I’m sharing my grandma’s homemade pie crust recipe! This is the perfect pie crust whether you’re making a strawberry pie, blueberry pie – or really, any pie! It’s a forgiving recipe, that creates a flaky delicious crust every single time.
I’m passionate about pie crusts. Yes, I said that. I grew up with a mom who made homemade pies for every occasion which means I’m spoiled and I cannot buy the stuff at the store and pretend it’s pie. Pie snobby? Maybe. But I think that everyone and anyone can learn to make a good pie crust with the right pie crust recipe. And it will knock your socks off. It will have everyone singing your praises. It will make you feel like Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker all in one. And, you’ll gain confidence in the kitchen you never knew you had.
Why Make Homemade Pie Crust
If you think store bought is just as good. Stop right there. You’ve not had a good pie crust like the one I’m sharing with you today. It’s my great-grandma’s recipe and I wouldn’t just share it with anyone – I’m sharing it with you. Because I believe you can do it! You can make that awesome cherry pie or pumpkin pie or apple pie that you’ve always wanted to make. The pie crust MAKES the pie. Repeat after me. The PIE CRUST MAKES THE PIE.
I told you I was passionate about this subject. 😉
If you’re still with me, let me walk you through making a pie crust. If you can make cookies, you can make a pie. This recipe is fool proof – it’s a start over I rolled that wrong – kind of pie crust that forgives all mistake and loves you to the very first bite.
You make it with love and all the right ingredients. And pies include the simplest of ingredients that you probably already have on hand. The key is using vinegar in this recipe. Why? Grandma always did and it works really well.
- all-purpose flour
How to Make Pie Crust
- First, in a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients of flour, sugar, and salt.
- After combining your dry ingredients you’ll cut in the COLD shortening. You want to cut in the shortening until it almost looks like you’re working with a floured ball of shortening. It will all stick together.
- Measure out your cold water and add the egg. Add your vinegar and mix until the egg is completely dissolved.
- Add the wet egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until just evenly combined.
- Wrap it all in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Shortening vs Butter
In this recipe, I prefer using shortening. Pies don’t need the added flavor of butter simply because your pie fillings are the star of the show. However, it’s very important to chill your shortening before adding to the dry ingredients to make it easier to incorporate. Placing it in the refrigerator the night before does the trick. If you’re like me and always forget, I throw it in the freezer for about an hour.
How to make a flaky crust
This is a pretty flaky pie crust but if you really want to up your flakiness, use pastry flour. I think the perfect combination for this recipe is 1/2 pastry flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour. Although most of the time I use all-purpose flour as that’s what I have on hand.
How to Roll Out Pie Dough
Step 1: Once your dough is chilled, you’re ready to roll it out into your pie crust. First, add a little flour to the surface you’ll be rolling dough onto. You’ll also need to flour your rolling pin. When rolling out the dough, you want to start in the middle and use even pressure towards the outer edges moving around like a clock. A pie crust should be about 1/8 of an inch thick. Get out the ruler if you’re not sure. If you mess up, this pie crust recipe is forgiving. Just start over. Once ready to add the crust to your pie plate, use the roller to roll it up so that you can move it easily.
Side note. I prefer using a rolling mat like this one to make this entire process easier.
Step 2: When you place your pie crust dough on your pie plate, you want to do so gently. No tugging needed.
Step 3: In fact to make your pie crust fit, you don’t want to push it down. You want to lift with one hand on the outside edge of the pie plate and then let the pie crust fall into the pie plate into place. If you push it down you can cause the dough to stretch which leads to uneven baking.
Step 4: Use a simple kitchen knife to trim away the excess pie dough. You can add it back into the main dough to make your next pie crust and topper.
How to Design Pie Edges
There are many styles you can go with. The fork method is probably the easiest and I enjoy the simple look of it. My mom says the fork method looks store-bought. Blasphemy! I say I don’t care because once you eat the pie, you know it’s homemade. You can also pinch it as you make the edges to give it a bit of a swirl. Pinch around one finger all the way around the pie. I tried to take a picture of this process but unfortunately, I don’t have three hands – two for the pie and one for the camera.
How to Make the Pie Topper
Roll out your dough as usual. Then use a bowl that is the size of the pie plate minus about 1 1/2 inches around. You can use a knife to cut it or a pastry wheel as I did.
The pastry makes you feel all fancy. Make sure to make a few wiggles to allow the pie to release steam during baking.
How long to bake the pie crust
How long you bake the pie crust depends on the pie directions. Some pies will call for your pre-bake the pie crust but most recipes will have you baking the pie crust along with the filling.
How to keep the pie crust from getting soggy
My grandma always poked holes in the bottom and added a tablespoon or so of flour. So, that’s what my mom and I do. I think that helps. I also always look at the bottom of my pie crust when baking to make sure it’s a light golden brown before removing it from the oven. Obviously, this can only be done when using a glass pie dish.
Can pie crust be frozen?
Yes. In fact, I have this frozen pie crust recipe in my freezer right now. I actually recommend you make the pie crust on a different day than you make the pie. It just makes life easier. This pie crust makes two pie crusts and two pie toppers so into the freezer one goes. All you need to do is freeze the crust in the pie pan. Put the topper on wax paper on top of the pie crust and make sure you use plastic wrap and a large freezer bag to protect it. The night before you’re going to make your pie, pop the frozen pie crust into the refrigerator to thaw.
If you’re never tried to make pie crust, this is your year. Have questions? Leave me a comment! One of the things I’m most looking forward to this Thanksgiving holiday is spending it with my husband’s family in Tennessee and making pies with my nieces. I’m excited to pass down this recipe to them.
And just in case anyone has a gluten-free member in their family. I have tried this recipe as is with gluten-free flour and while it’s not as good as regular flour (what gluten-free recipe is?), it was pretty good.
Pie Recipes to Make With This Pie Crust
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- No Bake Peanut Butter Pie Recipe
- Fresh Peach Pie Recipe – one of my personal favs!
Pie Crust Recipe
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups shortening chilled
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Blend together with a whisk.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut in 1 and ½ cups of chilled shortening. Shortening and flour should be well distributed.
- Crack an egg (cold from refrigerator) into ½ cup of cold water. Add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar and mix well with a fork.
- Make a dip in the center of flour mixture and pour in the egg/water mixture.
- Stir with a fork gently to blend wet and dry ingredients until just moistened and dough leaves side of bowl. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Roll onto a lightly floured pastry mat and create your pie crust.
- Bake crust according to pie recipe directions.