A flaky, tender, buttery homemade pie crust doesn’t have to be complicated! With this easy four ingredient recipe and a few simple tips, you can make The Perfect Pie Crust from scratch every time.
If you’ve ever thought that you couldn’t pull off a homemade pie crust (so common!), think again. I promise it’s way easier than you think. This basic all-butter pie crust is perfect for any sweet or savory pie. It has only 4 ingredients (and one of them is water), and with a few simple techniques, it’s pretty hard to mess up.
There are a lot of pie crust recipes out there. Some that use shortening, or a combination of shortening and butter. Some people add an egg and vinegar, and others claim the secret to great pie crust is a tablespoon of vodka.
I’ve tried them ALL, but the one I keep coming back to is this simple, classic, all-butter dough. There is nothing like the taste of pure butter if you ask me, and if you follow my tips below, you will have a flaky, tender, buttery perfect pie crust every time, no shortening or lard needed!
So this pie season, are you finally ready to master homemade pie crust? You can do it. Before we get into it though, here are my essential tips to keep in mind.
Essential Tips for Making A Perfect Pie Crust
- Keep your ingredients (especially the butter) as cold as possible while you work. Between steps, put the dough in the fridge to chill. Soft butter blends too easily into the flour and will make for a tough crust.
- Use your hands to mix the dough. A food processor will almost always over-mix it. It takes minimal effort to work the butter in with your fingers, plus you don’t have extra dishes to clean! A pastry blender can work too, but honestly I find it way easier to use my hands.
- Be sure to chill the dough thoroughly before rolling it out (at least two hours – or up to two days). You can take it out and let it soften up a bit for 10 minutes or so before rolling it out.
- When you bring the dough together into a ball and roll it out, you should see good-sized chunks of butter in there. These chunks will create pockets that will cause the dough to puff up when it bakes, and keep your crust tender and flaky.
- If you’re feeling fancy, you can cut the top crust into strips (a pizza wheel is my tool of choice for this), and make a lattice crust. I love to keep a little extra dough to cut out some shapes with a cookie cutter for an extra-special touch.
Perfect Pie Crust
- 1 cup unsalted butter chilled
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ice water
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
- With a sharp knife, cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture and, using your fingers, squeeze the butter cubes while tossing them with the flour to flatten them. Keep mixing and squeezing until the butter is broken up into pea-size pieces. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Take the bowl out of the refrigerator and slowly add the water, mixing with hands or a wooden spoon, until the dough starts to clump together. As soon as you can form the dough into a cohesive ball, stop adding water.
- Divide the dough in half and form two discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, and up to two days. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 5-10 minutes before rolling it out to soften it a bit.
- Sprinkle flour generously onto a countertop or large cutting board. Remove one disc from the refrigerator and sprinkle with more flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12 inch circle, rolling from the center out, and turning the dough every few strokes to make sure it doesn't stick.
- Using a 9 inch pie pan as a guide, cut out a circle, leaving at least an extra two inches on the sides. This will allow for about a 1/2 inch of overhang. If you are making a single crust pie, and plan to flute the edges, cut the circle an extra 1/2 wide (2 1/2 inches total), so you have sufficient overhang to work with.
- Fold the dough in half and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Fit it into the pan, without stretching the dough. (If you stretch the dough, it will shrink when baking). Add the filling.
- Roll out the second disc and place it on top of the pie (or cut into strips for a lattice crust). Roll the overhang under the edges and flute the edges with fingers. With a sharp knife, score the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Optional: brush the top of the pie with egg, and sprinkle with coarse sugar before baking (for a sweet pie). Bake according to the recipe.
Hi! I’m Ann and I blog at Our Happy Mess. I’m all about fast, fresh, and family-friendly recipes. I believe cooking from scratch can not only be doable but FUN, no matter how busy life gets!
You can find more of my recipes at Our Happy Mess.