The only pie crust recipe I will use now as so many other recipes just don’t turn out when using water. It’s amazing and is definitely a no fail recipe!
Can you use whipping cream if you only have light sour cream?
Hi Theresa, hmm, I haven’t tried it that way. Perhaps half light sour cream and half whipping cream?
Omg way too salty even with unsalted butter. All similar recipes are calling for 1/2 the salt. Can I fix this dough before baking?
Would this work for a lattice apple pie?
Hi Lydia, you probably will want more apples in the filling.
I want to try this, but I have issues with my hands, would I be able to make this with the food processor?
Hi Amanda, I haven’t tried making this with a food processor, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just don’t over-process.
I make mine in a stand mixer and it comes out great :)
Score!!!!……quick & manproof even for me, the crust turned out great,tried pumpkin first should go good with most sports
I am hosting a pie party this weekend. I will be baking about 12 pies. I was wondering if I can freeze this pie crust rolled out into pyrex pie dishes? When I am ready to fill and bake, does it need to defrost completely or can I bake this frozen and filled?
Hi Swetha, I have rolled out this crust into a pie dish and frozen it ahead of time. I do not defrost the crust, but just cook the pie longer.
Wondering how much dough to make for 24 mini tarts?
How well do you think this crust might work for a meat pie or pasty? I’d like to try hors d’oeuvres size – maybe a 2″ circle, plop in some filling and crimp together. Any thoughts on how this might work?
Hi Robert, you mean like a little empanada? It might work fine, as long as you crimp the edges well. If you try it, please let us know how it works out for you!
This looks amazing! I want to make a slab pie using this crust. Do you think i just need to double your recipe?
Hi Leah, I’ve been meaning to attempt a slab pie with this crust but haven’t yet. Here are my thoughts if you try it. If you have a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan, you should be fine with doubling this recipe – 4 cups of flour, etc. If you are using a larger jelly roll pan (13×18-inch), then you’ll need 2 1/2 times the recipe. So 5 cups flour, 5 sticks butter, 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp sour cream, 1 1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter), 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Let us know how it turns out for you if you try it!
Just discovered myself that full fat sour cream makes wonders for a shortcrust pastry from buckwheat flour. Gluten free shortcrust is notoriously difficult to make using a single flour without any gums or thickeners added. Buckwheat flour is an exception and makes the most flavourful shortcrust and based on sour cream as an ingredient the pastry is a joy to work with
What a great idea Irena, thank you so much for sharing! I have some buckwheat flour, I’ll have to try this recipe with it!
This crust looks incredible! I want to use it for a chocolate pie but it requires pre-baking. how long does this crust typically take to cook? Maybe I could alter my recipe so I can still use this crust. Yum!
Hi Anna, I have not been able to successfully pre-bake this crust. That’s probably because I don’t have enough pie weights to completely fill the crust. If you do have enough pie weights to completely fill the crust, it may work for you.
I don’t understand why one couldn’t use this recipe for a prebaked crust… So long as you use enough pie weights I don’t see how it could collapse…. I love love LOVE it for apple pie… This recipe made absolutely THE best apple pie I’ve ever tasted. I’m going to try it for a chocolate cream pie next, just bake the crust with plenty of pie weights.
Hi Brenda, halfway through blind baking one usually removes the pie weights. This is where the problems happen. But if you can pre-bake this crust and get it to work, great! I have not yet been successful in my attempts.
TOO MUCH SALT!!!!! Followed the recipe exactly and now I have a salty pie crust.
Hi Megan, were you using salted butter or unsalted? If using salted butter, you need to skip the additional salt.
Loved this pie crust, but just wondering what would happen if using an aluminum muffin tin turned upside down, covered each individual cup with a circle of dough and baked it for a cream pie? I just dreamed this up and out of necessary ingredients so will have to wait to try it after next grocery trip. Anyone game to give it a go,?
I just made this recipe today – for a little dessert party we’re hosting this evening. I had the ingredients on hand and gave it a try. It surpassed my expectations – and I’ll never use any other recipe again! I made it and rolled out one crust, cut 3″ circles and put in mini muffin tins. Blind baked @ 400′ for ~ 12 minutes. They’re adorable and delicious – will be filled with lemon filling & whipped cream. Can’t wait to try it for a regular pie. Also – the dough is incredibly easy to handle – can re-shape and roll out easily. Thanks so much!
I was wondering would there be a problem freezing the pie crust?
Not a problem freezing it, but there is a problem if you try to blind bake it, or pre-bake it. The sides slip down.
For my whole life I have avoided pie crust… As a kid I didn’t like it. It always tasted so dry and crumbly and bland. I always preferred crisps. But I’m an adult now, and as delicious as it is, apple crisp doesn’t have quite the same impact as a fresh from scratch apple pie. And since I love to cook people what they love better than it has ever been cooked for them, I decided I have to learn to make a good pie crust.
Up until today I used your other pie crust recipe, all butter. About 1/3 of the time I got a perfect crust. Another 1/3 of the time I got a chewy dense crust yuck. And the other 1/3 of the time I got a good flaky crust that was so cracked and patched and ugly I was embarrassed to gift the pie. Finally my food processer gave up the ghost and it was time to try something different.
Oh. My. Gawd!!!!! This is it!!!! The holy grail of pie crust. I would eat this plain with butter. The flavor is that freaking good. Nothing bland about this crust. It browned beautiful, its flakier than my grandma’s, and it was so easy to work with. Thank you thank you thank you!!! My friend gets out of prison next week and his socks are going to be official knocked the heck OFF when I make him apple pie. I can’t wait to see his face!!!!
Hi Brenda, I’m so glad you like it! I love this crust too. I use this recipe for almost all of my pies.
Super flakey and buttery. Everyrhing you want in a crust! We’ve used it for sweet and savory pies and it’s easy and tasty every time.
I know I’m a bit late to the show here, but I wanted to say that this is really one of the best crusts I have ever tasted and – hands down – the easiest I have ever made. Full-fat sour cream is not as easy to come by in Germany (where I am currently living), but I have had great success with crème fraîche, which is readily available and not as expensive as in the US. At 40% fat, it makes the dough even more flaky and delicious. Thanks for sharing this great recipe! It has made living in a place without pre-made pie crusts so much easier!
Hi Allison, I’m so glad you like it! Thanks for sharing your success with using crème fraîche in place of the sour cream.
I would like to know how do I bake it?
for how long? what the heat of the oven?
I want to make pumpkin pie , do I bake it all together ?
Hi Dian, This recipe you use to make crust for a pie recipe. For this recipe do NOT pre-bake the crust. You can use it for a pumpkin pie, just don’t pre-bake the crust. Bake it all together.
This is my first pie crust I will be making….EVER….I have the dough in the fridge for the hour…..I pureed my own pumpkin (first time for that also) for pie pie filling…..do I have to bake the crust prior to pouring my filling in….or can I just put it in…and bake??
Hi Michelle, do not pre-bake a pie crust made with this dough. There is too much fat in it and the sides will slump down, even if you freeze it and weigh it down with pie weights. When I use this dough to make a pie, including a pumpkin pie, I do not pre-bake the crust.
I’m looking forward to trying this recipe out for a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. Just one question:
Does the crust need to be pre-/blind baked before adding the filling? if so, how long and at what temp?
Hi Helen, this pie crust recipe is flaky because it has a lot of fat in it, which also makes it almost impossible to blind-bake. I’ve tried several times and have finally just given up on it. So when I make my pumpkin pie, I don’t bother blind-baking the crust.
Bless your heart Elise… LOL I see where you’ve answered at least a half-dozen folks to NOT pre-bake. I wonder if you can edit your recipe to where you can type DO NOT PRE-BAKE this crust – both at the top of the recipe AND at the bottom.
Also, I wanted to comment that I’ve been reading your blog/posts for numerous years and ABSOLUTELY love your site!
Done! and thank you Cyndi!
This crust was tasty, and pretty easy to roll out. (I am inexperienced with pie crusts, so I followed the recipe exactly.) I used the double 10in crust to make two pies- Libby’s pumpkin and Simply Recipes pecan pie. Both got rave reviews, the only problem was the crusts stuck to the pie plates (glass and ceramic) so it was hard to serve a “pretty” piece. The pies weren’t super cold when served… I didn’t grease the plates because I figured all the fat in the crust was enough. Does anyone else find it necessary to grease the pie plate? Thanks!
Hello, I wanted to ask you how long you can freeze this dough recipe for in your freezer? Is there a limit to how long you can have it in your freezer or can it stay there until you need? Such as u p to 1-2 months? Thanks for all of your help Elise!
Hi Julie, that’s a great question. I think you could easily freeze it for a couple of months. Just wrap it very tightly in plastic wrap and then again in foil.
My 85 year old Hungarian mother in law uses sour cream in all of her pastry doughs. She’s been doing it since she was old enough to cook and is the traditional method of making pastry dough in Hungary. Thick full fat yogurt can be used instead… No difference.
This crust is so amazing! Soft and flaky and so easy to roll out. It works great for lattice crusts and is much better at not breaking than the old recipe I was using. Thanks for posting!
This was phenomenal!! I bake ALOT of pies. I’ve recently become pretty attached to the Cooks Illustrated vodka pie dough because it is consistently flakey and tasty. However, I had some extra sour cream on hand and recalled a delicious sour cream crust I had tried years ago. I didn’t have that recipe on hand so turned to google and found this. It could not have been easier and the result was an easy-to-roll dough that was super flaky with great taste.
I’d like to try this recipe tomorrow but for a 11-inch pie (actually it’s a tart pan). Can you help me with the amounts? Thank you.
Hi Joseph, just use the amounts I’ve given for a 10-inch pie. It will work.
Perfect. Everything about it was perfect. Made a full recipe for apple pie, and a half recipe for quiche, and couldn’t get enough. Will make this over and over again.
Do you double the salt, sugar etc for a 10-inch pie crust? Thank you.
No, you can keep those the same.
Well I own a food processor, use it all the time. The problem with people who have food processors and don’t use it is just that. They put it away rather than leaving it out so that they can use it.
I love mine, and have made this pastry in it, not 20 minutes prep, but more like 20 seconds! Just sayin’!
Elise, thank you for this recipe. I’ve only ever baked three pies;boysenberry, blackberry and now peach. And I used your other pie crust recipe. Tonight, I had a craving for peach pie and used your no fail pastry crust…..OMG!!!! It is so delicious and easy! I had to use frozen peaches (thawed) and the crust turned out perfect. Too bad recipe I used for the filling wasn’t that great (sigh). This will now be my go-to crust!
Thanks for such a wonderful pie crust recipe! Brought apple pie to a whole new level! Instead of an egg wash I brushed the top with half and half and sprinkled with turbinado sugar with great result.
Would this be okay to make with margarine? I was so excited to make this and swore I had butter but I guess not! And no way to the store at the moment.
Hi Shelby, I haven’t made this crust with margarine so don’t know what to tell you. I’m guessing it would work. But that’s just a guess.
I had a margarine on a hand, btw, and it worked.
I also didn’t have a full fat sour cream and used low fat (15%), but instead of a 1/2 cup, it appeared 1 full cup. It’s probably because of my very thick flour (this is not the first recipe, when i have to either decrease flour or increase wet ingredients).
Do you put the egg wash on before you put the filling in or after?
OK, I have been using your “old fashioned apple pie” recipe for a couple of years now and while I didn’t have a food processor before I was excited this thanksgiving because I finally bought one and couldn’t wait to make the crust exactly as you stated before. Well low and behold I get online to get the recipe again because I thought I had lost mine and now I find this flaky crust. I’m torn because my husband loves the apple pie and crust I make using your recipe but this crust looks so delicious. I think I will give it a try.
Hi Candace, the other pie crust recipe is still on the site here, but this sour cream pie crust is the one I use the most now. It ALWAYS gives the best results and it is the easiest to make!
Does this crust taste tangy with the addition of sour cream?
Hi Rachel, not much. I don’t notice it.
Absolutely finger-licking good, rich, flaky, DELICIOUS! made an apple pie several times with it and never bought a frozen pie crust since then. You just cannot eat it after you’ve tried home-made! I am making spinach quiche with this crust right now.
uh, anywhere mentioned the oven temp? Going to go with hot- 425 and then turn it down as needed
Hello Gwen, usually when you make a pie crust, it’s for a pie, and how long you cook the pie and at what temperature depends on the pie recipe, not the crust recipe.
Wow! I made this last weekend for a strawberry rhubarb pie and it was SO GOOD! Absolutely perfect and super easy! Everyone raved about it. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!
Would using frozen fruit make the pastry soggy. I have lots of frozen fruit in my freezer but usually end up making crumbles with it?
Hi Jo, you mean making a pie with frozen fruit? I guess it would depend on the pie or the fruit. I usually defrost and drain frozen berries if I’m making a pie with them.
Thanks once again for a go-to recipe, Elise! I was loathe to give up my food processor making this dough. Perhaps this little trick will bring it back for you, and keep your hands cleaner. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, as you process the ingredients. The top will lock and keep the top and feeder tube clean. Use the wrap to cover the dough for the refrigerator.
was wondering can this dough be used for butter tarts as well!??
After 40+ years of trying to find a reliable pie crust recipe that worked and didn’t make me crazy, this is it! I made the dough the night before, then today, added some lovely filling to the easily rolled-out dough and ended up with a fantastic quiche. This is now my official pie crust recipe. All the others are in the trash basket! Thank you thank you.
Wow, I have been using almost this same exact recipe for about a year now and it is so delicious, easy, and impressive.
But strangely… The ingredients list is identical, but the process is much different. My recipe calls for pulsing the flour, salt, a bit of baking powder, and the butter in a food processor. Then you stir in the sour cream. Proportions are identical to this recipe, but replace the sugar with baking powder.
Then the dough is pressed together, rolled out, and folded/rolled out a few times before being chilled for an hour before shaping/baking. The result is the flakiest almost-laminated type pastry dough I’ve ever eaten. It’s buttery and crisp but light as could be. It can also withstand the heft of a bunch of cooked fruit as a crostata crust. I tend to use this dough to make fruit hand-pies and they are a favorite of family and friends.
I gave an apple hand pie made of this dough to an ex-pastry-chef-now-head-chef of a prestigious French restaurant here in Los Angeles and was shaking in my boots as he hesitantly took a bite. He commented “The filling is just okay, but how the hell did you make this crust?” He insisted on getting the recipe and possibly incorporating it into their kitchen.
CAH, would you possibly be able to post your recipe. I have a food processor and would like to give your recipe a try.
If it’s okay with Elise!
I’ve got a full tutorial and the recipe here: http://thecarboholic.com/2013/11/27/the-flakiest-fool-proof-pie-and-pastry-dough-tutorial/
The ingredients are as follows:
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
-1/2 cup sour cream
Just put the flour, salt, and b.p. into your food processor and pulse to mix. Add cut up butter, and pulse several times until butter is in pea-sized bits. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sour cream.
Gather into a disc on a floured work surface. Roll dough out to an 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Fold into thirds like a letter, and roll out again. Repeat this folding two more times (to create the flaky layers).
Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Then proceed with whatever recipe you had in mind. I like this dough particularly for galettes and hand pies. As written above, it makes enough for 2 galettes (9-10″ in diameter) or 24 hand pies.
I married into a “pie-loving” family and learned that flaky crust is a must. Try as I might, I never mastered it.
What I love about this recipe is that it goes against all the “rules” that make success with a traditional crust so difficult.
First — no need to keep the butter cold, making it much easier to work into the flour. Second — you can really work this dough! After I added the sour cream, it took some effort to work it into a ball. And then more effort to roll it out after it had chilled. Such roughness would have ruined a regular crust.
Lastly — it’s OK to add more flour. I liberally dusted both the dough and the surface while rolling it out. The dough was so forgiving.
And the aroma in the kitchen… heavenly!
Thank you for sharing this recipe!
p.s. I made a half recipe but had plenty of dough for a double-crust, 9″ cherry pie — complete with a nice thick edge. I began baking at 375 for 10 min on the middle rack, and then shifted to the bottom rack at 425 until done. The edge didn’t burn and the pie popped right out of the pan.
I’ve always avoided making pie crusts because they seemed like a) the easiest part of a pie to mess up and b) the most important part to get right. The name of this recipe lured me in and convinced me to give it a try, and–yep–nailed it. I used it to make a crust for an apple and sour cream custard tart and brought it to an event for work and everyone (including myself, my own worst critic) loved it. That was after I told everyone “I MIGHT bring something… we’ll see how it turns out…” Ha! It was lovely. Thanks, Elise.
I’m making it again today to make savory meat and pumpkin pies.
I was so excited when I saw this a few days ago. I have been struggling with my crust recipe and just buying store bought crust. I made this recipe the night I saw it along with your rhubarb ginger galette. It was the best crust I have ever made and one of the best desserts I have ever made. I am incredibly grateful.
Made an apple pie with this recipe yesterday. Absolutely gorgeous crust– beautiful golden color, flaky & delicious! (Didn’t tell my family it had sour cream in it, of course!) Now I’m going to my recipe file to throw away all those others that have never worked well for me. Thanks, Elise!
Being tried in a Condensed milk/passion fruit pie. It’s coming along nicely. Many thanks!
I’ve managed to FAIL a “no Fail” reciple. Surprisingly – I’ve done more challenging recipes from this site – with better results. I don’t know where I went wrong. I froze the butter. Grated it on a box grater. As I was doing that – i threw in some flour to coat the butter. And then I weighed the butter to be 340 grams. I might have had too much flour – since I tossed the butter with flour?? Or too much flour because I measured by cup and not by weight? In the end it was too dry and I had to add water to get it to hold. I also seemed to have a lot of dough.
Who said anything about freezing the butter? Don’t freeze the butter. The first step in this recipe is to take the cubed butter and put it in a warm spot in your kitchen. That’s to make it more malleable.
ten minutes and i always use egg wash and fork the entire bottom & sides with a fork ……never a soggy crust bottom and let it cool 10 minutes before loading
my daughter gave me a laptop for Xmas years ago and i looked for something I could do with it….I discovered baking at 82 and everyone says I’m the greatest and I’ll try anything …. Other than this crust I always use Grandma’s secret pie Crust from Allrecipies .com which is great to work with a tastes great…I search the web & read all the reviews ( very important cause any fool can put up a bad recipie that’s bad ) …so get your feet wet and on cold nights let hte old oven warm you 7 the food warm your family …Happy Trials ,Phil
I use my box grater for butter too – has helped tremendously. I’ve been making a ton of homemade “poptarts” for my kids’ breakfasts and making the dough is obviously the biggest headache. I’ll definitely try this. Question – has anyone tried it with whole wheat flour? Do you think I would need to make any adaptations?
I wouldn’t attempt a pastry crust using whole wheat flour, however whole spelt flour works amazingly well as a substitute for all purpose flour in everything I have tried it in. I would consider trying that but whole wheat just will never turn out as tender in a pastry recipe.
The first time I tried this I used 1 c whole wheat pastry flour and 1 c unbleached flour. I couldn’t believe how flaky it was! Great recipe and using ww flour works wonderful. (I too needed more than the 1/2 sour cream though.)
I use a slightly different way, I freeze my butter and then grate it into the flour. Works every time.
Love this recipe! I cannot wait to try it. Do you think that is would work as well with greek yogurt too?
I have used the Greek yogurt and it works very well. This crust also makes a great calzone.
I tried this recipe today for a butternut pie; it was really flakey and had a rich, sweet taste to it. I did use unsweetened Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream (simply because sour cream is about 4X more expensive here in South Africa), I used closer to a cup to get the right texture, otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Thanks the great work, Elise!
Yes, this makes a flakey and tender pastry crust. I found a similar recipe by accident when looking for one to use instead of a cream cheese pastry for something I wanted to make. It was actually listed as a faux puff pastry so I figured it would be plenty flakey! It was! I use it a lot now.
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