Have you ever made a pie crust from scratch? Is making homemade pie crust intimidating? If so, let me teach you step by step how to make pie crust with my perfect pie crust recipe that is light and flakey! You will feel like a pro and proud when your guests enjoy your delicious and flaky pie!
BAKING THE PERFECT HOMEMADE PIE CRUST
With the upcoming Holiday Season pending, I thought it would be a great time to share with you the Perfect Homemade Pie Crust Recipe. Not that I am biased or anything, but I feel like this homemade pie crust is the best homemade pie crust recipe ever, because it turns out so light and flaky with a rich buttery flavor and doesn’t feel heavy in your stomach like some other pie crusts can. Now YOU can make homemade pie crust from scratch with our step by step tutorial!
This is my Grandmother’s Pie Crust recipe and I remember watching her make this when I was young. Consequently I then learned how to make it with her and my own mother. She always made the BEST Apple Pie, which is still a family favorite and always makes me think about my sweet Grandma. Don’t you love how some recipes are a bridge to the past that you pass on to the future?
WHAT IS THE TRICK TO MAKING A GOOD PIE CRUST?
One of the biggest mistakes people make when making a pie crust from scratch is they mix the dough together too well and overwork it. The dough should be crumbly with some of the dough not completely mixed together. I never use a mixer or a food processor for my pie crusts. I always mix it by hand with a pastry cutter.
5 TIPS FOR THE PERFECT PIE CRUST
- cold butter flavored shortening that has been in the freezer or fridge (NOT room temperature or melted)
- your water must be iced and cold (remove ice before adding to dough mixture)
- if you have trouble with your pie crust being doughy or undercooked on the bottom of your pie you can blind bake your pie crust before adding the filling. Blind baking is a simple process. Simply cover the dough with parchment paper, fill with pie weights such or uncooked rice, bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
- Do not overwork your dough. This will make your crust rubbery rather than flakey. (See the tips above)
- Chill the dough before rolling it out. This will keep your shortening or butter crispier for a flakier crust.
(My Grandmother holding my Mother)
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO MAKING A FLAKY PIE CRUST?
Cold shortening or butter is the key to flaky crusts. Do not skip this step. You must put your butter in the freezer to get it nice and cold. I actually prefer to use butter-flavored crisco over butter when making my pie crust. I feel like it makes the crust flakier than butter.
TIPS FOR GETTING A GOLDEN BROWN PIE CRUST
The best tricks for getting a golden pie crust is to use a wash after your pie has been sealed and is ready to bake in the oven. Here are some ideas to get a prettier pie crust.
- For a glossy golden appearance, brush with an egg yolk that was beaten with 1 teaspoon of water.
- For slight shine, brush with milk or half-and-half cream or heavy whipping cream.
- For a crisp brown crust, brush with water.
- For a little sparkle, sprinkle with sugar or decorator sugar after brushing with one of the washes.
- You can also use an egg wash to give the final product a golden brown color that is slightly shiny. The most traditional egg wash, is made by whisking together one egg and a tablespoon of water. This will also give your baked goods a professional looking golden sheen.
DO I NEED TO PRE-BAKE THE PIE CRUST FOR PIES?
No. They should bake fine without doing a blind bake first. But if you do have a problem with your oven not baking the bottom crust well, you can do a blind bake first. (Process explained above).
You can also place a metal baking sheet under your pie so that the heat transfers into the bottom of the pie dish ensuring it cooks better.
Or use an aluminum or aluminum/steel pie pans, rather than glass or stoneware to bake your pie.
HOW DO I KEEP MY PIE CRUST SHELL FROM SHRINKING OR BUBBLING?
To keep your pie crust shell from bubbling you can add a few fork holes in the bottom of your pie crust.
If you are blind baking or pre-baking your pie crust you should definitely use some pie weights or dry beans to sit in the bottom of your pie crust to weigh it down when it bakes so it doesn’t shrink or bubble up during the baking process.
HOW TO FLUTE A PIE CRUST
Place your index finger against the inside edge of the pie crust. Using the thumb and index finger of the other hand, press the pie dough from the outside in towards and onto your finger so that it makes a bump. Continue around the rest of the pastry’s edge.
There are actually several different ways to do this. You can get creative! the above is the easiest and most common.
SUPPLIES FOR HOMEMADE PIE CRUST
- Mixing bowl
- pastry cutter
- pastry brush
- rolling pin
- glass pie dish
- stoneware pie dish
- metal pie dish
- pie weights
- parchment paper
- aluminum foil
- jelly roll pan
- glass measuring cup
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Apple Peeler and Corer
- Lemon Juicer
- Silicon Baking Mat
- Flour Sack Hand Towels
PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup Shortening (Butter Flavored Crisco) or Butter
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flours
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Vinegar
- 1 Egg (beat with a fork before adding to dough mixture)
- 1/2 cup cold ice water (without the ice)
HOW TO MAKE PIE CRUST
- With a pastry cutter, (I prefer that over a food processor like some recipes call for) cut the Flour, Butter and Salt together. This step is an important one. Be sure to cut it together well. You will not want to mix the dough much after this step so that you have a nice flakey crust. Handling the dough to much will result in a less flakey pie crust.
- Beat the Egg in a bowl until it is fluffy before adding it to the dough mixture.
- Add the Vinegar and cold water and then mix together with your clean hands just enough to combine. It should still be lumpy and contain coarse crumbs.
- Separate the dough into 4 equal sized balls. Set 3 aside.
ROLLING OUT HOMEMADE PIE CRUST
- Add one of the pie dough balls onto a smooth flat lightly floured surface and your rolling pin.
- Roll out pie dough into a very thin round disc pie crust. I like to roll it out onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper with some sprinkled flour. If you have trouble with the pie dough sticking to your roller, dust it with more flour.
- Flip the pie dough over a 9 inch pie plate and carefully peel away the parchment paper.
- Gently place the pie dough into the pie dish.
- Take a knife and cut away the excess pie dough overhang along the edge of the pie plate. Take the excess dough and add it to the other pie dough balls.
FLUTING THE HOMEMADE PIE CRUST
- NFlute the edges of the pie crust by pinching it together with your fingers. There are many different ways to do this. Experiment and find one that works for you!
- If you are baking a pie shell you will need to poke some holes into the pie crust with a fork.
- Line the pie with parchment paper and fill with some dry beans or pie weights to weigh down the pie crust so that it holds it’s shape while baking.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 375 degree oven if you are using this pie crust to make a pie with only a bottom crust that needs to be baked first. If you will be making an apple pie or a double crust pie do not bake the pie shell until you bake the WHOLE pie with the apple filling etc.
*You can also add another sheet of wax paper on top of the dough and roll out your crust between the layers of wax paper.
HOW TO MAKE A DOUBLE CRUSTED PIE CRUST
If you are baking a Double Crusted Pie, you will need to do the following…
1. Follow the instructions above and then roll out another round pie crust using the same directions.
2. Dip your fingers in some water and lightly rub them along the edge of the pie crust that is in your pie dish that has been trimmed (but not shaped on the edges). This is important to create a good seal between the top and bottom pie crusts.
3. Place your apple pie filling (or other pie filling) into the bottom crust and then place the upper shell on the top of the pie and then lightly press the top and bottom crusts together to seal them together with the water you rubbed along the edge.
4. Trim the excess pie dough with your knife.
5. Flute the edges of your pie crust with your fingers.
6. Rub some milk onto the top of the pie crust so that it turns a lovely brown color when it bakes.
7. Sprinkle a pinch of white sugar on the top of the pie.
8. To bake, simply follow the directions for baking your pie crust according to your recipe. (For example, our favorite Apple Pie recipe bakes at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then 45 minutes at 350 degrees).
HOW TO KEEP PIE CRUST FROM SHRINKING
You need to allow your pie dough to rest so that the gluten has time to relax which will help with keeping your pie crust from shrinking.
There are 3 main times your pie crust needs to rest:
- After mixing the dough: Once you have mixed the dough and shape it into a flat disk, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to rest until chilled for about 30 minutes.
- After rolling out the dough: Once you have rolled out the dough, let it rest for about 5 minutes. Then place it into your pie plate.
- After adding the filling (optional): This is the least important time. But if you have an extra 10 minutes to spare, refrigerate the pie crust once more after adding the filling before you place it in the oven.
There are some other tips you can do to further prevent your pie dough from shrinking.
1. Poke holes in your pie crust and use pie weights in the bottom of the pie plate if pre-baking your crust.
Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the crust. This will keep the bottom of the crust from bubbling up. The crust will expand to fill the holes while baking so you don’t need to worry about the crust having holes in it.
When pre-baking (or “blind-baking”) a crust before it is filled, it is very important to weight the crust down with pie weights so that it will stay in place and not bubble up. You can use pie weights that are specifically made for this purpose, or you can cover the pie crust with aluminum foil and then fill it with dried beans, which are a great and inexpensive alternative.
2. Avoid using glass pie pans.
Glass pans are much more slippery than their metal or ceramic counterparts. If possible, use metal or ceramic pie plates when baking pies with butter pie crusts.
4. Don’t overwork the dough
This is important for a lot of reasons. Try hard to only mix the dough as much as needed to get it to stick together. It’s ok if there are still a few tiny chunks of butter or fat visible. You just want to avoid overworking the dough as this causes it to get overly firm and also shrink.
5. Don’t stretch the dough to fit the pie pan
If you stretch the dough, it will stretch back while baking. So when you roll out the dough, be sure that it is large enough to drape into your pie plate and cover it without stretching.
BEST APPLE PIE RECIPE
Looking for our Favorite Apple Pie Recipe? It is so delicious and I bet you will gain a new love for Apple Pie! This is the recipe I used to fill this pie crust. It is a family favorite my kids get excited for every holiday season!
MORE PIE RECIPES
If you love homemade pie recipes, you might want to check out these delicious pies.
- Tollhouse Pie Recipe
- Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Buttermilk Pie Recipe
- Chocolate Silk Pie Recipe
- Coconut Cream Pie Recipe
- Apple Pie Recipe
- Strawberry Ice Cream Pie
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie Recipe
- Mini Pies
- Pecan Pie
- Chicken Pot Pie
HOMEMADE PIE CRUST RECIPE
Perfect Pie Dough Recipe
Is Making Homemade Pie Crust Intimidating? We Teach You Step By Step How To Make Pie Crust With Our Perfect Pie Crust Recipe That Is Light And Flakey!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup Shortening Butter Flavored Crisco or Butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Vinegar
- 1 Egg beat with a fork before adding to dough mixture
- 1/2 cup cold Water
With a pastry cutter, cut the Flour, Butter and Salt together. This step is an important one. Be sure to cut it together well. You will not want to mix the dough much after this step so that you have a nice flakey crust. Handling the dough to much will result in a less flakey pie crust.
Beat the Egg before adding it to the dough mixture.
Add the Vinegar and cold water and then mix together with your clean hands just enough to combine. It should still be lumpy.
Separate the dough into 4 equal sized balls. Set 3 aside.
Flour a smooth flat surface and your rolling pin.
Roll out pie dough into a very thin round pie crust. I like to roll it out onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper with some sprinkled flour. If you have trouble with the pie dough sticking to your roller, dust it with more flour.
You can also add another sheet of wax paper on top of the dough and roll out your crust between the layers of wax paper.
Flip the pie dough over a 9 inch pie plate and carefully peel away the parchment paper.
Gently place the pie dough into the pie dish.
Take a knife and cut away the excess pie dough along the edge of the pie plate.
Flute the edges of the pie crust by pinching it together with your fingers. There are many different ways to do this. Experiment and find one that works for you!
If you are baking a pie shell you will need to poke some holes into the pie crust with a fork.
Line the pie with parchment paper and fill with some dry beans to weigh down the pie crust so that it holds it's shape while baking.
Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
(makes 4 thin pie crusts or 2 apple pies)
Looking for our Favorite Apple Pie Recipe? It is so delicious and I bet you will gain a new love for Apple Pie!
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Would you like more Recipes, DIY, Printables and Organization Ideas?
Subscribing to the newsletter will enable us to periodically send you creative content exclusively for Idea Room subscribers.