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How to make the Best Ever Pie Crust - The only recipe you will ever need

How to Make Pie Crust

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Learn How to Make Pie Crust from my step-by-step pie crust recipe so you’ll have the best-ever pies this holiday season or anytime of year!


Hi Bold Bakers!

Fall is when we tend to make a lot of pies, so I wanted to share my master recipe for How to Make Pie Crust to ensure you know how to make it perfectly, every time.

This recipe is the best I have come across in all of my years of working as a pastry chef. It will be easy for you to recreate at home, too, so you don’t have to buy pre-made pie shells in the supermarkets anymore.

Please don’t buy pre-made pie shells. They make my heart sad.

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Tips for How To Make Pie Crust:

  • Add liquid bit by bit. All flour absorbs water differently, so you might need less or more. You don’t want wet pastry.
  • Leaving the egg out — Replace the egg with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Egg makes it richer but if you don’t eat eggs, use water.
  • Don’t freak out — If you think you pastry is too dry, keep on bringing it together with your fingers. Take care not to add too much liquid.
  • Refrigerate before rolling — Wrap up and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. This will help the gluten relax and it will be easier to roll.
  • Freeze the pie crust — Freeze for up to 8 weeks. Roll out your pie crust and place it in the tin. When ready to use take out of the oven and bake directly from frozen. If you are using it for a pie that normally needs to be baked blind just bake it as is, with no beads or beans. Just bake the crust from frozen, eliminating the task of blind baking ever again. Yay!!!
  • Using for savory — Leave out the sugar and this pie works great for savory pies also.

[ Get ready for Apple Pie by making your filling in your Crock Pot! ]

Why does my pastry shrink?

You are not alone here! This is a really common problem and, luckily, the solution is simple. The answer is too much WATER! Adding too much water to your pastry will cause your pastry to shrink. Think about it! When water heats up it evaporates. So in terms of pastry, that mean’s when you go into the oven, the heat makes the water in the crust evaporate, which in turn causes it to shrink. Makes sense now, right?

The solution is to just add the minimum amount of water that you need to pull your dough together into a ball. If it seems like it might be a tad dry don’t freak out and lash in water. A fun fact about pastry is that it expresses water once it rests, so it will actually get wetter as it sits in the fridge for its resting period.

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Why is my pie crust soggy?

This is not something you have done wrong, it just depends on what type of pie you are making. When it comes to How to Make Pie Crust, Quiche, Apple Pie, and pies with wetter filling can have a tendency to have soggy bottom. If you want to avoid this, you can blind bake your pie crust. This simply means laying parchment in your pie crust and filling with dried beans or lentils to weigh it down as it bakes. Bake it until partially good (or fully cooked depending on the pie you are making). This will give you a crisper pastry in the end.

Once you master this Homemade Pie Crust, your holiday season will become much easier. Use this Homemade Pie Crust for my Homemade Pumpkin Pie and my Pecan Fudge Pie.

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4.45 from 87 votes
How to make the Best Ever Pie Crust - The only recipe you will ever need
Pie Crust Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Learn How to Make Pie Crust from my step-by-step recipe so you'll have the best-ever pies this holiday season or anytime of year!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 pie crust
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 1 ⅓ cups (7½oz/213g) all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 7 tablespoons (3 ½ oz/100g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk*
  • 2- 3 tablespoons cold water
Instructions
  1. Put flour, butter, icing sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until fine crumbs form.

  2. Mix together the egg yolks and water and add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Pulse until a dough forms, around 10 seconds.
  4. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before rolling.

  5. Roll on a floured surface to fit your tin or pie dish. A good thickness is 1/4 inch.

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

The pastry can be frozen for up to 8 weeks

if you don't eat eggs then leave the egg yolk out and add 2 tablespoons of cold water instead.

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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272 Comments

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  1. Kristian Moyers on September 18, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Greetings Gemma!

    I want to ask if I can use the grated frozen butter method for this recipe like in some of your other recipes, or if the butter needs to be rubbed in with some bigger pieces than the grating would yield?

    Thanks always for your advice!

    • Gemma Stafford on September 19, 2019 at 4:29 am

      Hi Kristian,
      grated butter creates a different effect in the pastry. The frozen butter creates steam, which forms pockets in the pastry, hence the ‘puff’.
      This is a good lid for a pot pie, or for an apple pie or such.
      The other pie crust is a shortcrust, butter needs to be rubbed in, to form a case for pies, etc. You can grate the butter for sure, then use a dinner fork to do the rubbing in, that really helps when you need to work fast or it is a warm kitchen, or you have warm hands.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. SUZANNE QUALLS on September 5, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Regarding your pie crust recipe. Does this make crust for just the bottom or will it make a top crust too?
    Thanks,

    • Gemma Stafford on September 8, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Suzanne. The recipe is just for one pie crust bottom.

  3. SUZANNE QUALLS on September 5, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Hi Gemma,
    I just read your pie crust recipe which fits a 9″ pie pan. All of my aluminum pie pans are 10″. How would I adjust the recipe to fit well in a 10″ pan with a double crust??
    Thanks for your help.

    Suzanne

    • Gemma Stafford on September 8, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      I suggest you try making the recipe twice and see if it’s enough to cover your pie. Let me know how you get on. Thank you for being here.

  4. mikala on August 12, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Gemma
    Awesome pie crust. Easy to put together… Easy to work with.. and sooooooooooo flaky.
    thank you !!!
    I also substitute half of the all purpose flour with oat flour.. so good.

    I am so excited to see book… already pre ordered it..

    • Gemma Stafford on August 12, 2019 at 8:21 pm

      Yay!!! I’m thrilled to hear that!! Thanks for letting me know you were successful.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  5. Jess on August 4, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Would it be alright if I used regular white sugar instead of icing sugar, Gemma? I currently do not have powdered sugar in my pantry. Thank you loads! ????

    • Gemma Stafford on August 4, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      Yes Jess in this recipe that is perfectly fine to use regular sugar.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  6. Smutek on July 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Gemma 🙂

    So shall I use a food processor like you say here or use my hands like in a video?
    Please advise, thank you very much!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2019 at 1:57 am

      Hi there,
      I prefer to use my hands. The secret is to work fast and keep things as cold as you can. If you use a table fork then you will keep the butter cold, it is a trick from my mum!
      Do not over wet the pastry, or over mix it, and then rest it in the fridge before you roll it, that is it!
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Megan Williamson on June 16, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Gemma
    If I want to just make a basic stand up hand held meat pie ..
    I use the pie base for bottom and your puff pastry for the top ?
    Or can I use the pie base for top as well ?
    Also does your puff pastry recipe need to just be rolled out and used

    Really want to make some Cornish pasties with it .. we are mad for them here in Melbourne !!????

    • Gemma Stafford on June 17, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Hi Megan, you can use my recipe here for savory pop tarts. I suppose a hand held meat pie would be the same https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/savory-pop-tarts/

      • Megan on June 18, 2019 at 3:44 am

        I was thinking more of a pie that is high !
        I thought the puff pastry would fall apart with a heavy filling ?

        • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2019 at 12:04 pm

          Hi Megan,
          if this is a savory pie then the crust traditionally used for that is a hot water crust, not tender, but firm and able to hold its shape. This would be used in meat pies, designed to be eaten cold, such as pork pies, or in game pies, not so much made these days. If you google this ‘Hot Water crust’ you will find a recipe from Mary Berry, a traditional Chicken, and Ham pie by this great British baker.
          Puff pastry will handle a shallow pie well, but it is best used as the top of a pie, it does not like to be wet.
          Shortcrust pastry is more forgiving, but it depends on the filling.
          I hope this will help,
          Gemma 🙂

  8. Megan on June 16, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Gemma
    If I want to make a traditional hand held pie
    Would I make your pie crust and your puff pastry top

    Also when making the puff pastry .. does it just need to be rolled out when ready to use??
    Or does it need to be turned over and over and over ??
    Thanks

  9. C on June 3, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Gemma, quite a silly question.. I need 2cups (300g) of flour with this, I will need 150g of butter, right? Thanks..

    Also, I’ve seen a technique by Anna Olson to put some oil on the flour before combining it with the butter to coat the flour from sticking with the butter, have you tried it? Many thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Carla,
      I would use 155g – 170g of butter to 300g of flour, just a touch more than 1/2 butter to flour.
      I have never heard of that technique Carla, not too sure about the science behind it. Shortcrust pastry is so traditional, proportional, and easy to do, the water element is really important, too little and it will crumble, too much and it will be tough. It is often best mixed with a dinner knife, to allow you to keep good control of the process.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

      • C on June 6, 2019 at 8:00 pm

        Thank you so much Gemma.

  10. C on June 3, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Gemma, I tried this and it tastes so good. However, its almost like melt in the mouth pastry, so crumbly and not strong enough to hold the filling (young coconut custard). I think I did all.the notes above, would you know any reason why it happened? I really wanna try it again.. 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on June 4, 2019 at 11:55 am

      Hi Carla,
      I think there was not sufficient water in the mix. Did you use a mixer to make it? If you over mix this type of pastry it will bind with just the fat, and then it will be very ‘short’ and crumbly, lovely for some things, but not as a case for a custard.
      This is my best guess, I hope I am right, that young coconut custard sounds divine!
      Gemma 🙂

      • C on June 5, 2019 at 5:14 pm

        Hi Gemma, you’re right – I might have overmixed it- it bind just after the butter and egg.. then really a little bit of water. I’ll will definitely try it again. Thank you so much for all the help! 🙂

        • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2019 at 11:09 am

          Carla, I have done this myself! more than one time too. Do try it again,
          Gemma 🙂

  11. Nabila on May 21, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Hi Gemma, can I use cold milk instead of cold water? Will it affect the afterwards result?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 21, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Hi Nabila,

      Yes absolutely you can use milk. That will work fine.

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

  12. C on April 21, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Hi Gemma, it’s difference from your puff pastry recipe are the sugar, frozen butter and lemon. Sorry for this question but may I ask when to use this Pie recipe and Puff Pastry recipe? Tnx

    • Gemma Stafford on April 22, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Hi, the pie crust recipe is best or pies that are filled, hand pies & pop tart. Puff pastry usually lends itself to different shapes and kinds of filling, it can also be used to make croissants and this that have no filling.

  13. Kara on April 5, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Can you use a whole egg or does it have to be just the yolk?

    I don’t want to waste the whites.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 6, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      Kara, put the whites in a ziplock bag. Mark on the bag how many there are and pop them in the freezer.

      Then later when you need egg whites for your recipe just defrost and use as normal. I do it all the time.

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Kara on April 6, 2019 at 11:22 pm

        Thank you for the advice!

        On a side note, can you use Egg Whites in Egg wash too?

        • Gemma Stafford on April 7, 2019 at 1:32 am

          Hi Kara,
          Yes, egg whites will be perfect as a wash. Whisk it with a tiny touch of water to loosen it, a teaspoon or so of water will do it for you.
          Gemma 🙂

  14. Fran Rairdon on April 1, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Gemma, I have a rolling pin question. I have to retire my old rolling pin that is older then I am. It was my moms, the kind with handles and ball bearings. I just purchased a solid wood one.
    Do I need to cure it or pre treat it before use?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 2, 2019 at 10:27 am

      Hi, no need to cure it! You can use it as is!

      • Fran on April 2, 2019 at 11:00 am

        Thank you Gemma. I was afraid of ruining it before I had a chance to use it.
        I also tried the sour cream pie crust recipe I sent to you and it came out great. I used it for homemade chicken pot pies.
        Thanks for all your amazing tips.

        • Gemma Stafford on April 3, 2019 at 2:15 am

          Thank you Fran, I cannot do it without you,
          Gemma 🙂

  15. Kesia on April 1, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Hey Gemma,
    For how long should this pie crust be baked and at what temperature?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 1, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Hi, you dont need to blind bake this crust.

  16. seema on March 19, 2019 at 2:44 am

    hello Gemma
    love the recipe but can you suggest the vegan version also
    thanks

  17. Monika on March 16, 2019 at 8:41 am

    HI Gemma, what temp did you bake the pie crust and for how long?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 16, 2019 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Monika,

      Around 350oF for roughly 25 minutes but it really just depends on the pie you are making.

  18. Fran on March 13, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Gemna, have you seen the recipe that calls for flour, butter ,sugar,salt and sour cream? Have you tried it and do you like it?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      No, I haven’t even heard of that but it sounds awesome. I’ll have to keep an eye out for a recipe.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  19. Ruth on March 13, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Is “icing sugar” the same as powdered sugar?

    • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Ruth,

      Yes it’s the exact same.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  20. Freya on March 3, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Oh man! I loved this recipe, the remain of the dough, works perfectly for cookies. Keep doing this, U R great!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

      THANK YOU, great job!

      • Karen on March 13, 2019 at 12:46 pm

        Hi Gemma,
        I don’t have a food processor .. what to do?

        • Gemma Stafford on March 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

          Hi Karen,

          You can make it by hand no problem. All that info is in the recipe and in the video.

          Best,
          Gemma.

  21. Kinjal on March 1, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Hi Gema,
    Can you please make video for fruit pie ? I see you don’t have any recipes for pie with strawberry filling and fruits on top. Or if I miss it please share the link. Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 1, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      Hi there, ill have to work on that recipe, thank you!

  22. Moggiemama on February 21, 2019 at 10:49 am

    This was stellar for my pecan pie recipe. A question for Gemma: Do you think this recipe will hold up for savory hand pies?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 21, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Hi, yes i use this for savory recipes too, i just leave out the powdered sugar. Enjoy!

  23. Vipsa on February 11, 2019 at 7:33 am

    What should be the size of pie tin to cover bottom as well as top? Also, once chilled for an hour, how long can we put it in fridge? And last one(I promise), how to proceed once it has been frozen rock solid? Thanks Gem!????

    • Gemma Stafford on February 12, 2019 at 9:52 am

      Hi, this is great of a 9 inch pie pan. It can stay in the fridge for 1-2 days but after that i would suggest freezing it. From frozen, you can thaw it in the fridge and use as directed. I hope that helps, enjoy!

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