Consider this your go-to recipe for easy, delicious homemade pie crust. I know it’s a little bold to call something “perfect” but as far as pie crust is concerned, this recipe yields the perfect pie crust! This is the type of recipe you can use all year long, again and again, but it’s especially great for baking season. Perfect for pie-making connoisseurs or even someone who is just getting started with pie crust.
perfect pie crust 101
There’s a few basic rules that apply to making sure your pie crust comes out perfectly, and I’m here to share them with you! Don’t worry, pie crust is not hard, and that’s coming for someone who used to be intimated by it. Below are the tips & tricks I go by to achieve perfect pie crust success.
- Use Cold Ingredients – This is crucial. It’s really important for certain ingredients; such as butter, shortening & water to be really cold when you use them. Keeping the butter and shortening cold helps create flakiness and texture throughout the crust as it bakes, so don’t overlook this. What I like to do in this case is I cut my butter and shortening into cubes about an hour before I’m ready to make the pie dough, place the cubes in a bowl and place them in the refrigerator to chill and take them out when I’m ready to use them. And as for ice cold water: measure out the water into a drinking glass and add ice cubes, this works like a charm!
- Chill Before Using – This piggybacks the importance of cold ingredients. Once you’ve got your pie dough assembled and shaped, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. With this particular recipe, you can let it chill for as little as 30 minutes and then use it or let it hang out in your fridge for a couple of days. If you’re making pie crust ahead of time (like a week or so in advance) I recommend making the pie dough and freezing it. Simply remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before you need it.
- Use Pie Weights – If the recipe calls for you to bake the pie crust prior to adding the pie filling (also known as blind baking), pie weights are essential! They add extra weight to the pie dough to ensure that the crust bakes evenly and doesn’t puff up from the bottom of the pie dish. You can use store bought pie weights or pantry staples like sugar or dried beans.
one pie, two pie
This recipe makes enough dough for one pie crust. If you’re making a double-crust pie or need enough dough for two pies, simply double the recipe. If you double the recipe, make sure to split the dough in half before you wrap it and chill it.
A couple of other things to note; I use a combination of shortening and butter in this recipe and I highly recommend using both. However, if you don’t have both on hand, simply double what you do have. For example, if you have butter but not shortening, just replace the shortening with butter and vice versa. That’s the beauty of this recipe is how flexible and convenient it is!
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter 4 tablespoons, cold
- 1/4 cup shortening (cut into cubes cold
- 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- Mix butter, shortening, flour and salt together in a food processor or using a bowl and a pastry cutter. Mixture will be dry with various size clumps of butter and shortening throughout. Slowly add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing the dry ingredients to coat. Continue to add water until dry ingredients start to stick together and the texture of dough forms.
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap out on a work surface and place the pie dough on top of it. Lightly knead the dough together just for a minute and shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours. Pie dough can stay in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- When ready to use simply unwrap the pie dough and roll it out on a floured work surface. Carefully transfer the pie dough to the pie dish, gently pressing it into the dish to cover the bottom and sides. Trim and shape the crust as desired. Follow instructions of the pie recipe you're making!