How to Make Pie Crust From Scratch

Have you been searching for the perfect pie crust recipe? Your search is over, you can finally relax and enjoy pie! Today I’m going to share with you where to find the best pie crust recipe and exactly how to make it. 

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

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What makes this the best pie crust recipe?

I searched and experimented and tried so many before I arrived at this one. For over a year I tried and tried new techniques, gimmicks, and recipes promising the best pie dough.

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 and pie art 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 also had to be made from simple, real food ingredients. I wanted to find a pie crust recipe without shortening or lard. Too many of my customers had a problem with one or the other. I needed it to be amazing using all butter.

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!


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 Cutter
  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 the original recipe calls for 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. MAKE IT BY HAND. 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. CHILL. 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. Really… THOUSANDS.

Where can I find the original flaky pie crust recipe?

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

Here is a link to the original recipe that solved my pie crust quest and the best pie crust recipe I ever found instead of writing it out for you.

(The recipe and video in this post are for a double batch. Trust me, you’ll need to make more than one pie.)

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.

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.

Here’s how I make the pie crust by hand

It’s a little painful to share because it’s my first ever YouTube video, but I really wanted to show you how easy it can be to make pie crust yourself.

Filmed this right at my kitchen table with my own equipment, just like no one was watching… Except I talk you through it… In sort of a monotone voice… But I think it will really help if you are trying to learn to make pie crust and not judging the poor lady trying to help aspiring pie makers make the world a more delicious place …  So, here it is, enjoy!

Double Batch Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

The best pie crust recipe made without shortening or lard.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword flaky pie crust, homemade pie crust, Pie Crust, pie crust recipe, pie dough
Prep Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Servings 4 crusts

Ingredients

  • 25 oz all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 sticks unsalted butter 20 ounces
  • ¾ cup cold water

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the large mixing bowl. Stir to mix well.

  2. Scoop approximately 1/3 of the flour mixture into the medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

  3. Cube the cold butter into the large mixing bowl with flour mixture. Toss the butter cubes to coat with flour.

  4. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using the pastry cutter. Rotating bowl and making sure the entire flour mixture is being incorporated

  5. When only pea sized pieced of butter remain the mixture resembles course crumbs, add the set aside flour mixture. Toss ingredients with spatula to coat and cut again until the entire mixture looks like course crumbs.

  6. Pour half of the cold water into flour mixture. Use the spatula or bowl scraper to moisten the flour using a folding motion to mix the dough by turning over and flattening the mixture. Add the rest of the water and continue using the bowl scraper or spatula to mix well. Dough is ready when it clumps together and hold its shape. No dry flour mixture should remain.

  7. Place the entire mixture in a gallon zip style bag or divide equally into 4 individual pieces and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. If you do not use it in 3 days, freeze it for up to 6 months for later use.

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?

Do you have any burning pie crust questions or comments about the recipe? Want to talk pie crust? Send me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

 

A pinterest image of a lattice crust pie for the best pie crust recipe

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