Homemade Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

An easy Homemade Flaky Pie Crust Recipe and tutorial to help you make the BEST and only pie crust recipe you’ll ever need!

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With the Holidays approaching I decided it was about time the star of my homemade pies finally had it’s very own post! This is the ONLY pie crust recipe I use for all my pies. (Did you know pies came to America with the Pilgrims! Keep that in mind next time you pass a man in a tall hat with a buckle!)

It’s the perfect crust for the beginner pie maker or novice! Join me for my step-by-step instructions and learn how to make your own pie crust this Holiday Season. It’s a lot easier than  you think!

Let’s do this!

Fluted Pie Crust in pie plate

How To Make Homemade Flaky Pie Crust

Making homemade pies can be intimidating…especially when it comes to the crust! Have no fear…I’m going to share with you some simple tips, and information, that will help you become an expert in the art of pie crust making. (Move over Julia…there’s a new kid in town!)

This recipe is for a single pie crust…however, you can easily double it for a double crust. (See…your Mom was right about multiplication!) 

Let’s start out with the supplies you’ll need before you begin…

  • Pastry blender
  • American or European tapered rolling pin
  • Metal dough scraper (optional in my ever so humble opinion)
  • Kitchen scissors
  • 9 inch pie plate or deep dish glass pie plate for fruit pies
  • Dough disc 
  • Pie weights for single baked crust

There are two steps you need to know about perfecting the art of “Flaky Pastry Dough”. 

  • The first step, is cutting the fat into the dry ingredients, with a pastry blender. The goal is to cut the fat, or Crisco, into the dry ingredients, leaving it in separate pieces, some fine and crumblike, the others larger, the size of small peas.  The reason for this is you are coating the flour with fat so that when water is added it will hinder the formation of gluten. 
  • The second step, is binding the dough together with water. The trick is to add enough water to make the dough stick together, but not enough to cause gluten to form which will make the dough chewy like bread. 
  • The Third step…and in my opinion the most important…DO NOT OVER HANDLE THE DOUGH! This is pie crust not bread dough! Big difference. 

Now that we have some of the basics about how to create a never fail flaky Pie Crust… let’s get busy!

In a medium bowl add 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon shortening! Unlike some recipes that use butter for the crust, shortening does NOT need to be cold when making a pie crust. Room temperature is fine.

I feel the same way about shortening as I do about Best Foods Mayonnaise. There is ONLY one brand to use! Crisco!!! Yes, you can use the buttery flavor, but honestly just good ol’ Crisco is best! 

TIP: Place the shortening in the bottom of the bowl with the dry ingredients on top. I like to use the Crisco sticks (you can see it peeking out at the bottom left corner of this photo). It is just easier to use and clean up is a breeze!! With the shortening on the bottom of the bowl, the pastry blender will go through the flour first coating it. 

Flour, salt and crisco for pie crust in bowl

With a pastry blender cut the Crisco/fat, into the dry ingredients forming that fine crumb as mentioned above. Remember some will be the size of small peas. 

TIP: Make sure all the Crisco has been cut into the flour by scraping the pastry blender along the bottom of the bowl.

crisco being cut into flour

Add 3 Tablespoons ice cold water into the center of the crumb mixture.

This next step is a “Norine Original”… Gently shake the bowl around until it begins to form larger balls of dough. By shaking the bowl there is less “handling” of the dough. This will help produce a flakier crust.

Pie crust ingredients after water has been added

Next, and again another “original” tip…ya just gotta trust me that this works…

Spread your fingers apart like a “rake” and gently rake the dough into a ball. I bet you thought I was joking. Pie dough is no joking matter my friends. This is serious business! These little tips I’m sharing with you will create the flakiest crust on earth!! 

Finger raking the dough

Gather the ball into your hands and press into a ball, making sure you’ve gathered all the crumbs together. The dough does not need to be chilled, but make sure that you do not roll the dough out next to a hot oven or the fat will begin to break down. 

Place the dough on a well floured surface. Gently press dough down and flip over so the flour side is up.

TIP: I use my dough disc to roll out my pie crust. There is a link below in the recipe card so you can purchase one if you’d like. I love my dough disc because the dough does not stick to the floured cloth surface!

Pie crust in a ball

Press dough down into a small disc and begin rolling the dough out. 

The secret to rolling dough is to lean into the pin rather than pressing down on it. The goal is to enlarge the dough, not press and crush it to death like a two year old sleeping with you in bed! (How does something so small manage to do that?!! They’re like mini steam rollers!)

Making sure you flour the rolling pin, roll the dough from the center out in all directions. Rotate the dough around so that you are rolling in the opposite direction as the previous roll. This will help create an even circle. Roll the dough about 3-4 inches larger than your pie plate.

Rolling out Pie Dough

Half way through rollin the dough out, I flip the dough over. You do not have to do this, I just feel it creates a nice even crust and bonds the dough from both sides. Remember to reflour your rolling pin.

To place the dough into your baking dish, gently and carefully fold the dough in half. I do NOT fold into quarters like most recipes state. I find folding it in half is good enough to make moving the dough easy and gives the perfect idea where to place the dough in the pie plate.

Place the fold of the pie crust in the center of the pie plate and gently lift the other half open and over the other half of the pie plate.

Placing pie crust in pie plate

Be sure to push the crust down into the pie plate.  Using clean kitchen scissors trim the crust about 1/2 inch to 1 inch from the edge of the pie plate.

Laying Pie Crust in pie plate

Tuck the over hanging crust under the top ridge of the crust. This little extra crust will create a beautiful edge to your pie.

Tucking ends under for pie crust edges

For a fluted crust, like the one in the photo below, press your thumb and index finger, on one hand, held about 1 inch apart, against the outside of the rim, then poke a “dent” through the space from the inside of the pie crust with the index finger (the pointer finger…just incase you’re trying to figure out which is your index finger) on your other hand.

Fluted Crust

For a “baked” pie crust, the type used for cream pies, be sure to poke the crust with a fork to prevent air bubbles during baking. You can also use “pie weights” to keep the crust in the bottom of the pie plate during baking.

For pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and other pies that will be baked with filling, you should NOT poke the crust. Same for a double crusted pie. 

For a double crust pie, you will double the above recipe, create two balls of dough. Roll one out for the bottom and fill the pie. Then roll out the top crust and place it over the top of the filling. Trim the edges leaving an inch overhang, tuck it under, and flute like the single edge crust.  Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar to create a beautiful topping for any fruit filled pie. 

You can also create pretty lattice work crusts by rolling the crust and cutting the dough into strips and weaving the strips over the top of the pie filling. 

Lattice Pie crust

As you become more familiar with Pie dough and feel more confident you can add details by using the left over scraps to create various designs.

It’s like play dough for cooks! (There will be no comments about how I like to play with pie dough at my age! lol)

Decorated Pie Crust

This is the BEST Pie Crust Recipe. It never disappoints. It turns out perfect every time. The layers of flaky goodness this crust creates is what all other pie crust recipes aspire to!

I know it seems ridiculously easy with just 4 simple ingredients that can be found in your pantry…but it’s all about the technique and using the tips I’ve shared with you to prevent the dough from forming gluten!

I’m sharing this recipe over on two of my favorite link parties. Click on the links to join the FUN! Meal Plan Monday and Weekend Pot Luck!

Here are some fantastic Pie Recipes you might enjoy with this recipe!

Thanks so much for stopping by my Nest today and I hope this step-by-step instruction to making pie crust was helpful! The printable recipe card is below. 

Happy Baking!

Norine's Signature and photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yield: One Single Crust

Homemade Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

Homemade Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

An easy Homemade Flaky Pie Crust Recipe and tutorial to help you make the BEST and only pie crust recipe you'll ever need!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon shortening, Crisco
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons ice cold water

Instructions

  1. Place flour, salt, and shortening in a medium size bowl. Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until mixture is a fine crumb with some pieces the size of small peas.
  2. Add 3 Tablespoons of ice cold water to center of the crumb mixture. Gently shake the bowl back and forth to form larger balls of dough.
  3. Spreading your fingers apart, "rake" the dough together, and gather into a ball. Press the dough into a ball and place on a well floured surface. Press dough down into a 1 inch thick disc.
  4. Flour the rolling pin and roll the dough into a large circle about 3-4 inches larger than your pie plate.
  5. Fold dough in half and carefully place in your pie plate. Placing the fold in the center of the pie dish. Unfold the dough and gently press down into the pie plate.
  6. Trim the edge of the crust about 1 inch away from pie plate. Tuck the overhanging edge under itself and rest on the rim of the pie plate. For a fluted rim, press your thumb and index finger, held about 1 inch apart, against the outside of the rim, then poke a dent through the space from the inside of the pie crust with the index finger of your other hand.
  7. Bake according to pie recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8 servings

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 71 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 134mg Carbohydrates: 12g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g

6 COMMENTS

  1. Nikki | 14th Nov 19

    You make the most amazing pies!! The secret weapon is this crust!

  2. Greg Pilgrim | 17th Nov 19

    Norine! I love a great pie crust for my pies but I’ve never used a dough disc for the wagon!
    I have to get one of those!
    I am going to use your crust method and recipe for my pies this Thanksgiving and I cant wait!
    I’ve always used butter, but you are right about having to keep it chilled when cutting it in.
    So man pies to make! The chuckwagon is gonna be workin overtime this year!
    Thk you good friend ! Always love your fixins…..and your humorous antidotes!
    Pilgrim

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 18th Nov 19

      Hi Greg!
      I love my dough disc! I’ve been using one for over 30 years…not this exact one. lol I have never had a pie crust dough stick to it and I love that I can just wash it when I need to for easy clean-up. I’m going to make it to the Chuck Wagon one of these days and have a “real meal” by the BEST Chuck Wagon cook in the country! Thank you for your support. It means the world to me and your humor brings a smile to my face every day!
      Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!
      ~Norine

  3. Donna Smith | 26th Nov 19

    When I try to pin this recipe, it will not post to my page. Anyone else having problems?

    • norine@norinesnest.com | 26th Nov 19

      Hi Donna!

      I’m not sure why that isn’t working for you. We just went and tested it and it’s working fine for us. Here is the direct link for the Pinterest pin…I hope this helps ya out. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/35325178315418444/ That should take you directly to the pin on pinterest. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have an AMAZING Thanksgiving.

      ~Norine

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