and half way through, it was the BEST pie crust!!
Hi danielle thanks for the recipe but if i don’t have any shortening can i use butter or veg oil to replace it and what would be the measurement
You can replace the 1/2 cup of shortening with 1/2 cup of butter, so 1 cup (230 grams) of butter total.
Please make it more clear for beginner bakers that it is 1/2 cup of water OR LESS. And that you need to stop adding the water once a certain consistency is reached. Perhaps describe the ideal consistency.
I added the whole 1/2 cup, as this is what the recipe calls for…
Your instructions allude to these ideas, but it is not clear enough for somebody who had never made pie crust 🙁
Sorry you had trouble with the recipe, Christina. I’ve updated the instructions to make them clearer. If you need a picture of what the dough should look like that is included in the post.
I used this recipe for a chicken pot pie and just omitted the sugar. Put it in a cast iron skillet. It is so good. Thank you so much for posting.
Hi there, the crust breaks when I try to lift it to put in the pan.
There are a few ways you can transfer it to your pie dish or pan. You can roll the dough up on a rolling pin, then roll it out over your pie dish. You can also gently fold the dough and then transfer it that way. Sometimes I will roll it out on parchment paper, place my pie dish upside down on top of it, then flip it over and peel off the parchment paper.
I often have problems making crust, either the crust falls off or they get way too dark. Not this time! I made pumpkin pie and the crust looked and tasted great. It was the most perfect pie I have ever made. So perfect it looked store bought except it was way better than any store bought pie I have ever had. Only made this once so far. Hoping it turns out this good every time.
Dose it have to be refrigerated?
Yes, you want the fat in the pie crust to be very cold.
Do I have to put it in the fridge before cooking it?
You do need to chill the dough so the butter and shortening are very cold. If you don’t, the crust won’t be as flaky.
In step 3, are you putting the 2 discs you created and refrigerated in step 2 back together before rolling out? Or does this make 2 crusts?
No you don’t put them back together, this recipe makes 2 pie crusts. You can cut the recipe in half though if you only need one.
So once the pie crust is ready to go in the oven do I put the pie filling in the crust before cooking it or do I par cook the crust and then add my pumpkin filling never baked a pie in my whole life but I’m a cook so just trying to figure out the best way to do this
It depends on the type of pie that you’re baking. For custard pies, like pumpkin or pecan pie, I do recommend blind-baking the pie crust. For apple pie or cherry pie, I don’t find it necessary. I have a tutorial for how to blind bake a pie crust here.