Buttery, flaky homemade pie crust made with just four ingredients! This is my go-to recipe for every single pie that I make.
Confession time: growing up, I always used the premade frozen pie shells.
Even though I had never tried making pie dough at home, I had this innate fear of giving it a try. I always thought it would be so difficult to make, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
Nowadays, I make all my pie dough from scratch, and it's really a simple process — all you need is four ingredients and a few tricks up your sleeve. Plus, it tastes so much better when you make it yourself.
So, without further ado, let me show you how to make homemade pie crust!
What You'll Need
To make this pie crust, you'll only need four ingredients and just a few tools.
This is an overview of the ingredients for this pie crust and why they're important. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!
- All-purpose flour - Be sure to use the spoon & level method when measuring out the flour.
- Salt - Since we'll be using unsalted butter for this recipe, salt helps enhance the flavor of the pie crust.
- Cold unsalted butter - When making this recipe, you want the butter to be as cold as possible. The colder the butter, the flakier the crust! I typically like to cube the butter, then let it chill in fridge or freezer for fifteen minutes before making the pie dough.
- Ice water - As I mentioned before, when making pie dough, you want to keep the butter as cold as possible before it hits the heat of the oven. And the secret to achieving that is by using ice water! The ice is just there to keep the water cold, so you'll only need to pour in the water — not the ice.
Here's a list of the tools I used to make this recipe.
- Pastry cutter - When it comes to making pie dough, a handheld pastry cutter is your best friend. You can use it to cut the butter into the flour while still keeping large chunks of butter. And when you're making pie dough, you want chunks of butter to still be visible!
- Rolling pin - You can use any rolling pin you'd like, but I prefer to use a French rolling pin because it helps ensure that you roll the pie crust out evenly.
- 9-inch pie pan - This recipe will yield enough dough for two pie crusts. Typically, I'll use one pie crust for a 9-inch pie pan, and I'll use the other for the top (or freeze it for later).
How to Make Pie Crust
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Start by whisking together the all-purpose flour and salt.
2. Cut in the butter. Using a pastry cutter or food processor, cut in the butter until it is lentil-sized. You still want there to be some chunks of butter visible.
3. Finish making the pie dough. Pour in the ice water (just the water — no ice) and mix everything until combined.
4. Chill the pie dough. Divide the dough in half and shape it into two equal-sized disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap, then chill the dough in the fridge for at least two hours (or up to two days). You can also freeze the pie dough for up to two months.
5. Make your pie! At this point, you can use the pie crust in any recipe as needed. Each crust will be large enough for a 9-inch pie pan.
Tips for Making This Recipe
Here are a few tips to get perfect pie crust every time:
- Use a pastry cutter for the best results. When cutting the butter into the dry ingredients, I prefer to use a pastry cutter. It helps evenly distribute the butter and get the butter down to that perfect size. If you don't have one, you can use a food processor instead, but be sure to keep some chunks of butter in the dough.
- Start with less water and add more gradually. The amount of water that you need for your pie dough varies depending on where you live and the humidity. I recommend starting with ½ cup of water, and if the dough isn't hydrated enough, add in a bit more water a tablespoon at a time.
- The fridge is your friend. When making pie crust, it's always good to chill the dough more than you think is necessary. I chill my dough for at least two hours after making it, and I always chill pie crusts in the pan before baking them. This helps the gluten relax and prevents any shrinkage in the oven.
Common Questions About This Recipe
This homemade pie crust could not be more simple to make, and it only requires four basic ingredients: flour, salt, water, and butter.
Ice water helps keep the pie crust flaky by keeping the fat cold. That way, when the pie crust hits the heat of the oven, the butter melts and creates those tender, flaky layers.
Definitely! You can keep this pie crust in the fridge for up to two days, and you can even freeze it for up to two months. I love to make my pie crust ahead of time to make my life just a little bit easier later.
Yes, you can freeze the pie crust for up to two months. Before using the frozen pastry dough, simply transfer it from the freezer to the fridge the night before to let it thaw before using it. If desired, you can also freeze pie crusts directly in the pan — just make sure to wrap the pie crust well to avoid any freezer burn.
Make sure to generously flour your countertop and rolling pin when rolling pie dough out. I recommend rolling once, rotating the dough, then continuing the process to keep the dough from sticking to the surface.
How to Store & Freeze
To store: You can store the wrapped disks of pie dough for up to two days.
To freeze: This pie dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a frozen-safe zip-top bag before freezing. Before using the frozen pastry dough, simply transfer it from the freezer to the fridge the night before to let it thaw before using it. If desired, you can also shape the pie dough into a pie pan and freeze the pan itself — just make sure to wrap the pie crust well to avoid any freezer burn.
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