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

How to Make Pie Crust (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Fall is when we tend to make a lot of pies so I wanted to share my Master Recipe for Pie Crust to ensure you know how to make pie crust perfectly every time.

This recipe is the best I have come across in all of my years of working as a pastry chef. So it will be easy for you to recreate at home so you don’t have to buy pre-made pie shells in the supermarkets. Please don’t buy pre-made pie shells. They make my heart sad.

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Tips for Making Pie Crust:

  • Adding in liquid – 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.

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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.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Pie Crust Recipe
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 ⅓ cups (6 ½ oz/200g) 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 ¼ inch
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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71 Comments

  1. Sally on November 20, 2017 at 11:21 am

    A really excellent tutorial, Gemma. Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

      Thank you Sally, I appreciate your kind comment,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Tomas on November 4, 2017 at 1:58 am

    hello Dear, can you tell me if I could make this crust into a chocolate crust (like the one used for a black bottom pie) if so how would i go about doing so

    • Gemma Stafford on November 4, 2017 at 4:14 am

      Hi Thomas,
      Yes, this will be perfect for this recipe. Really the crust needs to be baked blind, that is without any filling. I use baking beans for this. These are ceramic beads, which you pour into the crust, which you have lined with baking parchment. You can use any dried peas or beans for this, when they are cold store them in a jar for the next time. This weighs the pastry down to give you a nice even shell. When it is almost baked you can remove the beans, and allow to finish baking to a nice color. 180C/350F, about 25 mins should do it.
      The ‘black bottom’ is made with dark chocolate, 70% ish works best, melt and pour over the base before carrying on to fill it.
      This recipe can be made no bake too by using a graham cracker crust, like you would for a no bake cheesecake.
      I forgot about this recipe, I must put it on my list, thank you for reminding me, good luck with this!
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Shanice Hamlet on September 2, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Hi it seems you like to try new things. Im from the islands of Trindad and Tobago and was wondering if you would like to try making a christmas favourite here. Its called black cake. Its made with fruits and rum

    • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Shanice,

      That sounds amazing. I’m going to look into that. Maybe I will have to go to Trindad and Tobago to try it :).

      Gemma.

  4. Krizia on August 14, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Hi Gemma!

    I learned a lot from your videos! It’s now my routine to check your channel for baking vids. May I request if you can create a vid on how to do egg pie and yema cake? thanks and more power!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 15, 2017 at 3:25 am

      Hi Krizia,
      There are so many types of egg pie! A custard tart is a sweet egg pie really, and a quiche, or quiche type bake, is also an egg pie.
      I have this on my to do list. The yema cake is a new one to me, but I have looked it up, will have to think how to make it big and bold, and doable too!
      Thank you for these great ideas,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Alison Gern on July 17, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    hey i have not tried it yet but i was wondering if i could use robin hood gluten free all purpose flour instead. Also does this pie crust work for lemon meringue pies.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2017 at 1:37 am

      Hi Alison,
      Yes! I really think this will be good for this pastry. You can make a small sample, this recipe is about proportions so it is easy to cut down. When you get this right you can use it for all and every purpose. Do let us know how it works, always delighted to get input for you bold bakers, particularly in the dietary need/preference area of baking.
      gluten is an enemy in pastry, it does not like to be overworked so that the gluten develops, so I think this will be good. The liquids may need adjusting, I really need to try this myself!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Ruqaiyah on June 5, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Hi there gemma
    I was wondering, as i live in a tropical country and i tried making pastry before and it didnt turn out fine as i rubbed the butter in the flour for too long and it made the pastry quite greasy and just horrible because the butter didnt stay cold. So i would like to use a food processor with your recipe and thus was wondering if it would work or not with your recipe.
    Thanks gemma
    Would love it if you replied ☺️?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 5, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Hi!

      So this is super common so you are not alone. And you are dead on that thew food processor will stop this form happening. I love to use the food processor to make pastry because it is fast and like you said you don’t have to touch the pastry making the butter warm.

      Just pulse a few times until the butter is in small bits then add the liquid. Once it starts to clump together you are done.

      Good luck 🙂

  7. Sharon on January 28, 2017 at 2:36 am

    I would like to know what kind of food processor is needed for making your butter and pie crust? I don’t want an expensive one. Thanks for your website. Very helpful.

    • Gemma Stafford on January 29, 2017 at 3:15 am

      Hi Sharon,
      You do not need a food processor for this. did you check out the video here on the website. I believe in using my fingers to make pastry most of the time, it is quick and easy and gives you a feel for the end result. You can also use a dinner fork to ‘rub’ the butter into the flour.
      When you buy a kitchen appliance it is best to buy the best you can afford. This means that you buy well, buy once. A good appliance will last your lifetime, and beyond, cuts down on environmental waste too! I use KitchenAid appliances, and Cusinart too, I need a selection as I use them so much. I use KitchenAid Torrents blender, which is really strong and perfect for me.
      Do not waste your money on cheap appliances, save up to get the best, then take care of them. This is my best advice.
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sharon on January 29, 2017 at 3:25 am

        Thank you for the quick reply. My question was rather misleading. Sorry. I wasn’t referring to the butter in your pie crust but to making your lovely homemade butter. When I was growing up my family got most of our milk from a local dairy farmer. Wonderful cream from the milk and she made the best butter. That’s why I was asking about the food processor.

        Thanks again Gemma.

        • Gemma Stafford on January 30, 2017 at 2:13 am

          Ah! Yes, there are many tutorials on this subject online.
          Using milk, you must remember that butter is the fat content of milk. Whole milk is about 3.5% fat content. Heavy cream is 49.4% at its’ highest.
          By taking the cream to make butter we are shortening the process. It would take many gallons of milk to get any useful yield of butter from milk. Then you would also have a whole lot of buttermilk to use, great if you use a lot of this too!
          Gemma 🙂

  8. Wen-Hsuan Hsu on January 3, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Thank you for the recipe 🙂 I’m trying to make a lemon tart with this crust~ but have no idea how long it should be baked ?
    I’m NEW to bold baking. Have a lot to learn ^^
    Thanks you so much!!!

    Shannon

    • Gemma Stafford on January 4, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Hi there,
      If you are blind baking (baking without a filling) you will need to weigh the pastry down with ‘baking beans’ to keep the shape of the pie, that is the first step. You must use a ‘cartouche’ which is a circle of paper, which fits into the pastry case, and fill this with the weight to the edges of the pastry case.
      You can use dry rice, dried beans, peas etc, or if you have ceramic baking beans these are perfect.
      you then bake this in a pre-heated oven, 180C/360F for about 25 mins. If oyu are further baking this you slightly underbake it, if not check the bake, remove the beans, and return to the oven until golden brown. Go back to the video before you start, this will help too,
      Happy Baking,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Rachel on December 23, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Hey Gemma, Rachel here! I love watching your videos! They’re all so tasty and yummy. 🙂 I’m new to baking and I would like to know if there is such an issue as “too much flour” because I’m afraid to put too much flour on the surface before rolling the pastry.

    Thanks!!

    • Gemma Stafford on December 24, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Hi Rachel,
      Yes, there is! Though if you get your paste right it will take only as much as it needs. So, sprinkle a little on the board, if it sticks when you are rolling it, you just add as much as it needs to stop it sticking. The biggest problem is in over-wetting the pastry, do watch the video a few times to see what it should look like, happy baking!
      Gemma 🙂

  10. JillyT on December 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Can I make a vegan version of this dough? Will a vegan margarine work? Love everything about your recipes 🙂
    Thanks
    Jilly

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Hi Jilly,
      I do not see why it would not work for you. The proportion is important, and keeping it cold is really vital. Give it a shot, even in a little quantity,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Blessy John on December 7, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Love ur easy recipes ….thanks…could you upload recipes using fillo/phyllo dough ?

    • Gemma Stafford on December 8, 2016 at 1:56 am

      Hi there, yes, this a great pastry, very useful. You can use this with my poptart and egg roll fillings too. I love it for samosa, I reall will get to this,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. veena on November 25, 2016 at 8:41 am

    hi Gemma,can i make the dough a day in advance.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Yes, this will be good, wrap it well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it 🙂

  13. Rachael curtin on November 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Does the dough bake better when frozen for 8 weeks? Just curious,i like to freeze my dough but never for that long.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 24, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Hi there, No, I hardly ever freeze dough, I prefer to chill it, and use it. It will keep for that tme, but the fresher the better 🙂

  14. Adrien on November 23, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Can you use a food processor to make the dough?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Hi Adrien,
      Yes, but you need to be cautious, do not over mix, so pulse it, it will be good,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Elena on November 22, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I need to bake this pie crust for filling that doesn’t need to be baked. For around how long would you suggest baking it and on what temperature?

    Thank you! 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on November 23, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Hi Elna, You need to bake this at 180c for about 30 mins. Blind bake it at first, using baking beans, then 10 more mins, without the baking beans. 🙂

  16. Dutch-Queen on November 19, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    what size is your recipe for? I want to order a form and there is 26 and 28 cm.
    Thanks and stay baking – the recipes are so delicious!!!
    Cheers
    Jacky

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Hi Jacky, this recipe will cover a 28cm pie pan. buy a loose bottom one if you can, then you can serve it out of the pan.
      Thank you for your kind words,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Jacky on November 20, 2016 at 11:09 am

        Thanks Gemma, that’s avery good idea!
        Cheers, Jacky

  17. Nicole on November 19, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Hi Gemma

    Am going to make your pie crust and cookie pie tomorrow. Let you know how it goes. Question for you. You know when you said blind bake. How long do you bake for normally whether savoury or sweet? and would baking it first and then filling it and baking again burn it?

    Thanks. ?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Hi Nicole,
      I usually blind bake for about 20 mins, this is to set the pastry, and usually then it is slightly brown at the edges. Remember we usually blind bake pastry which is going to hold a filling which needs a gentler heat, such as custards, like quiche for instance. This is why it will not over-bake. Otherwise we blind bake a shell to hold a filling which is already cooked, like lemon curd, and this time we bake it fully. So according to what happens next really!
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Wanda on November 16, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    I am wondering if you have tried whole wheat four or other types of flour for the pie crust?

  19. RoninElenion on November 14, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I tried it out today and it came out great! Thanks, Gemma.

  20. Ann on November 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Gemma! Amazing as always. Would leaving out the egg mage a difference?When are the results of the contest going to be announced?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 12, 2016 at 3:10 am

      hi Ann,
      The egg just enriches this pastry, making it ‘shorter’. you can leave it out, just be careful not to over wet it.
      I should have the contest results this weekend, the adjudicator is nearly there!
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Vipsa on November 10, 2016 at 3:56 am

    Room temp egg yolk?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 13, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Actually for this recipe it does not matter, it is there to enrich the dough. if you were going to whisk the egg it would be best at room temperature, Gemma 🙂

  22. Myca on November 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I dont have food processor…. any options? Im from philippines…. i like ur recipes…

    • Gemma Stafford on November 10, 2016 at 1:18 am

      I am not sure what you mean? this recipe (Pie crust) does not need a processor. Remember there were recipes before processors! You can generally make any recipe with a little elbow grease. Go back to this one, we did not use a processor 🙂

      • misty on December 23, 2016 at 12:36 am

        Ok this is what confusing me the recipe thats showing here for the pie crust shows its being made in a food processor so i think thats why the above person asked that question..when i looked at the video it shows you using your hands

        • Gemma Stafford on December 23, 2016 at 2:24 am

          Hi Misty,
          Yes, I usually use my hands for pastry, but it will of course work in the food processor, just not to over-process it, that is what matters. Happy christmas to you,
          Gemma 🙂

  23. Cat_erpillar on November 9, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Hey Gemma, this is Cat. I made an account just to submit the photo for this recipe. I tried this pie crust to make little strawberry jam tarts and turned out very well. It was enough for 15 little tarts with this measurements. Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 10, 2016 at 1:46 am

      H Cat, well I am delighted to have you with us, and I am happy that you submitted a photo, this is a great encouragement for other bold bakers, well done you 🙂

  24. Gitanjali on November 9, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Hi Gemma, I tried out this recipe today without the eggs and I used the crust to make some mini apple pies. Oh my gosh! it was so light and flaky and buttery. I absolutely loved this recipe. Just like all your recipes, this one was easy, simple an absolutely delicious. xoxo 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on November 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

      H ithere, yes, that is the idea. The old fashioned version of this would not have used egg, the egg enriches it and makes it tender. I am happy that you had good results with this 🙂 Gemma

  25. caroshina on November 8, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Thank you, Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      lol, thank you :). P.s if you roll it out and line your tin you can pop it in the freezer just like that. Then it’s ready to go when you are.

  26. caroshina on November 8, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Have needed this crust for a while now- it makes me sad to have to rely on packaged, frozen crusts for the grocery. Thank you, Sweet Lady Gemma for your hard work in developing these wonderful recipes!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 9, 2016 at 1:55 am

      Ah! I am happy that you like this one. This is such a staple, the first thing I learned to bake with my Mum at about 9 yrs old. You can change this easily to savory too by leaving out the sugar, and even leave out the egg, adding a little more cold water. Pastry has two enemies, too much water, and over-handling. Be quick with this, if you have a warm kitchen, or hands, use a fork to mash in the butter, and rest it well in the fridge before baking, Gemma 🙂

  27. Pamela Joan Jacobs on November 8, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Thanks so much

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 3:05 am

      Thank you 🙂

  28. Sara on November 7, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Hi, I am a recent but huge follower . I made a pie crust but it was a bit too flaky , more like a cracker . ….what might have I done wrong ? Any suggestions please .!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 2:29 am

      Hi Sara, like you grated in the butter, or did not rub it in far enough. This pastry should be more like shortcrust, buttery, tender, but not flaky!
      Do try this again, it is a great staple. Leaving out the sugar, and egg yolk will give you a great savory pastry too. This was one of the first things I learned to make with my Mum when I was about 9 yrs old, it is worth getting it right!
      Gemma 🙂

  29. A on November 7, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Hi,

    Could you do the rubbing in butter stage and adding liquid to form a dough in a food processor?

    Thanks for all your videos!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 2:38 am

      The problem is that it will over-mix a bit. You will not spoil it, as the ingredients will still be there. you will need to rest it before using. If you are happier to do this, you may. It can also be ‘rubbed’ in with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer 🙂

  30. Lamia Atallah on November 7, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Gemma. Thank you so much for your excellent recipes. I am one of your followers. I copy every single recipe you email me. I need your help desperately. I have a recipe called in French (Sables) . I checked many recipes to find it but every one was different from the other. The one I have call s for
    Flour+sugar+egg yolks +butter. The recipes I found call for whole eggs. Please tell me which one is the right one. I have all the trust in you. and if you have a recipe for the Sables please email it for me.
    Always thankful.

  31. jamjax812 on November 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    After trying your pumpkin pie in a mug, I thought I’d never need to roll piecrust again! (TBH made me a little sad, I love pastry lol so thanks for this Bold Basic)

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 2:59 am

      Yes, get this one down, you will have it for life! 🙂

  32. Billerica on November 7, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I’ll have to try your pie crust recipe. Thanks I love mug recipes. Audry Putnam

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 3:01 am

      I am happy to hear that, it is a good one to have in your repertoire 🙂

  33. Sufyan Majeed on November 7, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Can you make chocolate pancakes?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Hi there, sure, check out the pancake recipes here on the website too 🙂

  34. Gerry on November 7, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Is this a single crust recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 8, 2016 at 3:08 am

      hi Gerry, yes it is. You can multiply this up if you wish to make a tart, so that you get base and lid. Just keep the proportions in mind, Gemma 🙂

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