Truly the Best Pie Crust Recipe

Today I’m going to share with you where to find the best pie crust recipe, truly. It’s all the things that make pie = love to me! The big surprise is that the recipe isn’t mine! 

12 mini pies alternating hearts and lattice using the best pie crust recipe

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How do I know it’s the best?

Because I searched and experimented and tried so, so many before I arrived at this one. I had good and even great recipes that all of my customers and family were happy with, but I just wasn’t. 

For a year I tried and tried new techniques, gimmicks, and recipes promising the best pie crust, but this one won and I’ve never felt like I needed another.

After I started using this recipe, my pies became something special.

What I was searching for in a pie crust recipe

I had to have it seriously flaky, yet tender enough to cut with a fork. Still, not so tender that it seemed oily or soggy. The flavor had to hold its own because the crust is my favorite part of the pie.

For it to be my go-to recipe, it had to work for all types of pie. From hand pies to deep-dish pies as well as the cute little cut-outs and designs that I love to do, it had to be sturdy enough to do it all.

In addition, the recipe had to be easy enough to make that I could produce large batches with the same results as a small batch.

However, it had to be made from simple ingredients. I needed it to be amazing using all butter without having to use lard or shortening. Those two ingredients always feel a little controversial to me. I don’t mind lard, but I do mind shortening. Many people won’t tolerate lard, but don’t mind shortening. I just felt it was better to get rid of both.

My secret goal was for all of those people who say they only eat the inside of the pie and leave the crust behind not be able to help themselves.

Voilà! This is it. The search is over!


Where can I find this magical pie crust recipe?

I’m going to point you to the recipe that solved my pie crust quest and the best pie crust recipe I ever found instead of writing out a recipe for you.

I was agonizing over how to share it with you and then just decided the only way that I could feel good about sharing it would be to send you directly to the source.

J. Kenji López-Alt created the recipe and although I adapted it for my own use and I have a few rules I always follow, I have never needed to change the proportions of ingredients or the recipe.

Any changes I tried to make to the mixing method ended in sub-par results.

He nailed pie crust with this one and deserves a prize or something. A special pie crown? Idk, the man is a genius.

I’m telling you, just go to and follow his recipe here. If you are a food nerd, like me, and you have to know EVERYTHING you can about why something works, then read his extremely in-depth study in developing this recipe here.

What ingredients are in this pie crust recipe?

  1. Butter
  2. Flour
  3. Sugar
  4. Salt
  5. Water

That’s really it. The beauty of this recipe is that it all comes down to the order of operations AKA the science of the recipe. If you follow the directions exactly, the results are magical.

What equipment and tools are needed to make the pie crust?

  1. Large mixing bowl
  2. Small mixing bowl
  3. Kitchen scale
  4. Measuring cups and spoons
  5. Pastry dough cutter (or food processor)
  6. Spatula or bowl scraper
  7. Plastic wrap or gallon sized zip bags

If you don’t have a great pastry cutter yet or haven’t been happy with the one you do have, let me share my favorite with you! These blades don’t bend even when I cut nearly frozen butter or use it for hours and hours on end. It has a very comfortable grip too!

Here is my favorite bowl scraper. I used to use a spatula when I worked in the water, but after breaking my 3rd handle, my husband convinced me to give this a try.

My personal rules for making the pie crust

This recipe is truly the best pie crust recipe. I have tried it exactly as he makes it in the article and I have tinkered with it extensively. Here are my set rules when I make it:

  1. ALWAYS weigh the flour instead of using a measuring cup
  2. I exclusively use a pastry dough cutter to cut the butter into the flour. I’ve never been happy when I use a food processor. (I don’t know why and I do not think using a food processor is bad, I just have some sort of food processor learning disability.)
  3. DON’T TOUCH the pie dough with your hands until you are wrapping it up for the rest period.
  4. Never skip the rest period.

These rules make this the best pie crust recipe I have ever tried and I have made thousands of pies with my adapted version of the recipe. Really… THOUSANDS.

An adapted version of the recipe?

Every time I make another person’s recipe I end up tinkering with it. That’s called adapting. The adaptions I’ve made to this recipe over the years are not something that I feel will add to your pie crust quest and I think they may cause you more difficulty.

Therefore, I’m sharing with you the best pie crust recipe I’ve found. I encourage you to push its boundaries on your own until you reach your own adaptations that make it your special recipe too!

Baking the pie crust

After you learn to make the pie crust, you’ll need to know how to bake it so that your pies can dazzle all of your friends and family!

Baking Pie Crust is an in-depth guide to baking pie crust for a successful pie.
Also, if you are short on time, graham cracker crust can always save the day!


Questions or comments?

Do you have any burning pie crust questions or comments about the recipe? Want to talk pie crust? Send me an email or leave a comment.

a overhead shot of a pie with a fat lattice crust design made from the best pie crust recipe

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