Perfect Pie Crust

makes one 9-inch double pie crust, or two single pie crusts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Author Ann Otis


  • 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.


*Pie dough freezes beautifully. Wrap well before freezing and thaw overnight in the fridge before using.