Homemade Pie Crust Recipe – it can be the star of your Thanksgiving dinner or a complete disaster! I have the BEST recipe for homemade pie crust you will ever make. I found this one years ago from Cooks Illustrated and it change my fear of making my own pie crust into a love for it. It turns out light and flaky every single time. I make the pie dough days ahead of time, keep it in the refrigerator and roll it out when it is time to bake my pies for holiday dessert.
I know there are homemade pie crust purists out there that believe the dough should only be made using real butter. While that may give you a great flavor, only using butter in your crust will result in a pretty dense end result. You need both butter and vegetable shortening. You get the killer flavor from the butter, while the shortening gives you the flaky, individual layers of pastry.
Another key element to the perfect flaky crust is keeping the dough cold. Touch the dough as little as possible and when you do, use your fingertips instead of the palm of your hands which are hotter. Don’t be afraid to put your assembled pie into the fridge to chill the dough before putting it into the oven. Remember, cold butter and shortening = light and flaky crusts!
If you don’t already own a copy of my favorite cookbook of all time from Cooks Illustrated, spend a few bucks for this encyclopedia of cooking and baking. That test kitchen is hallowed ground in my opinion and a vat of culinary knowledge you can apply in every recipe you come across in your kitchen!
Do you need another great recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas? These Praline Sweet Potatoes are our favorite side dish for the holidays!Print
A perfectly light and flaky pie crust recipe from scratch that is easy to handle and makes the best double crusted pies!
- 2 1/2 C flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tb sugar
- 1/2 C shortening, chilled
- 12 Tb unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 6–7 Tb ice water
- Process flour, salt and sugar in food processor. Add shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and cut into the mixture until butter pieces are no bigger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses.
- Sprinkle ice water over the mixture and pulse until a dough ball just begins to form. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and using your fingertips, knead lightly two or three times to bring into a ball. Wrap ball in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk shape. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.
- Cut the dough in half and roll out the two circles of pie dough. Use in your pie recipe as needed. Keep the dough as cold as possible while preparing it. The colder your dough when it goes in the oven, the flakier your crust will be!