Learning how to make homemade pie crust from scratch is easy with this step-by-step guide. With helpful photos, tips and recipes, this tutorial will show you how to turn a few simple ingredients into a delicious, flaky crust!
The secret to a great slice of pie is all in the crust! A buttery, flaky crust that holds its shape is key to pie perfection, and this step-by-step guide on how to make a pie crust will help show you how quick and easy it is to do!
The best thing about this easy pie crust recipe is that it uses staple ingredients you probably have on hand already: flour, salt, fat and water. That’s it! With these basic ingredients, you can make a buttery, flaky crust you can use with pretty much any filling.
Not only will we walk you through this easy homemade pie crust recipe, but we’ll also share a few basic tips and tricks to help ensure you get great results every time. We’ve also included a few of our favorite go-to pie recipes, perfect for trying out your new homemade pie crust!
How to Make Pie Crust from Scratch
The great thing about making your own pie crust is that you only need a few ingredients to get started. Better yet, you probably have everything you need already! Let’s break down all our ingredients and why they’re important in this recipe:
All-purpose flour: For best results, use a high-quality all-purpose flour for this recipe. It’s also important to measure your flour correctly to make sure your crust comes out tender and flaky. We suggest the spoon and level method. To do this, use a spoon to fill your measuring cup with flour, then a straight edge to level it off.
Salt: A little salt goes a long way in punching up the flavor of this pie crust. If you’re using salted butter, you can omit adding the salt in this recipe.
Fat: Some pie crust recipes use only butter, some use only shortening, but we use a combination for the best of both worlds! Butter adds flavor and texture, while shortening adds structure.
Both fats should be at the same temperature (very cold!) for optimal use. Keep both fats in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. The small pieces of cold fat will melt as the crust bakes, creating those coveted air pockets, key to a flaky crust.
Ice water: Ice water helps bring everything together. This recipe calls for 8 to 10 tablespoons because the amount you need will vary. You want to add just enough that your dough comes together. Too much and it will be too sticky; too little and the dough won’t hold together.
To test to make sure you have enough water, squeeze a little bit of the dough in your hand. If it holds its shape, you’re good to go. If the dough crumbles in your hand, add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time, until it’s no longer crumbly.
How to Make Pie Crust
This flaky pie crust recipe can be made in just a few simple steps. One recipe is enough to make one double-crust pie or two open-faced pies.
Step 1: Combine dry ingredients
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. This helps break up any clumps of flour and better incorporates the salt throughout the dough.
Step 2: Cut in the fat
Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until your dough resembles cornmeal. Remember, your butter and shortening should be cold, like straight out of the fridge.
If your kitchen is particularly warm, you can pop the butter in the freezer for about 10 minutes to make sure it stays cold throughout the whole process.
Step 3: Add the water
If your dough looks like cornmeal with little pea-sized bits of butter and shortening, you’re ready to move on to the next step – adding the water. The water brings everything together – and a little goes a long way. Make sure your water is ice cold before adding it to the dough.
Start off by adding 8 tablespoons of ice cold water to your dough. Stir until the mixture holds together in large clumps. If your dough still looks dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, until it holds its shape.
To make sure you have enough water in your dough, squeeze a little bit of the dough in your hand. If it holds together, your dough is done. If it crumbles apart, add more water.
Step 4: Chill the dough
Divide your dough into two discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill, at least 1 hour.
How to Roll Out Pie Dough
When you’re ready to make your pie, lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. This will prevent the dough from sticking.
Starting in the center of the disc, use even pressure to roll out your dough, always starting from the center and rolling out. Turn the dough about a quarter turn after each roll and dust the dough and counter as needed to prevent sticking.
Continue until you have a circle about 12 to 14 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick. This is perfect for a 9 in. pie.
If you’re making a larger or smaller pie, roll your dough to be about 3 to 5 inches larger than your pie pan so you have enough overhang to form the pie edge.
Place the pie crust on your prepared pan, pressing it into the sides and bottom of the pan.
For open-faced pies: Fill your crust with your prepared filling. Garnish with additional dough cut-outs, if desired. Bake as directed.
For double-crust pies: Fill bottom crust with prepared filling. Place second crust on top. Use knife to cut small holes in top crust to allow steam to vent. Crimp edges of pie as desired. Bake as directed.
Tasty Pie Recipes
Now that you’ve mastered the art of making pie dough, let’s get to the fillings! These tasty pie recipes are great for larger celebrations or just weeknights with the family.
The filling does the decorating with this Cinnamon Apple Tart. Slices of Honeycrisp apples are layered in a flaky pie crust for a delicious dessert that smells just as good as it looks!
If you’re a fan of the sweet and tart flavor combo, this Raspberry Peach Pie is for you. Fresh raspberries and peaches are mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg for a flavorful pie you can serve for Easter, Mother’s Day or any spring celebration.
Nothing says classic like this Cherry Lattice Pie. Perfect for summer picnics and BBQs, this simple cherry pie recipe is a must-have for pie lovers.
No matter what the celebration, you can’t go wrong with this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Packed with amazing flavor, this homemade pie recipe is sure to become a family favorite.
For a taste of fall, this Chai-Spiced Swirl Pumpkin Pie is a great go-to. Filled with the spicy-sweet flavor of chai tea and pumpkin, this pie is the perfect ending to your holiday meal.
Bursting with blueberries and just a bit of lemon, this Blueberry Pie tastes just like summer. With no slicing or pitting needed, it’s a great way to use up a bounty of berries.
Use pie crust to make an elegant lattice design with this Old Fashioned Apple Cranberry Lattice Pie. Decorated with braided pie crusts and cut-outs, this elegant pie is (almost) too pretty to eat!
Do you have any great pie crust tips to share? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’ve used this recipe to make a pie, share a picture of your treat on social media and tag us @wiltoncakes so we can see it!
How to Make Flaky Pie Crust from Scratch
- Large bowl
- Pastry blender or fork
- Rolling Pin
- Pie pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter cold
- 1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening cold
- 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
- In a large bowl, stir flour and salt together. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut butter and shortening into flour until mixture resembles cornmeal.
- Add 8 tablespoons cold water and stir untilmixture holds together in large clumps. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at atime, if the dough is still dry.
- Divide dough into 2 discs. Cover with plasticwrap and chill, at least 1 hour.
- To make pie, roll disc into a 12 in. circle, about 1/8 in. thick. Place in pie plate, pressing firmly into the sides and bottom of the pan.
- For open-faced pies, fill crust with prepared filling. Garnish with additional dough cut-outs and bake as directed.
- For double-crust pies, fill bottom crust with prepared filling. Roll second crust to 1/8 in. thick. Cut holes to vent filling. Place crust over filling and crimp edges of top and bottom crusts together. Bake as directed.
- Prepared pie dough can be chilled for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- If your dough is still too hard to roll out, let it sit out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Avoid using your hands to mix this dough. The heat from your hands may melt the butter.
- When measuring your flour, use the spoon and level method. If you scoop your flour with a measuring cup, you might be adding more than you actually need, which can lead to a crumbly, dry pie crust.
- Make sure both your butter and shortening are cold before cutting them into the flour.
- Remember, a little water goes a long way. If your dough is looking dry, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until it just comes together.
- To prevent the edges of your pie from burning, use a silicone pie crust shield or wrap the edges of your pie in aluminum foil.