The Perfect Pie Crust Recipe requires only 5 ingredients and yields enough for both bottom and top crust. This Pie Crust is buttery, flaky and is perfect for sweet or savory pies.
I’ve been baking my own pies for a long time now, but I still remember a time when I used to shy away from making my own pie crust and used to buy the store bought ones. While there’s nothing wrong with store bought pie crust, I enjoy making my own because it’s so easy and quick and using this basic recipe, it always turns out perfect.
Ingredients You Need To Make Pie Crust
There are only 5 ingredients you need to make this simple pie crust recipe! Make sure you scroll all the way down for complete printable recipe. Here they are:
- Flour – I use all-purpose flour for this. You want to use a low protein flour, so pastry flour would be great too. Avoid cake flour as it might lack enough protein to form an elastic dough.
- Sugar – I add just a bit of sugar to my pie crust, however this is an ingredient you can omit, especially if you’re making a savory pie.
- Salt – you also need a bit of salt to bring all the flavors together.
- Butter – since we’re adding salt you will want to use unsalted butter, this way you can control the sodium content in your crust. Don’t skimp on the butter, this is what makes your crust flaky.
- Ice water – make sure it’s ice water. Usually I pour a glass of water loaded with ice in it and use that. The ice water is what keeps the fat cold so it does not melt. This helps keep the crust flaky.
How To Make Pie Crust
Make the dough: Add the flour, sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse a couple times to mix. Add the butter and pulse several times until the pieces of butter are pea size. Add ice water. Start with 6 tbsp of water (no ice cubes) and pulse again. Pinch the dough between your fingers and if it doesn’t stick together between your fingers add the rest of the water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough just begins to hold together.
Knead the dough: Transfer the dough from the food processor to a clean work surface and use your hands to form into a ball. Do not over-knead. If you over knead you start melting the butter with your hands and the dough starts developing gluten which means tough dough.
Shape into discs and refrigerate: Cut the ball into 2 pieces and shape each piece into a disc. You should still see pieces of butter in the dough. This is what will make your dough flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
Tips for Making the Best Pie Crust:
- Always use very cold butter or any other fat such as shortening or lard. This is the secret to a flaky crust. I always cut my butter into small pieces and chill it in the freezer for about 15 minutes prior to adding it to the recipe.
- Don’t over knead the pie dough, especially once your transfer it to your work surface and work the dough with your hands, as your hands could melt the butter.
- Start off using the minimum amount of water (6 tbsp). You basically want to add enough water just until the dough starts holding together when pinched between your fingers.
- Always chill the dough for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days, which makes this crust perfect for make ahead.
- While working with the second piece of pie crust, chill the lined pie pan, this will help it keep its shape when baked.
How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust:
This pie crust is perfect for blind baking for when you’re making lemon meringue pies or pumpkin pies. Blind baking basically means baking your pie crust before filling it and baking the entire pie. This is necessary for when you’re making a custard pie or the pie filling is unbaked. If you’re making this pie crust for blind baking, this recipe will yield 2 pie shells.
- Heat the oven to 425 F degrees and make sure the oven rack is in the lower-middle position.
- Follow the steps as outlined in the recipe below for making the pie crust and transfer it to your pie plate as normal, then trim the edges and crimp.
- Line the pie with parchment paper and fill the pie with weights. You can purchase pie weights or you can use beans or rice. However, make sure the weights cover the entire bottom of the pie. The weights will keep the pie from puffing up and the sides from sagging as the crust bakes.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are golden.
- Remove the pie weights by grabbing the corners of the parchment paper and lifting the weights out of the pie. Since the bottom of the crust will still be uncooked now, you need to return the pie crust to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Fill with your favorite custard or filling and you’re done.
Can You Freeze This Pie Crust
Absolutely! Place the pie dough in a freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. When ready to use it, thaw the pastry overnight in the refrigerator. You can also freeze a baked pastry shell. (see the blind baking notes) Cool the pie shell completely before transferring it to a freezer container or bag and freeze up to a month. Thaw overnight before using.
Need Pie Ideas? Consider These:
- Classic Apple Pie
- Perfect Peach Pie
- Berry Summer Pie
- Scrumptious Caramel Pear Pie
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Bourbon Pecan Pie
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Pie Crust Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter unsalted and cold, (2 sticks)
- 6-8 tbsp ice water
- Add the flour, sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse a couple times to mix.
- Add the butter to the food processor and pulse several times until the pieces of butter are pea size.
- Add the ice water. Start with 6 tbsp of water (no ice cubes) and pulse again. Pinch the dough and if it doesn't stick together between your fingers add the rest of the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough just begins to hold together.
- Transfer the dough from the food processor to a clean work surface and use your hands to form into a ball. Do not over-knead. If you over knead you start melting the butter with your hands and the dough starts developing gluten which means tough dough.
- Cut the ball into 2 pieces and shape each piece into a disc. You should still see pieces of butter in the dough. This is what will make your dough flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and let it sit at room temperature for up to 10 minutes. This is required to soften the dough a bit, so that you can roll it out.
- Roll out each disc using a rolling pin. If your dough is sticking to the surface or to the rolling pin add a bit more flour as necessary. Roll it until it's about 1/8 of an inch in thickness.
- Place the pie dough lightly into a pie plate. I usually roll it on the rolling pin and unroll it over the pie plate. (see video) Crimp the edge and cut off excess dough.
- Add your favorite filling to the pie.
- Roll out the second disc. Gently place on top of the filling or cut into long strips to make a lattice. Trim the excess dough, if needed.
- If making a double crust pie, make vents in the top pie crust if necessary using a sharp knife and brush it with egg wash, if preferred.
- Bake the pie for 1 hour at 375 F degrees or until the crust is golden and starts to brown.