Learn how to make pie crust from scratch with this easy, flaky pie crust recipe. This is the perfect baking skill to master, so you can make all the best homemade pies!
How to Make Homemade Pie Crust from Scratch
This simple homemade pie crust recipe will help you take your baking up a notch. It's easy enough for beginners to follow, and you'll be using it time and time again.
Find out how to make the best pie crust from scratch, and get lots of tips to help you perfect it. You can use this as the starting point for any pie you like, from apple to pumpkin to chocolate!
Why you'll love this Homemade Pie Crust recipe
- Baking Skills: Learning how to make pie crust is one of those basic skills all home-bakers should master. You'll get the hang of it soon enough!
- Simple Pie Crust: There are only a few ingredients here, and once you see the step by step process, it becomes much easier than you might think.
- Flaky and Flavorful: This crust comes out super flaky and absolutely delicious. It's the perfect base for all your favorite pies!
There are only a few ingredients in this pie crust recipe, but each one does its job to make the most delicious, flaky crust. The 3 main things you need are flour, fat, and water.
I prefer to use a mix of butter and shortening for the fat, instead of just one or the other.
- Flour -- All-purpose flour is the best type to use for this recipe.
- Butter -- Make sure to use unsalted butter. Cut it into small cubes and keep it chilled until ready to use. You don’t want warm or melted butter.
- Shortening -- Same as with the butter, cut it into cubes and keep it chilled.
- Cold Water -- This helps bring the dough together. You’ll only need 2-4 tablespoons. Add an ice cube to the water to keep it cold.
- Salt -- You’ll just need a small amount of salt to add into the dough for flavor.
- Granulated Sugar -- This is optional but a little bit of sugar in the pie dough actually helps keep it tender and also enhances the flavor ever so slightly.
How to make Pie Crust
- Add flour, salt, and sugar into the food processor and mix. Then add in butter and shortening, and pulse just a couple of times.
- Add in the rest of the flour and pulse a few more times to combine.
- Move dough into a bowl and slowly add in water, just enough so it will form into a ball.
- Form dough into a flat circle, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, roll out the pie dough and press it into the pan.
- Trim the dough, crimp it, then place it back in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
- You can then continue on to use the pie crust, baking it as needed for your recipe.
How Long to Bake Pie Crust
Once your dough has been made and you’ve formed it into the perfect crust, you’ll need to bake it. Raw or undercooked pie crust is NOT SAFE to consume. But exactly how long to cook it depends on what kind of pie you’re making, whether you’re blind baking it or not, and the oven temperature.
Here’s a quick overview of baking times:
- Blind Baking (partially cooking, without filling): Cook at 425F for 12-15 minutes.
- Fully Baking (with filling): First, blind bake the crust as shown above. Then add your filling and bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes.
- Fully Baking (no blind baking): Cook the pie crust at 375F for 45 minutes.
When deciding how to cook the pie crust, the type of filling (cold/uncooked, cooked separately, cooked fully in the crust) will be the main factor to consider. Many pie recipes will require you to partially bake before adding any filling.
How do you prevent the crust from shrinking?
If your pie crust shrinks while cooking, it most likely means you didn't give it enough time to rest. The best way to prevent this is simply to give it the times it needs.
This is why you need to give it time to rest/chill in the refrigerator after you make the dough AND right before baking.
How do you make pie crust flaky?
My number one tip to getting a perfectly flaky pie crust is to make sure you don't overwork the dough. When mixing the dough, you should still see small pea-sized amounts of fat (butter and shortening) in there.
Keeping the dough cool will also help create a more tender, flaky crust. You don't want the fats to melt before they make it to the oven to cook, so be sure to put your ingredients/dough back in the fridge any time they start getting warm.
Can you make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this pie crust recipe ahead of time so that you have it ready to go when it's time to make your pie.
You have a few options for making and storing it:
- After making the dough, you'll press it into a circle and wrap it in plastic wrap to refrigerate. You'll need to let it chill at least 2 hours, but it can sit overnight, or up to 3 days.
- You can also go ahead and form the pie crust (or even blind bake it) and then store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- If you want to freeze it, you can either freeze the dough, or freeze the crust after blind baking (up to 3 months).
How do you crimp pie crust?
Creating that classic crimped/scalloped design around the edges of the crust is easy. Place your index finger on one side of the dough, then use the index finger and thumb of your other hand to "crimp" the dough from the other side.
You are basically just using one finger to push the dough while pinching with your other finger/thumb.
It takes a little bit of practice to get the motion right, but then it becomes really easy to do quickly.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- The food processor is doing the work of cutting the butter and shortening into the flour. You can do this by hand with a pastry cutter or two forks, but the food processor will save you some time (and energy).
- Use baking beads/pie weights (or use dried beans) to blind bake the pie crust. These act as weights to hold down the dough, keep it from moving or slipping, and prevent it from puffing up while cooking.
- Sprinkle your counter/surface with flour before rolling out the dough to prevent it from sticking.
- Use just enough water to bring the dough together. Too much water, and you'll need to add more flour to make up for it (which will lead to a tough crust). Not enough water, and the dough will be dry and start to crack while rolling it out. The latter can be fixed as you go, the former can't. So be on the safe side when adding water, just a little at a time.
- Ingredients and dough should be kept cold/chilled through this whole process. If things start getting warm, put it in the fridge to chill before continuing.
- The scalloped or "crimped" pie crust is a simple design to start with as a beginner, but you can make any crust "design" you like with this dough.
Easy Pie Recipes
Here are a few favorites:
Now that you know how to make pie crust from scratch, all your favorite pies are about to taste even better! This is definitely a baking skill I recommend learning, but don't stress.
Take your time, try it out, and keep practicing with this easy pie crust recipe.
More baking basics we love
If you make this recipe be sure to leave us a comment or rating. Enjoy!
How to Make Homemade Pie Crust
- 1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar optional
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter ⅜ cup, chilled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons shortening ¼ cup, chilled and cubed
- 2-4 tablespoons cold water I used 2 (note 1)
- Add ⅔ of the flour, salt and sugar into your food processor
- Pulse 1-2 times to combine
- Add the butter and shortening cubes evenly over the flour and pulse a couple of times until the dough starts coming together
- Add the remaining flour and pulse 3-4 times until the dough starts to crumble and breaking apart again
- Transfer dough to a bowl, add the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and press the dough with a spatula until it comes together into a ball (note 2)
- Press the dough into a flat circle, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in your fridge for at least 2 hours or over night (note 3)
- When it's time to bake, roll out the dough carefully on a lightly floured surface moving it in quarter circles with your hands while rolling it out. Sprinkle some flour on the surface when needed to prevent sticking
- Roll it out around 2 inches bigger than your pan
- Gently transfer it to the pan by adding some flour onto the surface and wrapping the dough carefully around your rolling pin
- Press it into the pan carefullly so it's sticking to the pan everywhere
- Cut of excess overhang with a sharp knife or some scissors, but leave around an inch
- Now roll the overlapping inch under itself to create a firmer and upstanding rim
- Use your index finger and the index finger and thumb from the other hand to crimp the dough to form a scalloped edge (note 4)
- Chill pie crust again for at least 15 minutes before going on.
- If partially baking (blind baking), cook chilled pie crust at 425F for 12-15 minutes without filling. You can use baking beads as shown.
- If fully cooking, start by blind baking, then fill with your filling, and cook at 375F for 15-20 minutes.
- If fully cooking WITHOUT blind baking, you can cook at 375F for 45 minutes.
- Note 1: Put an ice cube into the water to keep it ice-cold
- Note 2: Don't add too much water, the dough should just come together
- Note 3: It's important to not incorporate the fats too much into the flour, you want to see little fat speckles in the dough. These will cause the flakiness of the dough.
- Note 4: Of course you can also form other crust patterns.
- You can also prepare the dough by hand using a fork or a pastry cutter to evenly work the fats into the flour until you see pea size pieces of fat covered in flour.
- It's very important that the ingredients are very cold. As soon as it gets slightly warm, it needs to get back to the fridge to chill again.
- If the dough is too hard to roll out, let it sit on the counter for a couple of minutes. Too soft? Put it back into the fridge.