This Pie Crust recipe includes a full tutorial for making perfect pie crust, every time! The BEST tender, flakey and buttery pie crust recipe.
Thanks to the tutoring of my mom, I’ve been making homemade pies and pie crusts from a very young age. To this day, homemade pie is one of my favorite desserts!
If I had to pick my top three favorite pies for any time of year, and any occasion, it would be this Lemon Sour Cream Pie, Triple Berry Pie, and Chocolate Cream Pie. I like to cover my bases: chocolate, lemon, berry. YUM.
At Thanksgiving I love Pumpkin Pie with caramel pecan topping.
The best news is that this perfect pie crust recipe pairs with more then just pie! Who else loves QUICHE?! I could eat this Broccoli Cheese Quiche any day, any time. I crave it.
So, what makes this pie crust recipe perfect, you ask?
First of all, it has both butter and shortening in it. Because they have different melting points, the combination ensures we get the delicious buttery taste we’re looking for but with the stability and tenderness that comes from the shortening.
Second, it makes two flaky, light, and wonderful crusts. The two crusts allow you to make recipes that require a bottom and lattice/top crust. OR, if you’re making a recipe that only requires one pie crust, you can freeze the other for another day.
How to make perfect pie crust:
Start by adding the flour and salt to a mixing bowl.
Then add the cold shortening and butter.
You want to keep the “fats” in the pie crust cold so that when they begin to melt in the oven they have time to create flakey, tender layers of crust. Cold butter and shortening are so important in helping create that flaky pie crust that everyone loves!
Use a pastry blender or forks to cut the fats into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.
Add some ice water, just one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture starts to come together into a ball. (You may not need all of the ice water).
The dough should not be sticky, and be careful not to over-work it.
Handle the dough just enough to form it into a ball. If you “knead” it like bread, or overwork it, it will make for a tougher crust by getting rid of the nice pockets of fat that make it tender and flakey.
Divide the dough into two pieces and flatten each into a disc.
Cover the dough well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up 24 hours. You can also freeze the dough at this point. Place the wrapped disc of dough in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
I’ve tried many different methods for rolling out pie crust and I’ve always found that keeping it from sticking to the counter, and transferring it successfully to your pie plate are the two trickiest parts of making homemade pie crust.
Here is my fool-proof method for rolling out a pie crust, and transferring it easily to your pie plate.
How to roll out perfect pie crust:
Find a large, thin hand towel or cloth and get it a little bit wet. Wring it out so it’s just damp.
Lay the cloth smoothly onto a hard, flat countertop. Place a large piece of parchment paper over it. The damp cloth will keep the parchment paper from sliding around as you roll out your pie crust.
Remove the pie crust from the fridge and dust both sides of it with a little bit of flour. Place it on the parchment paper.
Use your rolling pin to gently press the pie crust out into a large circle. Always start at the center of the crust and work outwards. You want your crust to be thin, and a little larger then the size of your pie tin.
Place your pie pan right next to your rolled out pie crust. Then grab the edges of the parchment paper and gently flip the crust into the pie tin. (You could also roll the crust around your rolling pin and then unroll it in the pie tin.)
Settle the crust into the bottom and sides of the pan, and then gently peel the parchment paper off.
Use a butter-knife or kitchen scissors to trim any large overhang of pie crust, if needed. It’s nice to have about 1/2 inch of excess crust sticking over the edge. Fold the excess crust back and under the outer edge of crust to create a nice “thicker” pie crust border. Crimp it with your fingers, if you want.
At this point you can proceed and add your desired pie filling. Then bake your pie according to your recipe instructions.
OR you can blind-bake the pie crust, for use in pie recipes that call for a pre-baked pie crust (like a pudding pie or this lemon sour cream pie). Find my instructions for “blind-baking a pie crust” below the recipe card.
Can you freeze an unbaked pie crust?
Yes! To freeze your pie crust dough, simple follow the recipe up to step 4, wrap the two dough discs snuggly in plastic wrap, and put them in a freeze ziplock bag. Freeze your unbaked pie crust for up to 3 months. Allow it to come to room temperature when you are ready to roll it out into a pie crust.
Pie crust freezes beautifully and when you make it ahead of time, it makes the homemade pie process easy and fast! Plus, if you have one in your freezer you won’t be tempted to grab an awful store-bought pie crust. 😉
Check out all of my HOMEMADE PIE RECIPES! SOME OF MY FAVORITES INCLUDE:
Perfect Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , measured with a light hand via the scoop and level method
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening chilled
- 1/2 cup ice water
- Add flour, salt to a large mixing bowl.
- Add chilled shortening and butter and use a pastry blender or fork to cut them into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough begins to clump together--don't over mix. You may not need the entire 1/2 cup of ice water.
- Gently mold the dough into a ball, then divide it into 2 pieces. Press each piece gently with your hands into a flat disk.
- Cover each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 2 hours (or stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes).
- Dampen a large towel or cloth and lay it flat on your countertop. Place a large piece of parchment paper over it. Lightly flour both sides of the pie dough disc and set it on the parchment paper.
- Use your rolling pin to gently press the pie dough out into a large circle. Always start at the center of the crust, and work outwards. You want your dough to be thin, and about 1/2 inch larger then the diameter of your pie dish.
- Gently turn the dough into your pie dish and remove the parchment paper. Settle it smoothly into the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Trim and crimp the edges or the crust.
At this point you have two options:
- Follow your desired pie recipe for instructions on filling and baking your pie.
- OR, you can blind-bake your crust (pre-bake it), for use in recipes that require a baked pie shell (like pudding pies, such as my favorite Lemon Chiffon Pie). See below for my tutorial and instructions on blind-baking a pie crust.
How to blind bake a pie crust:
If you bake your crust without pie weights you risk the crust shrinking and shriveling down into the bottom of the pan. The pie weights help it to keep its shape.
Cut the parchment paper into a large circle, the size of your pie tin (a 9” circle for a 9” pie pan) and place it into the bottom of your unbaked crust. Pour some dry beans, rice, or pie weights onto the parchment paper and smooth into an even layer.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and lift the parchment paper and weights out of the crust. Prick the the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, then return the pie to the oven to bake until its golden brown on the edges (about 10-15 more minutes).
Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.
UPDATE 11/2016: I’ve updated this recipe to include part butter and part regular shortening. I like the taste even better and it holds together perfectly.
UPDATE 3/2018 to include new step-by-step photos
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