Perfect Pie Crust

These recipes call for unsalted butter. If you are using salted butter instead, omit the added salt.

  • Prep time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


All-Butter Pastry Crust for Sweet and Savory Pies (Pâte Brisée) (enough for bottom and top crust)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

Variation: Swap out 1/2 a cup of the flour with ground blanched almonds or almond flour


1 Mix flour, sugar, and salt: Put flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple times to mix.

2 Add butter, half at a time, pulsing several times after each addition: Add about half of the butter to the food processor and pulse several times. Then add the rest of the butter and pulse 6 to 8 times until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of large peas.

cut butter into cubes for pie dough cut butter into flour with food processor

3 Slowly add ice water: Sprinkle the mixture with about 1/4 cup of ice water (make sure there are no ice cubes in the water!) and pulse again. Then add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition until the dough just barely begins to hold together.

add water until pie dough just starts to hold together press pie dough to see if it holds together

You know that the mixture is ready if when you pinch some of the crumbly dough together with your fingers, it holds together. Be cautious with the amount of water you add, too much and the crust will be tough.

3 Make two dough disks: Carefully empty the crumbly dough mixture from the food processor on to a clean, dry, flat surface. Gather the mixture in a mound.


Divide the dough mixture into two even-sized mounds. Use your hands and knead each mound just enough to form each one into a disk. Do not over-knead! Kneading develops gluten which will toughen the dough, not something you want in a pastry crust. You should just knead enough so that the dough holds together without cracks.

If you started with cold butter you should be able to see small chunks of butter speckling the dough. This is a good thing. These small bits of butter will spread out into layers as the crust cooks so you have a flaky crust!


Sprinkle each disk with a little flour, wrap each one in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour or up to 2 days.

4 Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit for a few minutes: Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier.

5 Roll out dough, place in pie dish: Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking.

Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.

6 Add filling to the pie.

7 Roll out second disk, place on top of filling: Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie.

Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together.

Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.

Score the top of the pie with four 2-inch long cuts, so that steam from the cooking pie can escape.


How to Pre-Bake a Pie Crust

If your recipe calls for a pre-baked crust, as many custard pie recipes do, follow all the steps above for a single, bottom crust only, without filling.

1 Freeze the crust it for at least a half hour, until chilled. This is an important step in pre-baking. Otherwise the crust will slip down the sides.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

2 Line pie crust with aluminum foil: When the pie crust is sufficiently chilled, line the pie crust with aluminum foil. Let the foil extend over by a few inches on two sides to make it easier to lift to remove the pie weights when the baking is done.

3 Fill with pie weights: Fill the crust to the top with pie weights - dry beans, rice, or sugar. (Sugar works best.)

4 Bake: Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes if making a crust for a pie that will require further cooking, for example a quiche. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes if making a crust for a pie that you don't need to bake further.

5 Cool completely before filling. You may need to tent the edges of the pie with aluminum foil when you bake your pie, to keep the edges from getting too dried out and burnt.

See more detailed instructions and photos for how to blind bake a crust here.


Combination Butter and Shortening Crust

Ingredients for one double-crust 9 inch or 10 inch pie:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup (a stick and a half) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup of all-vegetable shortening (8 Tbsp)
  • 6-8 Tablespoons ice water

1 Make the dough: Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse 4 times.

Add shortening in tablespoon sized chunks, and pulse 4 more times. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no bigger than peas.

Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over flour mixture. Pulse a couple times. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready.

If the dough doesn't hold together, keep adding water, a teaspoon at a time, pulsing once after each addition, until the mixture just begins to clump together.

2 Form disks: Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface.

Divide the dough into 2 balls and flatten each into 4 inch wide disks.

Do not over-knead the dough!

Dust the disks lightly with flour, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 2 days before rolling out.

3 Roll out the dough: After the dough has chilled in the refrigerator for an hour, you can take it out to roll. If it is too stiff, you may need to let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before rolling.

Sprinkle a little flour on a flat, clean work surface and on top of the disk of dough you intend to roll out. (We use a Tupperware pastry sheet that has the pie circles already marked.)

Using a rolling pin, apply light pressure while rolling outwards from the center of the dough.

Every once in a while you may need to gently lift under the dough (a pastry scraper works great for this) to make sure it is not sticking.

You have a big enough piece of dough when you place the pie tin or pie dish upside down on the dough and the dough extends by at least 2 inches all around.

4 Place into pie dish: When the dough has reached the right size, gently fold it in half. Lift up the dough and place it so that the folded edge is along the center line of the pie dish. Gently unfold. Do not stretch the dough.

5a Trim edges: If you are only making a single crust pie, use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the lip of the dish. Tuck the overhang underneath itself along the edge of the pie dish. Use your fingers in a pinching motion, or the tines of a fork to crimple the edge of the pie crust.

5b If you are making a double crust pie, roll out the second disk of dough. Gently place onto the top of the filling in the pie. Use a kitchen scissors to trim the overhang to an inch over. Fold the edge of the top piece of dough over and under the edge of the bottom piece of dough, pressing together. Finish the double crust by pressing against the edges of the pie with your finger tips or with a fork.

6 Make vents in top: Use a sharp knife to cut vents into the top of the pie crust, so the steam has a place to escape while the pie is cooking.

Optional Before scoring, you may want to paint the top of your crust with an egg wash (this will make a nice finish).


Egg Wash

A lovely coating for a pie can be achieved with a simple egg wash.

  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream, half and half, or milk
  • 1 large egg yolk

Beat egg yolk with cream and brush on the surface of the pie with a pastry brush.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Kate

    I am terrible at making pie crusts. I made the pate brissee and the shortening crust and they turned out amazing!! I personally don’t even like eating normal pie crusts, but these were both amazingly tasty and beautiful. I love your recipes!!


  • Summer

    Very easy to make and so delicious! Followed the combination recipe exactly how it says and it worked perfect!!


  • Katherine

    Recipe says 6tbsp which is WAY too much water. I’ve never made pie crust before and was using this recipe and it was not helpful. Should maybe be teaspoons?


    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Katherine — I’m sorry the recipe wasn’t your favorite. We do recommend 6-8 tablespoons of water to make this pie.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Katherine, I’ve always used 6 to 8 tablespoons of water. That said, I live in a dry climate. If you are making pie crust in a more humid climate, perhaps you will need less.

  • Beth

    It was the perfect pie crust! Everyone loved it!


  • Valerie

    Used the butter and shortening recipe. First time making homemade pie crust. Turned out Great! Thanks for the recipe!


  • MJ Hec

    The pie crust came out perfect! I made a pie for my dad using this recipe and he said, it was delicious.


  • Blu

    tried it first time and Its better than any pie dough I have ever made.


  • Susan Fair

    5 STARS! This is a wonderful reference for all your pie dough needs. The half shortening and half butter recipe worked great for me. I did not use a food processor but accomplished the same result. I am excited to try the other recipes as well! The dough was generous enough for a 9” pie


  • [email protected]

    1. You should have made it clearer that it needs to be rolled out before put in the fridge because mine broke apart when i took it out of the fridge and had alot of trouble salvaging it.

    2. This crust is formed somewhat well and comes out looking alright but it tastes terrible. Idk if this is meant for like pot pies or something but do NOT use this for like a fruit pie. I used it with my apple pie recipe and the salt mixed with the flour with the very minimal amount of sugar you used creates a very gross salty doughy taste that does not go well with a sweet cinnamon apple flavor. I absolutely do not recommend this recipe and it tastes absolutely horrible in my opinion. SALTY CRUST DOES NOT GO WELL WITH A SWEET PIE!


    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Christian. I’m sorry you had a crust fail with this recipe; I don’t know which one you used, but maybe the all-butter version? It sounds like a couple of things could have happened. The instructions say to form it into a mound, and the photo shows what you need to do–maybe you missed that. It needs time to chill, all together, before you roll it out; otherwise it falls apart and it certainly would be too warm to roll out immediately before chilling. The dough needs to sit at room temperature for a short bit before you can roll it out. As for the saltiness, I’m wondering if there was accidentally too much salt put into the crust, because that can affect the structure of the dough and you shouldn’t be able to taste it. I just made the all-butter version of this dough a week ago for an upcoming fruit pie recipe and it worked great. It only calls for a teaspoon of sugar but you can easily up it to a tablespoon if that’s your liking. Or you can try the variation with butter and shortening, which calls for more sugar. I hope some of these troubleshooting ideas resonate with you!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christian, did you use unsalted butter as called for in the recipe? If not, if you used salted butter, then the crust could be too salty with the additional salt added.

  • Jack

    Well, according to my mom making pie crust is supposed to be hard apparently. Used this recipe (all-butter) to make my first pie ever and it was…not quite easy but miles away from hard and the pie itself was a big hit with my family. I’ll definitely be using this recipe again


  • Michelle

    Hi! Where did the strawberry rhubarb pie recipe go?!!! I can’t find it anywhere.

  • Ant

    Tried it with my 5 yo child and thought he would mess it up, but it turned out to be buttery and flaky! My new favourite pate brisée recipe! Thanks a lot!



    Not sure what I did wrong but this came out horrible. It was so dry I couldn’t roll it without it crumbling apart. I tried to fix it but eventually had to throw it away.

    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Dustin! Oh no! I am sorry to hear that happened with your pie crust. Well, it’s possible it got dried out in the refrigerator if it wasn’t wrapped tightly during the chilling process. Or if it sat at room temperature, exposed to the air, for too long, it could get dried out. Did you try adding a tablespoon or two of cold water? Sometimes that helps. Let us know!

  • Sandra

    You should make it clear that the dough should be rolled out prior to putting it in the fridge. Otherwise, it comes out very hard and takes a long time to soften.

    • Carrie Havranek

      Sandra, I am sorry you had trouble with the pie dough. We do say to flatten the dough out into a disk so that when it comes out of the fridge after chilling it’s easier to work with. If this step was perhaps skipped, it could account for the difficulty you experienced. It’s very likely if you rolled out the dough completely and put it in the fridge to chill, you would find the dough difficult to work with because it’s too warm at that point, pre-refrigeration, and it could potentially fall apart. And keep in mind that even when you roll the dough out after it chills, it will still be a little cool.

      • Sandra

        I admit I was panicking when I realized I should have flattened it a bit prior to refrigerating it. But I looked online and discovered you can put it in the microwave for a few seconds to speed up the warming process. It worked. I added some water to it and the pie turned out great in the end.

  • AJ



  • Sarah

    I just made the dough for Christmas! i decided to use half of the dough to make mini pumpkin pies. The crust was amazing flaky crunchy flavorful. This was my first crust and it turned out like I was a pro!!


  • Erica Bright

    This turned out perfectly for my apple pie. I couldn’t have been happier! I didn’t have time to chill before rolling out and baking, but it was still a very soft and flaky crust. I also just mixed the butter and flour with my hands because I don’t have a food processor. Pie making has always been daunting for me because of the crust, but this has changed everything! Thanks!


  • chris

    I have a smaller processor, wouldyou know if i could do 1/2 recipe for one crust?

  • Missy

    Can I do this with a kitchenaid mixer? Miss Sparkles is all I have to work with.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Missy, I haven’t tried making these pie crusts in a standup mixer, but I don’t think it will work well. You can do it all by hand if you want. Check out our Sour Cream Pie Crust for the method. Just use butter that has been sitting out of the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes so it’s easier to work with by hand. Use water instead of sour cream. If you have sour cream though, I highly recommend that recipe, it’s the easiest, flakiest pie crust recipe I know.

  • Andrea

    This recipe is excellent. I was a little concerned when because the dough seemed a little dry but after once I started rolling it came together nicely. The flavor of this crust is AMAZING!!! I made the all-butter crust. I will never buy packaged crust again.

    My only suggestion is in the directions how long should the dough be kneaded? I wasn’t confident how long or what the texture should be when to stop. I barely did any kneading and maybe I should have done it a little more but that was the only area that might need more detail.

    Thank you for the great recipe.


    • Elise Bauer

      Thank you for your feedback Andrea! I’ve added instructions to knead just enough so that the dough holds together, without a bunch of cracks.

  • Candi

    This is my first time making homemade apple pie, and it turned out amazing! The crust was golden brown and flaky with the perfect amount of saltiness; the best thing is, it was super easy to make and uses common ingredients that you are sure to have at home (no last minute spree to Target!). This will be my go-to crust for future recipe! As always, thank you so much for another amazing dish.


  • jeanne Hagan

    Hi Elise, thank you so much for posting this recipe and thorough description. I am actually going to make this crust right now. Only thing is I don’t have a food processor and will try to make this by hand. Do you have any tips for making this crust by hand?…thanks again

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jeanne! I actually just made this recipe by hand recently. I grated the frozen butter on a cheese grater right into the bowl of flour, sugar, and salt. Once grated, I gently tossed the butter flakes in the flour to coat them, and then started adding the water a tablespoon at a time. Toss in between adding tablespoons of water, and occasionally test the dough by squeezing it in your palm. Once it holds together well without crumbling, you’re good to go. I ended up needing to add a few extra tablespoons over what the recipes calls for (about 7 or 8 tablespoons), and my crust was still fantastic. Enjoy!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jeanne, to add on to what Emma said, here are a couple more tips. Take half of the frozen grated butter and really rub it into the flour. Don’t worry about the warmth of your hands. You want every bit of flour to be coated with a little fat from the butter. Then gently add the remaining frozen grated butter. When you add water, start with sprinkling the dough with 4 tablespoons at once. Then add a tablespoon at a time. For an extra special trick, swap out 2 teaspoons worth of water with white vinegar or cider vinegar. The vinegar helps make the crust tender and easier to roll out.

    • MomW

      As an OLD time baker, we used to cut the fat with two knives. Refrigerated butter or butter from an actual Ice Box worked nicely as you used a butter knife in each hand and criss- crossed the butter and flour between them until the flour and butter mix was pea sized. Or those of us who baked often would have a wire crescent cutter to cut the fat into the flour with just a few strokes. (My mother, or her mother born in the 1880s could cut the fat in a minute with the knives.) I suppose after that you could freeze it and continue as above but we never did. The room was cold anyway during pie season. The pea size made it flaky like a puff pastry. You wanted balls of fat surrounded by flour not a homegenous mix. Otherwise same recipe.

  • Alicia

    This is the only pie crust recipe I use. It works every time, without fail. And I love being able to use my food processor. The crust is flaky, tender, and delicious.


  • Cassandra

    ALL-BUTTER PASTRY CRUST … Best pie crust recipe ever! I’ve made it many times now and I always come back to it because it’s simple and works every time. A small trick I learned was to cut the butter into cubes and since it warms and softens in the process, I put the cubed butter in the freezer for a few minutes to get it cold again.


  • Sweetberry

    The all-butter crust recipe is the ultimate. Hands down the best recipe with a well-written set of instructions and photos. It is fool proof. I am an experienced make-from-scratch- pie crust type of girl who is also a trained chef. This is a winner. Nice work!


  • Jim

    Haven’t made this yet. Can one use a stand mixer to mix the ingredients or is the food processor mandatory?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jim, you need to “cut” the butter into the flour, which is why a food processor works so well. A stand mixer wouldn’t work as well for this. Another thing you can do is to freezer the butter and grate it through the large holes of a box grater. Then mix the grated butter in with the flour. If you do this, rub the flour and the grated flour together a bit so that the flour gets coated with some of that butter.

  • Donna

    I love your recipes, but I really wish you would include the nutritional information for them as many people are looking at fat content etc. , but it would also be very helpful for those with sodium restrictions and want to make a recipe from the site.

  • Dawn huff

    Was perfect!

  • Patrice

    I usually make my apple pies a week ahead of Thanksgiving, freeze them uncooked, and bake them from the freezer the night before T-Day. Will this pie crust work for this method?

  • Margaret

    definitely a keeper. It was flaky and tasty. Husband loved it when I used this for my chicken pie.


  • Joni

    So, for a double crust apple pie what temp would you use, 350 degrees? And how long approx. Thanks


    Hi! Does shortening have to be used? Can it be substituted with butter instead? Thank you!

  • N_G

    The best pie crust ever!


  • Ron

    Used this for sweet potato pie came out perfect and delicious


  • Ellie

    This recipe is PERFECT on my apple pie. So buttery and delicious!


  • Marcus J

    Great with zucchini mock apple pie!!!!

  • Evelyn Padilla

    It came out beautiful!


  • Mia Foo

    Can we still swap out 1/2 cup of flour for almond flour when we are making the butter + shortening combination? I did (perhaps we can’t) and the dough was not workable. I didn’t even add 6 – 8 tbsp of water, but only one tbsp of water. The dough takes extremely long to harden up in the fridge and takes mere minutes to melt into un-workable ooey-gooeyness. Dusting with tons of flour is useless as the dough ABSORBS the flour like damp sponge in water. In the end I kneaded a good 100g of additional flour into the dough and made shortbread cookies out of them.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Mia, I haven’t tried the almond flour substitution with the butter/shortening crust, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It’s odd that you only needed to add a tablespoon of water. Perhaps it was a humid day and the butter/shortening wasn’t particularly cold? Or perhaps it had something to do with the brand of flour you were using. I typically use King Arthur all purpose flour.

      • Mia Foo

        my butter and criso cubes were frozen before i used them…. will humidity make so much difference? i’m living in Singapore, and apart from a pretty warm kitchen (about 30 degree Celsius?), our average humidity is around 80%…..

    • Ian

      I had the exact same experience.

      My dough came out useless. Pie is in the oven now but I basically wound up manipulating the dough like frosting and then freezing it before slapping it in the oven quick.

      I’ll be shocked if this turns out well.

      • Mia Foo

        i still have about half the dough left (only used half the batch previously) and so this time, i too, rolled the goo out in between two cling wrap, freeze it to set. then cut them up while frozen and quickly assembled them into poptart-like pies within 5 minutes (just in time for them to get melty and so the top sheet will (almost) automatically melt down onto the bottom layer and sealed itself up. thought i had it working this time, but they really cannot work because they spread so badly and the baked “pies” were so crumbly it couldn’t be picked up off the baking sheet. they all crumble at the slightest touch. :(

  • Melanie L Muñoz

    Love Love Love This recipe….. Easy…. My peach pie came out perfect and the pie crust was amazing thank you so very much….


  • Ashwini

    Fantastic recipe!

  • Tess

    I have trouble getting it from the chilled mound to rolling it out. In attempts not to overwork it take the crumbly bits and press it into a mound. Chill in the freezer for an hour. Let stand for 5 min. And then try to roll it out but it cracks and I feel like I end up pressing it together to get it into the pie pan. What am I doing wrong?!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Tess, let it stand for 10 minutes once you remove from the refrigerator. Then (assuming the disks are still wrapped it plastic) warm the edges of the disks in your hands. If you see any cracks, massage them until the dough has bound together again.

    • Barbara F

      Sounds like you are ” trouble getting it from the chilled mound to rolling it out”, be sure to work it together, then make a FLAT DISK to chill. that will roll out better.

  • Justyna

    How long can I store the dough for in the fridge?

    • Elise Bauer

      You can store the dough in the fridge for about 2 days.

      • Justyna

        Thanks! This is the only crust recipe I ever use – always perfect

  • Alfredo

    it’s a nice recipe and i filled the pie with cheeses and spinach… it tasted beautiful!

  • Linda

    I just finished making a salmon pie and the crust looks terrific. I had no problem rolling out the crust. I rolled it right from my food processor and put the bottom pie crust in fridge while I assembled the salmon then rolled the top and did an egg wash. I will never put dough in yo chill before rolling because that’s where all the problems start…too hard to roll.


  • Jen

    Made this pie crust for apple pie and it was wonderful! I subbed out 1/2 of the butter (I used Kerrygold salted butter, but then reduced the salt in the recipe by 1/4tsp or more) for coconut oil (which I cut into pieces and put in the refrigerator for about an hour). Unless I am really desperate, I’m never buying a pre-made crust again, as this recipe is so easy and this home-made crust makes all the difference in the world! Thanks for the recipe!


    • Martha

      Kerrygold butter is very good quality, I used it too and it tasted amazing!


    Can I use Almond or coconut Flour
    To make this crust and the sour cream Apple pie

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Deborah, you can sub out 1/4 cup of the regular flour and replace with almond flour to make a lovely pie crust. I haven’t tried doing the substitution with coconut flour. As for subbing out all of the flour with either of those? Can’t say, haven’t tried it. I rather think it would not work, but if you do try it, please let us know how it goes for you.

  • Teressa

    Update from my own comment:
    The pie crust worked out for me because I was patient with it. The finished pie crust is fantastic! (I put cinnamon/sugar on the scraps and bake for extra yummies).

  • Teressa

    I’ve made pie crust from shortening recipes as well as french pastry and this was difficult to work with. I also think it was a bit salty judging by tasting the finished dough. The instructions were confusing to me. I even traded off the half cup of all purpose for the almond flour.

  • Kyra

    I’ve never made a pie crust from scratch before, but this one turned out perfectly.
    I don’t have a food processor, so I left the butter in the freezer for a while and used a cheese grater to grate curls of butter into the flour. then I sifted it by hand until it was incorporated. after kneading it, I wrapped it and put it in the fridge for a while so the butter wouldn’t melt while I was rolling it and putting it on the pie dish. I also put some foil over the crust for most of the time the pie was in the oven to keep it from burning.

  • Lorry Johnson

    Light, flaky and easy to prepare. I used a double crust for an apple pie, baked it at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then turned the over down to 375 and baked another 35-40 minutes. It was perfect.

  • Vinaya

    OK I’m 74 and never made a pie in my life and this crust was absolutely fantastic!

  • Megan

    I’ve made homemade pie crusts before, but just could not get this one down. All of my ingredients were very cold, mixed perfectly, rolled into discs and chilled. Got them out of the fridge and tried to roll them out. The edges would split, so I’d pinch them back together. Then the middle would split. I added more water then more flour then more water. I finally got one rolled out into the perfect crust, Tried to pick it up and it all fell apart. I put it back together with some more water and let it chill for a while… then, you guessed it.. the process repeated. Ended up throwing both crusts out and restarting with another recipe that came out perfect and delicious.

  • Jean Kelley

    I’ve always thought that handling the dough melts the fat and makes crust tough. Therefore I roll out between two pieces of waxed paper to achieve flaky crust. Everyone comments on my good pie crust.

  • Rose

    I have always just brushed milk on top and my pies always come out perfect .

  • cosmasmberengwa

    i tried it ,came out perfect

  • Murielle

    I like my crust to be flaky. Will the egg wash make it firmer and less flaky?

  • Sarah Nugent

    how long do you bake the all butter pie crust for and at what temperature?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Sarah, it completely depends on the pie recipe you are using.

  • Steph

    This has been my go to pie crust recipe for years for my savory pies (pot pies, pasties, etc..) It always turns out amazing!!! Crusty & flaky just like it should be an so easy to make! Thank you!!!


  • Steve Russell

    Hi Elise: I had to do an emergency defrost of my frost-free (?) fridge, and I had some frozen peaches — from last harvest of my lone volunteer peach tree, whose genesis was a peach pit from a rotten store-bought fruit, which I chucked off my balcony onto my land here in Spain — that needed a home. The tree is thriving, BTW, and produces the most lovely fruit. So I sucked it up, and decided to bake my very first ever fruit pie. I used your recipe for an all-butter crust, as one does when one has lovely unsalted, unadulterated, butter as we enjoy in Euroland.

    Outstanding. Pic attached. (ooops, I can’t attach a pic, and I don’t do Pinterest.)

    Thanks, kiddo…I use your recipes, always, faithfully. Steve (’88)


    • Elise Bauer

      Steve, so good to hear from you! I’m delighted that you made a peach pie with butter-crust. I bet it was outstanding. Yum. Wish I were there.

  • AD Boy

    @Megan – Soggy crusts – two things. either there is too much loose liquid in the filling or the bake time/heat is less than required.

  • AD Boy

    To those commenting on a soggy mess. The key is cold and the mixture. The dough must be cold, after you put in the bottom crust, press it nicely on the edges and keep in the fridge while you do the work on the pie contents. It will happily remain stiff until you are ready to bake. Try this also. For 10″ – 2 cups flour, 2 sticks of cold butter mix it well until they look like crumbs and then mix in 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt and 2 spoons of sour cream. Reduce salt and add sugar (for sweet pies)

  • bill perry

    Did not work at all for me. I’m thinking there’s way too much butter. Got a soggy mess.

  • Megan

    I have a pie crust question. I have used this recipe with a lot of success, as with many recipes on your site, which is why I’m writing here. My grandma made apple pie this thanksgiving- twice because she re-made it. And both times the *top* and bottom crusts were soggy. She has made this apple pie recipe for 40 years without problems and was in her home, using her usual oven. Do you have any ideas as to how a top crust could possibly become soggy?

  • Tiffany

    I made 1 and a half batches of the butter/shortening recipe to use for three pumpkin pies. They turned out great (with no mixer, btw). For those who are having difficulty rolling out, I always put my dough disc in between two pieces of wax or parchment paper then roll out. This prevents any sticking, eliminates the need for added flour, which can contribute to dry, cracking edges and for me has been the secret to no-fail crust. Thanks for a great recipe, I may even be brave enough to try your all butter crust next time

    • Brian

      great tip

  • Laura

    Followed instructions exactly. Will not hold together no matter what I do. Have to start over with a better recipe. Waste of ingredients and time.

    • Vi Stearns

      Just add abit more flour. It doesn’t hold together until you knead it gently. Great recipe. If you over-touch it, just put in feeezer a few minutes again. I rolled it between wax paper.

  • larry lomax

    when ever I make a pie crust, when I roll it out it always starts cracking on the outside of thecrest as I am rolling it. help! Does anyone know the what I may be doing wrong or can anyone give me the secret to how I can stop this from happening?



    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Larry, that often happens, even if you let the dough sit out for 10 minutes or so after pulling it out of the fridge. When this does happen, just pinch together the split sides with your fingertips and continue.

  • robert M Burns

    Do yourself a favor and make cutting in the butter so easy. Freeze the butter first. Chill the mixing bowl and flower in the freezer. Use a box cheese grater to chop up the frozen butter over the chilled flour and mix by hand intermittently. Reechill in freezer a few mins. Sprinkle in water intermittently hand mixing. Pour out on barely floured surface and squeeze into ball. Place in bowl and chill for a half hour. Take out of fridge and resquish into new ball. Roll out immediately on slightly floured surface.

  • Jacques Morin

    I just made this crust and it came out really flakey. Tasted great. Although I did have a hard time when I rolled each one out as i found that it was not plyable enough so the edges looked like one of those white paper doilys you put under a serving dish….kind of start shape and not a perfect round pie crust. So I ended up filling the voids with more crust mix. Not sure how to overcome that. Also, as an aside, I thought about the health value of a total 9 inch pie that had two whole sticks of butter in it. Yikes!

  • Stephanie

    Hello! Would this pie crust be good for freezing? I’d like to have some on hand for last moment quiches and pies. Thank you!

    • Elise Bauer

      Sure, just wrap well first in plastic wrap, then again in foil (to keep the plastic wrap from coming off). Should keep in the freezer for at least a month.

  • Alycia

    I am making an apple and pumpkin pie, which crust should I use?

  • Nick Hedges

    I am a self-confessed, lousy pastry maker. I tired this recipe using the combination butter and shortening method and, ‘vola!’, it made a perfect double crust for my chicken pie. Thank you so much for your website; it is the one I turn to the most for great recipes.


  • Brooklyn

    I use this recipe every time I make a pie, and I get so many compliments on my crust! I even had a chef tell me that I made the best pie crust he ever had. Everyone always wants me to make them pies and thinks that I have some super secret way of making crust. Nope! I just come here! Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  • Marie

    I had no mixer nor a blender. So I mixed the ingredients with a fork and as fast as I could plus I also use my wonderful hands and it worked perfectly. The best pie crust ever made with hands lol. So yes it can be done with your hands or fork. P.s. It was super fun and fast too Best of luck to all on their pies and thanks for the recipe

    • Tracy Brumbaugh

      Thank you so much , I was about to ask if anyone had tried it without a mixer, my mother never used one and never used a recipe, She just knew by the look and feel . I will be trying this recipe by using my hands as my mom did .

  • Lynda

    I just want to thank you for the easy step by step recipe…I was successful!!!! Didn’t think it would ever happen. Finally no more store made crusts.

  • Ma

    I have been making my own pie crusts for 26 years. My favorite recipe is to use Crisco Butter flavor. I use All purpose flour and iced cold water (no ice though). I mix the Crisco and the flour with a large fork and work it through. Then I add the very cold water in increments until I get that lovely soft plump pie dough. Then I roll it out on a flower marble. There it is. Perfect pie crust. I may brush the top lightly with melted butter as well. I don’t like the flavor of the egg wash – it takes away from the flavor of the pie.

  • Marty Carrier

    Ya know what, eggs are in brownies and cakes and they don’t need refrigerated, so I am hoping the answer is that a pie dough made with egg would also require no refrigeration! Thx.

  • Marty Carrier

    I am planning to make galettes with pie dough to sell at our local farmers mkt this summer. (We are growing lots of berries!) If I add an egg into the dough will the completed and baked berry pastry then need refrigeration? Thanks for any tips you may have.

  • Lorrie

    Not sure what is meant by “type of flakes.” Am thinking that Brodie XXX is not on the market any longer – perhaps the difference is that it was a “cake and pastry” flour. Hope you found your answer though.

  • Mike Pelletier

    To whom it may concern!
    I used to make my pies with the Brodie XXX blue box that used to be on the market years ago. With this blue box I ended up never having any type of flakes on any of my pies! How can I now make my dough in not having an flakes whatsoever? It would be very much appreciated.

  • Leisa

    Fabulous recipe. This crust was terrific. Some cook’s notes. I grated frozen butter (in the food processor) transferred to bowl and put back in the freezer. Mixed flour, added butter pulsed. Dumped on floured board, and pressed together and cut in half to make two discs. (Same as recipe). Put in fridge for 1 hour. A trick to rolling out dough from fridge is not to let it sit at room temp but rather to break the dough.. With butter crusts, one is always racing against time (meaning temperature). Try this trick (I forget where I learned it, but it is no-fail in my experience). Rather than leave the disc out for some time to ‘soften’, break the disc. Simply take your rolling pin and whack the dough disc. (Whack and turn, whack and turn 12/6 and 9/3 if it were a clock). Take a few more whacks for good measure if you are so moved. Now the dough is broken, and will roll out easily! Two more tips (mine) for these divinely buttery crusts: Use a Silpat mat lightly dusted with flour (and then rubbed) for rolling out AND use a rectangular cool mat (from your freezer) on which to place your Silipat (with dough) to cool up the dough that you are rolling out if it is getting too warm. (you cannot roll out on this but it firms up slumpy dough). Works for me. Your mileage may vary! (If you are rolling out on a stainless steel surface, put the mat on the stainless steel).

    This crust was flaky, beautiful and delicious.
    Make it! I made a fresh blackberry pie with it yesterday.

    • Leisa

      The video offered by Colling gives the most excellent instruction. I didn’t even use the Silipat or have other accoutrements to keep the dough cold. Used the consistent ‘whacking’ to thin out the dough, v. breaking, and rolled out. I use a flour can to easily flour board and keep excess flour to a minimum

  • Collin

    This was the first pie crust I’d ever made, and it turned out great! I don’t have any mixers, so what I ended up doing was mixing in a strong pyrex mixing bowl and using a fork and pizza cutter to mix and get the butter down to size. My first attempt was lovely, and my next three or so didn’t seem as good to me, but everyone who has tried them all still thought they were very good! (I was using them for apple pies, by the way).

    My only issue has been lots of (sometimes quite deep) cracking around the edges when I roll the dough out, despite adding an extra bit of water. Next time I’ll have to let the dough sit longer before I roll it and see how that works.

    For any other first-timers like me, here’s a video that can help with rolling out a nice round shape:

    • Leisa

      This video is excellent–and it was a more refined than my process! I hope all who make it to the comments section go to your link. No need to waste good vodka when a simple, effective process such as this makes it a snap. I used it on 3 crusts yesterday, and it was a breeze. Whapping it out v. breaking it (my previous method) improved the process and the outcome. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Eri

    I made this dough with my bare hands and it was the best crust I’ve ever made/had. So buttery, flaky and versatile. It took literally 5 minutes to come together and it took about 5 tablespoons of water. It set up quickly and was ready to use in a half hour after the fridge time.

    100% amazing!

    You don’t need a processor at all! Use your hands people.

  • katy

    I loved it also! I love making desserts and im also in middle school. I made a couple of those pies/ they were easy peasy.

  • Kiiia

    Awww yeah! Made the cherry pie using the almond crust – first attempt ever at making a pie or making pastry from scratch. I wasn’t able to make the lattice as the almond crust seemed to break apart very easily (probably my bad for not refridgerating and / or too much flour), HOWEVER, I managed to get creative with a star shaped cookie cutter and it looked and tasted AWESOME! Took it in to work at 8:30 and it was gone by 9:00. Some comments from the people who ate it included:

    “Big thanks for the pie, yuuummmmmm!!!
    Flip YES! Wicked good Cherry Pie!
    You make a good slice of pie mate – compliments to the chef!
    The pastry is divine
    Oh my god…
    This is awesome!”

    So… 5 stars and thanks! Adding this one to my permanent collection of recipes. :)


  • elizabeth

    I loved it it turned out so well, im in Middle school and i made dinner today, im so proud of myself. Thank you for the recipe.

    Congratulations Elizabeth, that’s a big one to take on for a middle schooler! ~Elise

  • Dano

    yuck i did not like how it turned out it was all watery

  • ManCook

    I’ve seen a few people mention that when they made it into disks that it seemed too dry. Be patient. While you let the disks chill in the fridge, the water will still be soaking into the flour. Another thing to remember is once the water hits the flour any agitation/mixing makes gluten and that can lead to tough pie dough. So once it clumps up like in the picture, form it into the disk and let it rest. Also, I’ve got to say, awesome recipes!

  • Amanda B

    For those who have a problem with their crust falling apart while rolling it out, I’ve found that this little trick helps me enormously: I simply roll out my crust between two pieces of plastic wrap. No need to add extra flour, which can further dry out the dough. At first, you will need to keep adjusting the plastic, but as the dough begins to flatten, it’s a breeze. You can refrigerate your rolled crusts while you make the filling (they’re already wrapped in plastic!) and transfer them easily to a pie pan when you’re ready to assemble. I use only whole wheat pastry flour and butter,(a finicky combination) but this trick gives me beautiful whole grain pie crusts that don’t fall apart and are tender and flaky every time.

  • christine

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Been searching for years for the perfect butter pie crust and have now found it. Did need to increase water slightly but live in Dener and it is very dry here in the winter, when swamp cooler is running am sure it will be fine. Never had such an easy time rolling out the dough that I can spend time making it pretty :) Now making pie just because friends drop by for dinner and have some dough frozen. Almond flour is divine if a bit pricey here.

  • Steve

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I FINALLY have successfully mad a pie crust. Well, I haven’t baked it yet, but it has beautiful streaks and pebbles of butter throughout, so I can’t imagine it not being delicious.

    I used the all butter recipe with a little adjustment. I used 1/4 water and 1/4 vodka based on the recipe at americas test kitchen. It works out to about 6 tbsp of water once the alcohol cooks off.

    I had actually used your recipe verbatim and ruined it prior to getting it right. I think my problem was that I was too hesitant with the water and so I did not add enough. I only added 5 tbsp because I didn’t want it to get tough.

    Thanks for the recipe! I will be filling it with your walnut pie recipe and baking it tonight. Merry Christmas!

  • kent honnold

    What if you don’t have a food processor?

    Then you can use a pastry cutter, or two dinner knives that you use to cut through the mixture like scissors. Or you can do what I do when I don’t have a food processor, use my fingers to shmush the butter pieces into the flour, and then use my fingers again when adding water. ~Elise

  • Wendy Chi

    Like many who have used the all-butter crust recipe, I too had experienced wonderful results the first time I tried it last weekend making chicken pie. As I do not have a food processor, I used the rubbing-in method. The results were fine even in the tropical weather where I live. This recipe is definitely for keeps. Thanks, Elise.
    Regarding the egg wash, do we brush the entire amount (1 egg + 1 tbsp milk) onto the top of the pie? Please advise.

    No, you will probably only need half of that amount to brush the pie. But it’s sort of hard to do “half an egg”, so there you go. ~Elise

  • Cindy

    After I took the disc of dough out after refrigeration and tried to roll it out, it came apart. Any advice?

    Let the dough rest for 10 minutes at room temp before rolling it out. As you roll it out and it breaks, shmoosh the breaks together with your fingers. Keep pushing the dough together alternating with rolling it out. This happens to me all the time. The problem is that if you have little water, the dough will break. But if you have too much water, and it’s easy to have too much water, the crust will be tough. It’s better to error on the side of little water. ~Elise

  • tinykonnie

    way too salty!

    You should be using unsalted butter. If you are using salted butter, you should not add any salt to the dough. ~Elise

  • Shari

    Help! I’m not sure if I didn’t have enough water or there was another problem, but my dough ended up in the trash. Mine looked sort of crumbly (as in your left picture at the top), but not terrible. I was able to form the discs, that looked very similar to yours. After refrigerating for about 2 hours, I tried rolling it out and the edge all the way around was cracking terribly, the dough stuck to a floured surface and the floured rolling pin. The cracks got worse, traveling further into the dough. I thought I followed the directions carefully, but I didn’t have success this time around and had to use (shudder the thought) store bought pie dough. I was really hoping not to have to do that any longer.

    What type of shortening did you use? I tried Crisco butter flavor, since I don’t care for the taste of plain shortening.

    Could use some feedback as the picture of your crust looks heavenly.


    Hi Shari, sounds like either a) you could have used a bit more water, or b) you could have let the dough sit a little longer at room temp before rolling it out. If it cracks like that, you can just shmoosh it together with your fingers. You don’t need to throw it out! At a minimum, if a pie crust is simply too messy, you can always use the dough to make turnovers. These days I pretty much make only the all butter crust (though I would like to try my hand at a crust made with lard). The Crisco I used for the recipe that calls for shortening was a trans-fat free Crisco. Not flavored. ~Elise

  • Shari

    Wow, thanks for the recipes and comments. I’ve used store bought pie crusts in the past because I couldn’t find a good recipe with extra information. One thing I didn’t see addressed was how to keep a pie crust from sticking to the pie dish. I’ve had this happen so many times (fruit and pecan fillings), that I stopping making pies. I use glass pie dishes after learning the metal pans aren’t really good for great pies.

    Thanks for any advice and again,thanks for the recipes!

  • Dave

    Great site and comments. I have two questions:

    1) What happens if you don’t refrigerate the dough at all? I ask because rolling out the dough without refrigerating is so much easier; the dough is pliable, there are no cracks, and it holds together well.

    2) If I do need to refrigerate the dough, is it just as beneficial to do it AFTER it has been rolled out? That way it’s easier as mentioned above, and, you don’t have to wait 10 minutes or longer to roll it out after it has warmed up (and doesn’t letting it warm up defeat the whole “keeping it all cold” idea?

    Ok I guess that’s three questions. ;)

    I really appreciate any help you can give me, many thanks!

    You don’t have to refrigerate the dough, though doing so should make it easier for the dough to hold together and to roll out. So, if you are not having any issues by skipping that step, go for it! ~Elise

  • Jon

    My mom made superb pie crusts using lard or lard and butter mixed. She could whip then out in a jiffy, don’t remember her chilling the dough, but they always turned out flaky and tasty.

    I tried and tried, using the same method but my crusts were hard and tough…just terrible.
    It finally donned on me what I was doing wrong…using unbleached bread flour (I bake a lot of yeast doughs) High gluten bread flour just doesn’t work for pie crusts…Duhhh.
    Switched to all-purpose, beached or unbleached and my crusts are just like Mom’s

  • latierra

    “Freeze the crust it for at least a half hour, until chilled. This is an important step in pre-baking. Otherwise the crust will slip down the sides.” Ha! I read this part after the crust has been in the oven for 12 minutes, and sure enough, it’s slipping down the sides! I’m sure it will still be delicious, and I don’t think the 5-year olds will mind that much. Thanks for your great recipes. I use them all the time.

  • Kate

    WOW, thank you so much, the crust (#1) came out just perfect! I love it!

    Only thing is that I think dough refrigeration should be optional – I refrigerated mine and it took waaaaay longer than 5-10 min for it to soften. I had to knead it gently again to get it soft enough to be rolled out. Other than that – no complaints!

  • kd

    This is so good! I am not a baker by any means and I made my very first pie and crust with this recipe yesterday. I thought I had ruined it because my food processor wasn’t working properly so I cut up the butter with a fork in the flour mixture and it worked out just fine. If you have a butter cutter I imagine that would work too, I plan on trying that next time. My crust placement was a little sloppy and it still baked up perfectly – wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Hannah

    Please– Which of the crusts described is the crust pictured? I want to make THAT one. *drool*

    Thank you! :)

    -a fan of yours

    That’s the butter crust. But they’re all good. ~Elise

  • Tekora

    Thanks sooo much for the all butter crust recipe.I’ve always wanted to bake a pie but was too intimidated to try. You made it all seem easy and simple.I added more water than you called for but everything seems to be just fine.I just have one question, ” when you say knead did you mean as though I was making bread?” I just squeezed my flour mixture together until I had formed the disks.I hope that I won’t have any trouble rolling them out .I have 2 disks chilling in the refrigerator and will be baking my pies in the morning:)

    You did it right. You should just handle the dough enough so that it just holds together. If you knead it like bread it will become tough. When you take the dough out of the refrigerator, let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes at room temp, enough time for them to soften just enough to make it easy to roll out. When you do roll them out, you should see splotches of butter throughout the dough crust. ~Elise

  • David Boring

    I use this recipe for all my pies and I love it. I recently made a chicken pot pie using this recipe and ran out of white All-purpose flour so I had to use some whole wheat flour instead. It turned out ok so I made it again and substituted half a cup of white with wheat and really enjoyed the taste.

  • Anastasia

    This pie crust is literally perfect! Sometimes the consistancy and texture of the pie varies depending on the weather outside (if its humid or dry out) But either way the crust always comes out wonderful. I use this pie crust for every pie I bake, chicken pot pies, and rustic tarts. You don’t have to look for any other pie crust recipe again!

  • Paula Duarte

    I have been using the butter crust recipe for pot pies and it is fantastic! I make mini-pies, hand-pressing the crust into whatever crockery we’re using that day: ramekins, coffee mugs (crust on top only), even rice bowls one evening. The remaining dough is usually turned into thumb-print jam cookies or put into the fridge to be used the next evening. To be honest, the first time I use the dough I’m usually throwing together a weekend meal of leftovers and don’t let it rest, but the dough works out fine. Thanks Elise!

  • Dave

    After reading several posts, I couldn’t help myself from posting my own….I had never made a pie from scratch. I had thought I had all the ingredients cornered until the wife came home and told me that the all-purpose flour I thought I used was actually rice flour. She picked it up a few days earlier for a friend that had a gluten intolerance. Clumsy me, I worked for more than 2 hours on that crust to get it to do what was explained here. After it kept cracking and cracking, I decided it must need more water. That helped, but I couldn’t figure a way to get it off the board until I decided to pull the entire board out of the drawer and slide the pie shell onto the pie plate. What an ordeal! After all is said and done, my gluten-free (not intended) Raspberry pie with the egg coating on top was worth the effort. I can see why many people do these posts, especially for baking, because any one little tip could turn out to be the one thing that can make anyone’s pie the best you ever tasted. I will try to use the right ingredients next time. :)

  • Sarah

    I ran out of flour so I substituted 1/2 a cup with bisquick and it worked out really great. the texture was awesome and the flavor was great. It was very buttery and flakey. I’m going to make it that way on purpose from now on.

  • Kim P

    The butter pie crust recipe is flakey and delicious! The instruction is very clear, the photos are such a bonus, and the tip on pre-freezing cubes of butter makes so much sense!

    While rolling out the dough, I realized my granite countertop had become a little warm from from the under-cabinet task lights so I had to rush the rolling process. Next time I’ll be sure the countertop is cold first.

  • Bob Katayama

    Hi George:

    The reason why you use unsalted butter instead of regular butter is simple. Regular butter makes the pie crust too salty. You can always substitute half of the salted butter with half shortening to reduce the salt content and make the crust fluffier.


  • George B Firmin

    Why is it not explained why the recipe uses unsalted butter and not the normal one. So many just say use this and that and don’t explain why !
    Hello maybe men don’t know all the in’s and out ‘s
    and need to be told. I am a pensioner and have a passion for baking and cooking, now that I have the time. Sorry ladies, My Mother never did explain either, when teaching her twin sons to cook.
    So please, explanation if you don’t mind.

    Hi George, it’s a good idea to use unsalted butter in cooking or baking so that you can more precisely measure exactly how much added salt you want to put into a dish. You should pretty much assume that any recipe calling for butter means unsalted butter for this reason. If you do use salted butter in a recipe, you will want to reduce the amount of added salt that recipe calls for. ~Elise

  • Michelle Antoinette

    I used this recipe to make my first pie crust! I made an apple crumb pie on Sunday as a test run for the pie I will be making for Thanksgiving. I brought it to work so that I wouldn’t eat the whole thing myself, lol, and it was a roaring success! I think I could have left the pie in just another 5 minutes or so because the crust seemed just a tad underdone, but it was flaky and buttery and delicious! Last night, I made the dough and refrigerated it so I can make the pie tonight for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner. The first time I made the crust, I had trouble keeping it together when I tried to form the disk, even though the dough formed when I pinched it. So, I added ice water as I brought it together. The same thing seemed to happen last night only it seemed a little worse than the first time. I plan on rolling the dough out tonight to make the pie. What do you suggest? Do I add water and need the dough a little tonight before rolling it out or should I just make a new crust? Your advice is very much appreciated!

    If you are having a hard time holding it together, you might add just a little water to the dough. I have found that even if the dough cracks as I roll it out, I can easily pinch the cracks together. It’s not neat and pretty, but as long as you can see lots of dots of butter in the dough you roll out you should have a flakey crust. ~Elise

  • Rebekah Irwin

    What do you think about infusing espresso into the pie crust? I would replace the water with it. I’m thinking so long as it is still ice cold, it shouldn’t make a difference?

    Do you think it would taste bad, I really can’t decide. The recipe I use it actually my mother’s… It’s a lard, water, salt, an egg, flour, and vinegar; very delicious but I think the vinegar and espresso would clash. What do you think?

    Espresso is bitter. I’m guessing it wouldn’t work so well added to the dough, but who knows? If you try it, please let us know how it works out for you. ~Elise

  • Ella

    Megan and Leslie,

    I was so glad to come across your comments- I used to make a lot of pie. Traditionally, I used a mix of crisco and butter or just crisco. I haven’t been baking much lately, but set out to make a pie last night, with crisco for my husband who is lactose intolerant. The first batch of crust (using butter flavored crisco) was a disaster. The second (using regular crisco) was a little better. I managed to get it into the pan by pressing, but it just crumbles apart.
    The crisco had been in the freezer, all the ingredients and the bowl were chilled- and still no luck. With Thanksgiving approaching, I was starting to have pie crust panic, until I came across your posts.
    Does anyone know if the problem is ok if you use a mix of butter and crisco? Or am I stuck with butter only crusts? (In the past, I found that the combination worked better than pure butter.)

  • Sarah M.

    I want to make Pecan Pie with a homemade crust. Any suggestions on which pie crust recipe. Thanks

    I would use the standard butter crust. ~Elise

  • Christine Kingston

    Wonderful and easy! The all~butter crust is semi~flaky. After pulsing in the water and checking for cohesion, I dumped it into a gallon freezer bag and press / kneed it to hold together. Then, cut in half and plastic wrap half of it,leaving the other half in the bag. Thank you for this easy and semi;) healthier crust version.

  • Linda McCourt

    I have to make pie crusts about 5 days before filling and baking.

    How long will the crusts last, if frozen, covered with plastic wrap and aluminum?

    Can I thaw the frozen crusts and keep them in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days before filling and baking?

    Thank you for your response.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve kept a frozen crust, wrapped in plastic and aluminum, for 3 months in the freezer without any problems. As for thawing them in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days, I would keep it to 2 days. But that’s just me. ~Elise

  • Brenda Jensen

    I have tried with many, many different pie crust recipes. No matter what I do….my bottom crust always seems to be soggy. I have made pumpkin pie….and maybe 1 or 2 other types…but most frequently made pie is cherry….with lattice top crust. Top crust is fine….shrinking crust, minimal…bottom soggy crust…not wet….but definitely NOT flaky at all. Any suggestions??

    Hello Brenda, one suggestion I’ve received for soggy crusts is to preheat a baking sheet in the oven and then place the pie pan on the baking sheet once the oven is hot. ~Elise

  • Jillaine M. Seltzer

    My daughter and I made 24 pie crusts in three hours. My recipe is similar to all of the above. One also mentioned rolling a single pie crust dough in a plastic bag. I came across this idea last year and it should win a Noble Peace Prize in the Humanities category. There is no worse frustration for superwoman of today, than reworking piecrust dough that rips,tears, mishapened and time consuming. Few additional advice, the addition of a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of water with crushed iced can be used sparingly to the point that if the dough holds together when you pinch it that is enough . No need to form ball. Put mixture in a gallon size freezer bag,flatten out dough with hand at the same time removing any air. With rolling pin, spread to all the four edges until dough thickness is even. The bag helps contain the mixture and the dough easily holds together. There is where the key to tender and flaky lies. No reworking the dough. No additional flour used to roll out dough! You still will see your butter. Zip up the closure, and place in refrigerator or freezer until you use it. If frozen, thaw just until maleable. If the dough cracked with handling when frozen, just press edges together. The best is that no mess!
    Open the zipper and cut the sides and bottom of the plastic bag. Remove the top plastic layer. Place your pie pan over the square of dough, and you will notice it is just about the same diameter, but you have the extra four corners. Invert the pan along with the plastic side to support the dough. Remove the plastic and now your dough is in your pan. Shape into mold of pan, using the corner dough to work along the top edge for your flute or sparse areas. Refrigerate prepared pie dough pan for ten minutes, then proceed. This dough when baked is so flaky it results in a crust twice the thickness you rolled it out as! If you need a different shape, just roll several squares to desired dimensions between two lightly floured pieces of parchment paper. My only concern is to figure out how to actually make and bake 24 pies by Thanksgiving. Twelve pumpkin and twelve pecan. The cost of ingredients alone was $150.00. I think I will have to premake and bake the pumpkin pies. I have double ovens. Has any have any experience with making both type of pies ahead of time, thus having to freeze them so they won’t spoil? Please share your ideas! For example, can you make the pecan and pumpkin filling and refrigerate. Then put together and place the pecans and bake,etc. Or does freezing effect the taste? Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Elise

    The only way to fix the soggy-bottomed crust problem is to cook your pie for the first 15 minutes at an additional 50 degrees F of heat (this rule is for custard pies). As this recipe calls for 375, you cook it at 425 for the first 15 mins, then turn it down. For fruit pies, use an additional 100 degrees of heat for that 15 mins.
    I actually halve this recipe and roll the crusts out thinly. It’s perfect.

  • Alan

    The frozen butter and ice water aspect are essential for a great crust, don’t disregard this. Two new tips for everyone. I use a spray bottle with ice water when adding to the dough. The spray allows better distribution of the water and helps avoid over-kneading. Also, take bags of frozen veggies, potatoes, or anything you have frozen in a bag (ice) and lay that on the counter surface for a few minutes before you roll your dough. This will help keep the dough ice cold as you roll.

  • Wilma

    When my pie is done, there is a couple of inches between the top crust and the pie filling. What am I doing wrong?

    Some pie fillings cook down a lot, apple pie for instance. What you can do with apple pie is pre-cook the apple slices a bit first, so they release some of their moisture and shrink a bit. You can also make a lattice pie crust for the top crust, which will sink on the filling as the filling shrinks as it cooks. ~Elise

  • Jennie

    Oh, and I used first recipe and it was fantastic! Thanks Elise!!


  • Roxanne

    The all butter crust for sweet and savory foods was FANTASTIC! It’s the first time I have ever successfully make a pie crust! Perfect! Thank you!

  • Rhian

    2 variants that I use to this trusty all-purpose recipe are:

    *1/2 butter 1/2 shortening for good butter flavor & an extra flaky crust.

    *Incorporate cake or pastry flour into the AP – a 1to1 or 1to2 ratio for an extra tender crust.

    Play around with these for some fun & pleasant results.

    PS: Love the tip about the brushed egg whites on the dough for a non-soggy crust.

  • Courtney

    I made the all butter crust last night and it was amazing. It came out nice and flaky.

  • Larias

    Thank you very much for the recipe. I always forget the proper amount of ingredients so I have to go online and look for a recipe. It was really helpful for my wife and I to follow this recipe while making a pie at home.

  • Tamara

    Thank you sooo much for this recipe. I have always used the store bought crusts because I listened to negative people around me saying it’s so much easier just to buy them. Yesterday I decided that I would try for the first time to make my own using this recipe. Needless to say I WILL NOT buy another crust ever!! And it wasn’t hard at all. Beginner’s luck you might say? I don’t think so. It’s all in this recipe if you just follow it.



    This is the best pie crust I have ever made or tasted. Thank you sooo much. I have tried to make a good crust but it was always too tough, too thin. Just was not good. Now I can make all the pies I want with fruit in season. All I got to say is follow the recipe to the letter, you will come out a winner.


  • nixie porter

    I made this exactly like it says and it’s dense and not flaky at all. It was even hard to cut with a steak knife. What in the world?

    Sounds to me like there could be two issues – 1) too much water, and 2) too much kneading. It takes a while to get the hang of making a pie crust from scratch. ~Elise

  • Debus

    This recipe is fantastic. I use it all the time. Have made many blueberry, cherry, apple and pumpkin pies with this recipe and they have all come out wonderful. My friends and family rave about my pies.

    Thank you!!!

  • Sarah

    This is THE BEST crust recipe I use it for every kind of pie or pastry needed and it turns out flawless every time I follow the recipe exactly and its PERFECT!! Thank you so much for posting! I’ll use it forever!!

  • gloria yost

    I have used an all veg. based shortening called “Earth Balance” for years with wonderful results. My family LOVES my pies!

  • Chris Miller

    What a great site..

    Question on blind baking for you. I am trying to perfect a blueberry pie recipe and I can’t seem to find a way to keep the bottom crust from basically melting during baking.

    I’m using what I hope is a reasonably standard crust recipe of 2.5 cups flour, 2 sticks of butter, a bit of salt and sugar. I am pre-baking the bottom crust for 20 minutes in my oven at 350 until it is golden brown. using rice and foil for weighting and letting cool for 30 minutes. The bottom crust is about the same thickness as the top crust. From here, a blueberry reduction with 2 cups blueberries, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, dash of cinnamon and nutmeg is added along with the top crust. I baked at 350 for one hour…

    I had the same trouble with a savory lamb pie I tried with no blind baking – the darn bottom crust just disintegrated. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I’m soooo close on this..!


    I think your problem with the blueberry pie is that cup of water. If you check our blueberry pie recipe you’ll see it calls for 6 cups of blueberries and only 1 Tbsp of liquid (lemon juice). No added water. It also includes 1/4 cup of flour as a thickener. ~Elise

  • muse

    Elise, after 40 years of baking, your butter and shortening pie crust recipe is now my favorite. It is foolproof and perfect.

    Thank you very much for this site.

  • Mary Lynn

    I have tried & failed so many times to make delicate, flaky pie crust like my mother’s using her recipe & instructions & techniques. She used a bowl & pastry cutter & her hands. So I’ve decided to go ahead & get a food processor and try it this way (no doubt will use the food processor for many other things as well). My question is, what size should I get? I can’t afford an expensive one, and have looked at a 4C Cuisinart & a 10C Hamilton Beach, both of which have good reviews.

    Good question. I use a 7-cup Cuisinart, which is a good size for making a double crust. You can get a pretty good deal on them at Amazon. ~Elise

  • Amanda Holian

    Well I just made this today like right now 7:13p.m on Dec.12, 09 and mine was a struggle at first to do but then I got the hang of it and it came out way better then what I thought. I added more water and flour then the recipe and it came out perfect to me. I am only 15 years old I want to be a Pastry Chef and go to college and everything so I am always practicing on desserts. So this crust was easy for me. I am making a Lemon Blueberry Pie and I was making the crust tonight storing it in the fridge and doing the rest of the pie tomorrow. So I hope this works for everyone else. I was also looking for recipes for pie crust with having to use shortening.

  • Patty

    When I use pie “tins” my crust is perfect, but when I tried using a Pyrex glass pie dish the bottom crust seems uncooked. Help?

  • Heather

    I just made the butter shortening combination crust (my first time making my own crust). It turned out wonderful! The only problem is that it is so good that I am eating more of the pie just for the crust. I do not own a mixer or a pastery cutter so I used my hands. It worked out perfect. The pie sat for a day before we could finally eat it (made for a family get together) and the crust was perfect. I was very pleased to find out that the bottom was not soggy at all (Sour Apple Tart Cherry Pie). Everytime I bought a role of pie dough for an apple pie the bottom came out soggy. I will never buy pie dough ever again! This is what I will use from now on!

  • MsHymanRoth

    Hi Elise! I made your combination shortening + butter crust and it was absolutely perfect! It worked amazingly for the sweet potato pie I made and everyone just went nuts! Even my grandmother who once was an amazing baker!

    I have a question though. My grandmother has been sick with cancer for a while and I am wondering if you have any ideas about a crust and filling for a pie that uses stevia – no sugar. Sugar actually feeds her cancer so she cannot have it … in the case of my pie … she took a little bite.

    I’d like to make her a pie she can devour. =) Thank you.

    Hmm, good question. I suspect that she probably should be staying away from pastries, altogether. You can leave the sugar out of the crust, but as for the filling? You might want to do a simple apple pie, but sweetened with stevia instead. I don’t know anything about baking with stevia, but there are cookbooks available online if you look. ~Elise

  • Sarah

    Thanks, Elise! My first time being responsible for the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving was a hit, thanks to you. I used the half butter, half shortening recipe, and my crust was delicious! I don’t have a food processor, but using a pastry cutter worked just fine. I also added a tiny splash of apple cider vinegar in with the ice water. Loved it!!

  • GrittylilFremont

    I found an ingredient for pie dough in my Cook’s Illustrated magazine. The ingredient is vodka! You replace 1/2 of the chillled water used in a standard pie crust with chilled vodka. You can actually use more water and vodka then you would traditionally because vodka is only 60% water. It makes working the crust as easy as working with playdough, and yet the vodka cooks off during baking, leaving an extremely flaky, tender crust. I don’t know how come more pie makers don’t know this one.

  • dogchow

    I accidently put the pie dough in the freezer for an hour…what should I do as I have to bake pie right now for the event tomorrow.

    You’ll have to let it sit at room temperature and thaw until it is ready to roll out. ~Elise

  • jay

    I have made this pie crust three time and can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. When I pull it out of the fridge and tryu to roll it it always cracks and breaks any ideas?

    Yes, you should let it rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before attempting to roll it out. ~Elise

  • Nevyn

    Just a comment on the egg wash..I am highly allergic to eggs and more than once had to be rushed to a hospital due to egg being on or in something I was unaware of. As a dinner guest I always ask, but sometimes in stores the wash is not listed as an ingredient and the host says ‘no egg’. Please inform your guests before serving that the pie is coated with egg.

  • ruen

    (Sorry for double posting) I forgot–if you don’t have a pastry brush, you can bunch up a paper towel and use that instead for the egg wash.

  • ruen

    Hey, everyone who thinks they can never make homemade pie crusts because they’re missing some kitchen utensils: don’t despair! I’m a college student living in a tiny apartment and my mom would kill me if I ever bought a food processor, much less a rolling pin! If you don’t have a food processor, roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty. Pinch the butter with your fingers and until the flour/butter mix is crumbly. Instead of balls of butter you’ll have “shavings” and small clumps of it, but the end result still looks like Elise’s picture above. After adding the right amount of ice water, you’ll want to refrigerate the dough for a half hour (because your hands are warm; give the butter some time to solidify again before flattening it). When you take it out of the fridge, let it sit for 2-3 minutes so it’s easier to roll.

    As for a rolling pin… well, anything cylindrical works. I floured my cutting board (there are no counters in my apartment) and put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough then used a jar as my rolling pin. It did the trick! Pie is in the oven and I baked a piece of scrap dough to taste it–flaky and scrumptious. Thanks, Elise, for sharing this delicious recipe!

    Thanks for sharing your tips Ruen! ~Elise

  • bryon

    My bottom crust in my apple pie always burns, and when I try to cut a slice I only get top crust. Am I rolling the bottom crust too thin? Should it be thicker than the top crust?

    They should be about the same thickness. Sounds like either your oven isn’t heating evenly or your pie is too close to the heating element in the oven. ~Elise

  • Lyndsey

    Thanks Elise.
    By the way, even though I had a hard time forming the discs with my last batches of pie dough, they were a breeze to roll out and turned out beautiful. I made two double crust apple pies and everyone raved about the crust.

  • Lyndsey

    Ok, I just made two batches of the all-butter dough recipe in my food processor. I had to use 9 Tbsp of water in both batches.
    When I poured the dough out to form the discs, the dough would barely stay together, dry clumps would fall off. Should I have used more water, or is that what I should have expected?

    Hi Lyndsey, this is a great question, and one that hard to answer, not being there. I’ve made so many pie crusts and each time the trickiest thing is the amount of water. You want just enough so that it will hold together, but not so much that it is dough-y. Sometimes just wetting your hands when you form the dough will be enough to do the trick if the dough is still a little too dry to hold together. All I can say is practice, and find a balance that works for you. I think I err on the more water side, but every pastry chef I consult says use the smallest amount of water possible. ~Elise

  • Gayla

    I had this cook 25 years ago an older woman maybe 75-80 made all of our pies and she always used ice cold 7-UP instead of water loved that pie crusts

  • Julie

    I just made this recipe without a mixer and just mixed it by hand, it was wonderful!! I am making a second one now.

  • Alison

    I made this pie crust on Sunday…my first time ever baking a pie. I’ve watched my Grandma make thousands of pies, using oil, but I wanted a more flaky, less dense crust. It turned out beautifully! I do not have a food processor, so I froze the whole stick of butter and grated it. I then mixed it into my flour mixture, which I had in a large porcelain bowl on chill in the freezer. I used 9 tbsp. of ice water…although it wasn’t really forming into a ball. I put it all into a freezer bag, pushed the air out and pushed the mixture together with the heel of my hand. I let it sit overnight and rolled it out between two pieces of parchment paper. There wasn’t a crumb left! I made another one on Monday! Thanks for the recipe! Now if I only had a food processor!

  • shanlee

    I’ve tried both the metal cutting blade and the dough blade and either one works.

  • shanlee

    Just wondering if you use the dough blade or the metal blade in your food processor?

    There’s a dough blade? If there is, I’m unfamiliar with it. I just use the metal blade. You’re basically using the food processor in place of the more traditional dough blender. ~Elise

    • Leisa

      Dough blade for food processors is for bread dough made with more than 3.5 cups of flour for Cuisinart. For cutting in butter to flour for pie crusts (or biscuits), always use metal blade (regardless of flour measure as crust is not dough and one needs the full extension of the metal blade to process the ingredients–which is a cutting process v. kneading for bread doughs).

  • Sue Cooper

    I was given this tip years (42yrs this week)ago at my bridal shower, use cold 7UP soda instead of water in the recipe. It makes very flaky crust!I use diet soda, doesn’t make much difference when using so much butter though.

  • SGT

    I’ve always used shortening for pie crusts with no problem. It’s key to keep your Ingredients as cold as possible until it’s time to bake. A pyrex pie plate is also key for even temp. plus you can see how your crust is doing on the bottom. I use 2 1/4 C flour, 3/4 teasp salt, 3/4 C shortening and about 5 Tbsp ice water for the crust. Cut the shortening in before adding the water, and then mix in 1 Tbsp at a time of water mixing it in with a fork. I sometimes use a couple of Tbsp of lemon juice in place of some of the water. This last time I used all orange blossom water and lemon juice,(nice and cold) and it came out great. I’m not exactly sure who it was but a master pastry chef (centuries ago) use to do his work in a ice house type atmosphere to assure the flakiest pastry. So! stay cool! and don’t overwork it. Good luck! Oh! I always use a hand pastry cutter. And when making a two crust pie I wrap one crust and fridge it while making the next, and then roll the cold one while the other chills. Remember keep things cold.

  • Audrey Duesler

    I have perfected my pumpkin pie and want to work on making a much tastier crust. So, I want to try to make it myself. I am allergic to butter, and worry about ‘crisco’ (shortening) being so unhealthy. Are there alternative crusts? Such as, made with margrin? or other substitute?

    The problem with shortening was the transfats, which they have now pretty much removed. Look for a version of Criso that says Zero Transfats on the label. Lard is also an option, though unless you render it yourself, it is often packed with preservatives, which you don’t want. ~Elise

  • mary

    I made the all butter crust and it was perfect. I actually couldn’t believe it because I’m not a baker and usually something goes wrong for me or is slightly off. This pie crust was flaky, buttery, and delicious.


  • friction_jack

    Regarding non-trans fat shortening, I have been substituting organic extra virgin coconut oil (slightly chilled), which works perfectly. If you try this,be sure to use unrefined coconut oil which is very healthy, as opposed to the refined (hydrogenated) oil which is full of trans fats. You will not get the coconut flavor once the pie is cooked. I use Nutiva brand which is pricey but absolutely amazing.

  • Anne van der Kley

    As an Australian, we don’t use ‘sticks’ of butter: I have been to the US many times before and never thought to check out how many ounces/grams a stick is.I am familiar with all-purpose flour and most other US ingredients.
    Please help an Aussie wanting to make your pastry

    Hi Anne, fyi there is a measurement converter on the left side of every recipe page on the site. With regards to butter, 1 cup = 8 ounces. For a grams conversion you’ll have to check the converter link. ~Elise

  • jackie

    My friend has a recipe for pie crust. Since it is a family recipe she will not give it out.
    I understand this and respect her loyality. I have tried to find one that will match the taste. It is a thick crust (from 40 years ago)
    and kind of semi sweet. I think it is like a
    cookie. Does this ring any bells to anyone? Since I am over 70 I am running out of time to locate. I guess it is one of those things that has always bothered me. I have tried many things – just not the same.
    Thanks for your help.

    Sounds like a shortbread crust. Check out the results on Food Blog Search to see if anything rings familiar. ~Elise

  • andree berlin

    How do you use frozen fruit in pies without their becoming too watery? Additional flour or thickening agent simply makes it pasty.

    We defrost the frozen fruit first, and let the excess moisture drain away before using. ~Elise

  • Rose

    I was making Lemon Meringue pie, I baked my pie shell, and never forgot to poke holes in it; it came perfect but when I add the cooled Lemon and room temperature meringue and half hour later put it in the refridgerator. When I served it the next day, the bottom crust was soggy, what did I do wrong?

  • Samantha

    Elise! Thank you SO much for posting this! This came out absolutely amazing! I made it for my Mom-in-law’s pumpkin pie recipe and it came out just absolutely spectacular. I ended up taking the second half of the dough and kneading it some more and making it into cinnamon shortbread pinwheels. They are my new favorite cookie. They came out absolutely amazing. They were actually intended to be cinnamon rolls, but I cut them a bit short/small and so they ended up cookies.. but they are amazing anyway! Thank you SO much for this recipe :) I will never use another again!

  • Meredith

    This is a GREAT recipe. I highly recommend it.

  • Ruban

    THanks the pie crust was great. I used 1/2 margarine instead and it turned out great!

  • Anonymous

    You forgot the bake temperture and time for the plain butter crust.

    This is just a recipe for the crust. Unless you are pre-baking it (and there are instructions for that) you need to follow the cooking instructions for whatever pie it is you are making. ~Elise

  • cindy

    Elise, I found that if you prepare your apples as directed with the sugar, cinnamon etc.. and then cook them for about 10 minutes in a deep fry pan, let them cool for about 25 minutes and then add them to your pie crust and bake, the top of your crust will stay nice and high and there will be no space between the apples and the top crust.

  • Jessica

    Is there any special advice for pumpkin pies? One recipe I have suggests cooking the crust for a few minutes before adding the filling, perhaps to keep the crust crispy and not too soggy? This is my first home-made pie crust and I’m nervous. Thanks for the help!!

  • Roe

    Any pie crust receipe I use, my top crust stays high, but apples or such shrink even when piled way above the size of pan. Shells always shrink. What am I doing wrong?

    You’re doing nothing wrong. Depending on the variety, apples can give off a lot of moisture and shrink when cooking. To avoid the shrinking, you can use fewer apples, or pre-cook the apples a bit before adding them to the pie dish. ~Elise

  • Garry vandenBerg

    Hello all you fine cooks. My mother made her crust with lard. I remember the crust as very flavorful. Is that a good technic?

    Yes, lard is excellent for making flakey crusts, it’s just hard to come by these days. Usually the lard you can buy at the store has been treated with chemicals. Better to render your own lard. You can search online for a how to. ~Elise

  • judy rogers

    Does anyone have a recipe for pie crust w/vinager in it? It’s one Mom use to make and I can’t find recipe

    Here’s a recipe for a pie crust that uses vinegar in it by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

  • Kathy

    I made the above recipe for pie crust but I made a few changes and it came out perfect. This is my first time on this site and love it already, the idea of putting the butter in the freezer I had never heard of before and I made a perfect crust using this idea. I cut portions because I only needed a single crust. 1 1/4 cup of flr.-1 stick of (Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend–purple box—I made a healthy version crust and it was perfect in texture and taste-it has omega 3 and no transfats.)salt was already in the Smart Balance, kept the full 1 tsp sugar-needed 3 tbs of water and 1 apple cider vinegar for flaky crust (the amount of liquid used is the tricky part). That is why you have to test the dough before adding too much liquid. Made a fresh peach pie, peaches were so sweet didn’t need sugar, I made a crumb topping instead of crust, added oats for taste and crispiness. I usually make a good pie crust using my food processor to make the dough, but my crust sometimes is hit or miss in texture, the frozen butter and the pictures helped me make it perfectly…Also, a hint from me if you are making a very juicy pie, crush some saltines, non salted and put on the bottom of the crust before adding fruit, that will absorb some of the juice to help keep the bottom crust from getting mushy or crushed vanilla wafers or ginger snaps depending on flavor of your pie. You can make a pie healthy, now my hubby can and will eat the crust. He loved it…..Thank you for your suggestions, I hope mine helped someone.

  • Cindy S

    I found that a potato masher does just as well or better than a pastry blender. I was going to purchase a pastry blender at Wal-Mart but it looked so flimsy I knew it wouldn’t do the job and was $3.00+. Nearby was a $1.50 potato masher so I brought it home and tried it. Its the kind with the zig zag bottom, not meshed like some. It works wonderfully !

  • meettu

    I am absolutely new to pie making. My pie crust was simply too brittle. I could roll it but then it woudn’t stay together when I lift it up. Can you tell me why this is happening? Is it because my butter has melted too much?
    I want to bake it in a microwave. Do you have a recipe for the same?

    Your butter should not have melted at all. Softened a little, yes. Melted no. If the crust isn’t holding together, it sounds like you need a little more ice water added to it. Regarding the microwave, you can’t brown food in a microwave. Microwave ovens cook by heating up the water molecules in food, so the effect you get is similar to poaching, or boiling. Browning requires higher heat and a dry roasting oven. So, no, as far as I know you cannot bake it in a microwave. You can defrost a frozen crust in a microwave and then bake it in a toaster oven. But baking requires the dry heat of a roasting oven or toaster oven. ~Elise

  • Joe

    Instead of a food processor or even a manual pastry blender, you can use two table knives to quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture. Hold one knife in each hand, cross them like an X with one tip at each side of the bowl, then draw the blades towards each other rapidly and across to the other side of the bowl. By doing this repeatedly while occasionally turning the bowl and mixing in the flour by stirring with the knife blades, you will generate the desired pea-sized bits of butter that will lead to a flaky pie crust.

  • Tracy

    I need to bake a pie crust for this evening, I am out of crisco, have one stick of butter and vegetable oil any ideas?

  • liron

    We don’t have vegetable shortening in our country, and I don’t really know what is that so i can find a replacement. Do you have any suggestions ?

    Yes. Use the all-butter crust recipe. ~Elise

  • Lenore

    Thanks for recipe.
    Please add cooking temperature and times to the first recipe.

    The cooking temperature and times depend on the particular filling of the pie you are making. ~Elise

  • Mary

    I used to make a pie crust with my mom which consisted of mixing unmeasured amounts of tenderflake lard and all purpose flour until well blended. Lastly adding milk to make a very, flakey, tender crust for either sweet or savoury pies.

    Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to get the consistency right anymore and with mom gone these last 17 years I was hoping someone might have a similar measured recipe. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


  • Cruz

    I’m new to the whole baking thing. Before I moved out of my parents house in Seattle, I thought that pie crust always came from Mom or the grocery store… but after a year here in Madison Wisconsin I realized all great bakers have to start somewhere. Luckily I found this website and have been baking pies every week! I guess it can be a little intimidating, but I have been working hard on this whole “do it yourself from scratch” thing… I couldn’t have done it without the helpful suggestions of so many WISE WISE WISE individuals. Thanks to you guys I have perfected a delicious double decker cherry-peach pie!

  • Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    I’m a late-comer to this party, but I wanted to mention that those of us without electric mixers should not despair. I followed the all-butter recipe up top there in conjunction with Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s “Savory Pie For The First Day of Winter” ( Mixing the butter in with my hands, and then mixing the water in with my hands, worked perfectly well. I may have used more water than the recipe calls for (6 tbsp? Really?) but the crust was flaky and light and perfect all the same.

    I want to call attention to two tips I picked up from the aforementioned Making Light blog thread:

    * Freeze the butter and then grate them on a cheese grater (being careful not to smoosh the results together as you continue grating; I grated them right onto the flour and periodically mixed them in as I went)

    * Place your water in the freezer until it develops a thin skin of ice on top

    These worked really well for me. I’m doing it again tonight, the so-called “first day of winter” (winter solstice) to make those savory pies.

    Thank you for a really useful article!

  • Audrey

    I am trying to plan ahead for Thanksgiving and I am wondering if the all-butter crust can be frozen? I’ve never done that before…how would I go about it?

    Note from Elise: Just roll out the pie dough and form the crust in the pie pan, then put it in the freezer. If you are freezing for more than a day or so, wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil first. You can also put the dough in the freezer before you roll it out, but then you will have to defrost it before using. A frozen pie crust you should use as is, without defrosting.

  • Tiffany

    This page has been so helpful. I used to make pie crusts frequently when I was a kid for my mom. I must say, I did a fine job. However, I moved away about 8 years ago, and probably haven’t made a crust in about 10 years. I’m having Thanksgiving at my home this year for a total of 18 close relatives (first time roasting a turkey – should be interesting). I’m making three homemade pies, crust and all (even fresh pumpkin from a friend), and was a bit worried about my crust making skills. Thanks so much for the refresher course!

  • jenny

    I freeze my crust before I blind-bake it, but it ALWAYS shrinks down the sides. why? I can’t figure out what I am doing wrong. Any tips?

  • Leslie


    After many years of successful pie crusts, I too am now having problems due to the new shortening formula. I ended up calling the shortening company, using the phone number on the can, and they said they have had many customers express concerns. She even said in their own test kitchens they have noticed the difference in the performance of the shortening. She said their bakers tried adding additional water to the recipe, though I attempted this and did not have much luck.

    If you discover any solutions, please let us know – Thanksgiving is right around the corner!

  • Megan

    I love all the pie crust recipes, and I just put a pie in the oven that used your Strawberry Rhubarb recipe. One question: have you tried using the no trans fat crisco? I’ve tried it twice for pie crusts, and both times the dough ended up too soft and malleable, even after refrigerating it overnight. The most disappointing part was when the top crust sort of collapsed in on the pie. Thankfully, it didn’t affect the flavor at all. I’m wondering if I need to reduce the amount of shortening, but I’m afraid that will make it dry, and changing the butter/shortening ratio would lose the benefits of less saturated fat. When I was a kid I made great all-crisco pie crusts, but now I’m not having any luck. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • donna

    When making fruit pies that leave the crust “soggy” crush about a half cup of corn flakes and sprinkle on the bottom of crust before adding the fruit. It absorbs the moisture and gives the crust a little more flavor.

  • Edna

    Thanks Mary Beth for the tip on freezing pie crusts. Have you also tried freezing empanada crusts? I have this great recipe for empanada and would like to make it often with various types of filling.

  • Lillian Paratore

    I starting making pastry crust since I was 12 – 52 years ago – and I love making pies. To brown top crust, brush with whole egg, beaten with a little milk. I sometimes sprinkle top crust with a tablespoon of sugar for a pretty look. Good luck.

  • myprivate

    I have just begun making my own pie crusts. I would like to know how to get the top crust nice and golden brown without being hard as a rock (I make my crust using veg. oil and water).

    • Alice

      It may that you are using a liquid oil, when they refer to shortening they mean solid, like lard or Crisco. Also, if you are overhandling the dough before placing the top layer on, you may be making it “tough” or hard. A very light wash makes the crust shiny, but it should brown on it’s own when baking.

  • Mitchell Webster

    I have a kitchen Aide Mixer and love it, however, I can tell you from years of experience a plain old Pastry Blender (an old tool still available today) has a handle and a 1/2 dozen little long blades, is the best and quickest way to make pie dough. Just chop it around in your flour with the butter, lard, shortening and in a minute or less you have the nice crumbs you are looking for.

    Also we always add 1 to 2 tsp of cider vinegar to all of our pie doughs, it makes a really nice flakey crust.

  • Angie Roncetti

    This is a great recipe! Being a celiac(intolerant to gluten) I can’t buy frozen pie crusts. I make everything from scratch so I know exactly what I am eating. I just used arrowroot flour instead. I found mixing with a dough hook in a KitchenAid stand mixer best but hand kneading works well also.

  • Zan

    FYI to all those without locked-and-loaded kitchen…

    I make this crust by hand since I don’t have a mixer and it has always worked out really well

  • Kathy

    Has anyone heard of making pie crusts with pastry flour? I heard it works beauitfuly.

    • Kendra

      yes, we made our pie crusts in cooking school with pastry flour.

  • T C

    Personally, I believe you don’t need any kind of mixer at all! Just use a bowl, fork and rolling pin… it’s not hard and doesn’t take long. You need to get flour on your hands — otherwise why don’t you just buy the dough at the grocery?

    • Kendra

      TC — I agree 100%. I use a pastry cutter. I learned by using my hands, but prefer the pastry cutter, as the warmth of my hands tends to warm the butter. Cut in your shortening, and then add the butter.

  • ROSE

    Just linked on to this site and saw a question by Tom Kay.

    Another way to not have a soggy bottom crust:

    Whip an egg white and brush the bottom crust with the egg white. I am 75 years young and have made different pies for 55 years and have found this tip, I found long ago, to be “fantastic”. It works.

  • Miss Me

    I think that this recipe are delightful. Thank you for this wonderful addition to the family pie. Now we have wonderful pie crust to go with our families delightful fillings! Thanks again! Miss Me

  • Ashley Garcia

    Response to Tom Kay, bake the pie crust a little while before putting in the filling.

  • Tom Kay

    How do I keep the bottom crust from becoming soggy during the bake?

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Susan,

    The methods described here require a food processor. You can make pie dough with a stand mixer or a pastry cutter, or even two knives, but I don’t use those methods. You might try doing a search on Google for pie dough mixer and see what turns up.

  • susan

    I have a problem with this. I dont have a mixer with pulse. How do I make this without one? I really would like to make it. Thanks.

    • Tripleguess

      Very very old comment but… Susan, when I make scones, I grate frozen butter with a cheese grater. From some of the comments below, it sounds like that would work for this recipe too. =)

    • Aaron

      Hi Susan, from what i have found and others who have tried the pies i have made said they could not tell the difference between 2 pies of the same type where one of them i cut the butter small and used the food processor and the other i cut the butter small and used my hands to mix.
      the end result was exactly the same. you could still see small chunks of butter in the mix and the crust was just as flaky as if i had used a food processor.
      hope that helps.

    • Aleta

      Hi Susan,
      I used this recipe and the old fashioned method of using my hands to crumb in the butter and knead in the cold water. I used a rolling pin for the final steps. The crust came out just right.

  • Mary Beth

    We recently moved to a property with about a dozen fruit trees and a berry briar. I have always been a pie baker and maker of a pretty flaky pie crust (although not always the prettiest ones.) But with all this fresh fruit at hand, I decided the time had come to expand my crust-making expertise.

    The best thing I’ve learned is this: Pie and pastry crust freezes beautifully!!!! I have found a recipe that makes four single crusts at a time. I wrap them individually and freeze them. When you need one, just move it to the fridge a day before you plan to use it. I understand the dough will stay in the freezer for six months or more. Although, mine never lasts that long.

    I’ve also learned scratch biscuits freeze beutifully as well (after baking). Just wrap them individually and put them in a freezer bag.

    With lots of company coming for the summer, I am making a freezer full of crusts and different doughs to be ready as the various ripen.