Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

Make The Flakiest, Buttery Pie Crust Recipe Every Time

4.52 from 146 votes
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!
How to make the Best Ever Pie Crust - The only recipe you will ever need

Hi Bold Bakers!

Fall is when we tend to make a lot of pies, so I wanted to share my Best-Ever, Buttery Pie Crust recipe which is also my master recipe so 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. It will be easy for you to recreate at home (also see my step-by-step video for guidance) 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. And when making crust for your pies is this simple, there’s no excuse not to — because in no time you can have the right crust for pies like Blueberry Pie, Best-Ever Pecan Pie, or even my Classic Cherry Pie.

Using Butter vs. Shortening

I’ll be honest with you, growing up in Ireland we never used shortening. It’s not really used for anything over there unless it’s a commercial production, because it’s made from oil and therefore cheaper (and lower quality). I know a lot of people swear by it here in the states, but I’m going to make this argument: Butter is fat made from cows and the best choice for quality and taste!

What you Need to Make Pie Crust

My Homemade Pie Crust, before baking, with the word "PIE" poked into it.

How to Make Homemade Pie Crust

Making pie crust is so easy that you’ll wonder why you’ve been buying it pre-made all this time. One of our team members use to do this, now he refuses to make pies any other way than using my techniques. Here’s how to do it two ways: using a food processor & by hand (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. In a food processor, add your flour, butter, icing sugar, and salt. Pulse into fine crumbs form. (You can also make this by hand, just rub the COLD butter into your dry ingredients until it forms a coarse breadcrumb-like consistency. And, don’t worry about having uniform lumps!)
  2. In a separate jug, mix together the egg yolks and water then add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Pulse in the food processor until a dough forms, around 10 seconds. (Once again, you can do this by hand by combining everything and kneading just until the dough comes together.)
  4. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before rolling.
  5. Roll out your dough on a floured surface to fit your tin or pie dish. A good thickness is ¼ inch.
  6. Bake at 180C/350F depending on how you are using it, as per the recipe.

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 freezer 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, like pot pie.

[ Gluten-Free? Make my Flakiest Gluten-Free Pie Crust! ]

Why Your Pie Crust Shrinks

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 means 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.

A close up of my pie crust recipe to show texture and color, and the scalloping design.

Avoiding A Soggy Pie Crust

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 a pie crust, Quiche, Apple Pie, and pies with wetter filling can have a tendency to have a 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.

Get More Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Pie Crust Recipe

4.52 from 146 votes
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!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 pie crust
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!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 pie crust

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

  • Put flour, butter, icing sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until fine crumbs form. [If making this by hand, combine the butter with the dry ingredients with your fingers until you reach the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs.]
  • Mix together the egg yolks and water and add to the dry ingredients.
  • Pulse until a dough forms, around 10 seconds. [If making by hand, knead until the dough just comes together into a ball and there's nothing left in your bowl.]
  • Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before rolling.
  • Roll on a floured surface to fit your tin or pie dish. A good thickness is 1/4 inch.
  • Bake at 180C/350F depending on how you are using it, as per recipe.

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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10 months ago

Gemma,
So, if I wanted to make chicken pot pie, would this be the same recipe, minus the sugar? I realize I’d have to make a double batch for the top and bottom crust, would this one work?
Thanks.

Sia
Sia
2 months ago

Hey Gemma,
Is it important to add icing sugar? Is there a substitute?

Kriiaki
4 months ago

Amazing recipe!!! So good and flaky. This is THE recipe for pie crust you don’t need to use any other. Works totally great with salted butter( I didn’t have any other) . I made strawberry pie and apple pie and they both turned out delish! Thanks you so much Gemma. During this pandemic you are a absolute life saver when it comes to making quick and easy food!♡♡

JillBSquared
JillBSquared
17 days ago

Love your recipes. Can this be doubled, and if so do the measurements stay the same x2? Thanks!

Sheetal Doshi
Sheetal Doshi
1 month ago

I don’t eat eggs, what can be a substitute for eggs wash? And please share proper measures in grams.. And I don’t want my pie to b soggy,, what can be done? Please reply earliest.. I want to bake today evening..

Ayesha
4 months ago

This pie crust was just great. Did it without a food processor, and used it to make mini pies with cherry filling. It made 8 mini pies.

Jenny Mercado
Jenny Mercado
25 days ago

I made empanada with this crust and it was a hit …. thanks so much Gemma

Angelica G.
Angelica G.
1 day ago

I used this recipe yesterday to make an apple pie. It was my first time ever making pie. I made a double batch, chilled it for 2 hours, and did a lattice top. Thank you so much. It was easy and turned out beautifully. Now I want to bake more pies hahaha

Wonderful recipe. Finally a flaky crust with butter and no shortening. But something funny happened- my 3 year old had dumped some of the flour out of the bin and replaced it with powdered sugar. I had no idea. I was making the crust for a savory dish. What a surprise the family had when we took our first bite – sooooo sweet!!! Blessings

Barbara Chlebowy
13 days ago

What is icing sugar? Regular granulated sugar or powered sugar?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

Buy the Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook by Gemma Stafford