This Perfect Pie Crust recipe is the the only one you’ll ever need. It’s buttery and flaky perfection!
Use this perfect pie crust as the base to any and all pies you wish to make! It’s been my tried and true recipe for most of my life, and now it can be yours too!
Pie crust is the foundation for soooo many delicious desserts. Next time you want to skip the store-bought, try making your own instead: no surprise that it will trump anything you can buy at the store. If you need a gluten-free option try this version here.Jump to Recipe
How to Make Homemade Pie Crust
Short and sweet! This recipes requires only a few ingredients (which you may already have in your kitchen!).
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable shortening: for structure – shortening has a high melting point helps the crust stay tender and maintain the shape as it bakes
- Cold butter: for flavour
- Ice water: important to keep the butter cold
- Fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
I have to say, as a baker there’s nothing more satisfying than making a pie completely from scratch. If you’ve ever felt intimidated about making homemade pie crust, I’m here to walk you through the most important steps to making a great pie crust.
How to Make a Perfect Pie Crust
- You’ll want to keep the “fats” in the pie crust very cold so that when they begin to melt in the oven they have time to create flakey, tender layers of crust (kind of like little pockets). Cold butter and shortening are so important in helping create that perfectly flaky pie crust. The colder the ingredients, the easier your pie crust is to work with, and the better it will turn out!
- Don’t add too much water. You want to add just enough water to keep it held together and nothing more. Too much water develops the protein (gluten) in the flour, which is why a crust becomes tough or shrinks when it bakes.
- Don’t over-mix or knead. Here’s the deal: when making pie crust you are actually trying to keep the strands of gluten (protein) short. Kneading and over-working your dough will make the gluten longer and make your dough tough. The opposite of what you are looking for. A food processor helps tremendously.
- Use a food processor if you have one (this is the one I have and it’s on sale at the time of writing this). Honestly, the best way to make pie crust is in a food processor to prevent your warm hands from melting the fat. If you don’t have a food processor, use a pastry blender or two butter knives to blend in the fat. Again, this is in the spirit of keeping the fat cold so it can work its magic during baking.
Can you Freeze Pie Dough?
Pie crust freezes beautifully, so it’s a great thing to make ahead of time. Store the tightly wrapped discs of pie dough in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use, thaw the pie crust dough overnight in the refrigerator before rolling it out.
You’ve nailed the crust…now time to fill this perfect base with an equally amazing filling! Try something classic like this Apple Pie, my Pumpkin Pie, or something savoury like this Spinach Quiche Lorraine. Armed with this classic crust recipe, the world is your oyster. Let me know below how you liked the recipe!
The Perfect Pie Crust
The Perfect Pie Crust
This Perfect Pie Crust recipe is the the only one you'll ever need. It's buttery and flaky perfection! This recipe makes enough for one double crust for a 9-inch pie.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup cold butter or cold vegan butter cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup + 1-2 tablespoons ice water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1 egg for egg wash (optional)
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt; pulse to mix.
Sprinkle the shortening and butter on top of the flour mixture. Pulse until the shortening and butter are just incorporated and the butter pieces are the size of peas. Do not over process. You can do this in a bowl with a pastry blender or two butter knives if you don't have a food processor.
Mix 1/4 cup of the water with the lemon juice or vinegar and drizzle over the mixture. Pulse until the dough just starts to stick together in rough clumps, adding an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if needed.
Shape into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 F
On a lightly-floured surface, roll out each disc of dough into a circle that is slightly than your pie plate, about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to the pie plate and gently press the pie dough in so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
Add in your filling of choice (note, some pies such as pumpkin pie do not have a top crust). Gently place the second rolled pie crust on to the top of the filling in the pie. Trim the excess dough hanging over and crimp the edges of the pie using your thumb and forefinger to seal.
Optional: Whisk together 1 tablespoon of water and 1 egg until smooth and brush the top of the dough.
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. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F, reduce the temperature to 375 F, and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.