Homemade Pie Crust

filed under: Dessert · Pies + Tarts on October 23, 2020

Addicting and easy to handle, this Homemade Pie Crust will be your go-to pie crust recipe. Despite how you use it – hot pies, cold pies, or hand pies – you’ll get a delicate flaky holding vessel every time! Try the crust in my homemade Pecan Pie Recipe.

Homemade Pie Crust

This homemade pie crust is a no-fail pie crust that is my go-to crust for everything that needs, well, a crust.  It is light and flaky and perfect for anything from apple pies to pot pies. The recipe is super simple, and I know you can do it!

Now, I know that everyone has their favorite homemade pie recipe. And yes, mine happens to be with shortening. I have enjoyed all-butter pie crusts but have found that nothing is as flaky as the shortening based crusts. It took me years to embrace shortening, as I was taught very early on in my career that all-butter was the way to go. I am so glad I tried the shortening version years ago and it is now my GO-TO recipe. Perfect for hot and cold pies alike!

PIN IT HERE!

Raw Pie Dough in Pie Pan

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

With just a few ingredients, you can make this pie crust for hot or cold pies.

Ingredients (full recipe below)

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Shortening
  • Egg
  • Vinegar
  • Water

What is Shortening?

I get many questions asking about shortening, as well as questions about any substitutions for shortening. First off, shortening (hydrogenated vegetable oil) is any fat or oil that is solid at room temperature. If you have heard of or seen a big can of Crisco, that is shortening. It can be stored at room temperature and has a long shelf life.

Shortening is 100% fat, which helps pie crusts (like this one) and pastries turn out so flaky and crumbly. And because shortening is all fat, it is hard to make substitutions. If you do have to substitute for shortening, your best bet is lard because it is also 100% fat. If using lard in place of shortening, use 2 tablespoons less of lard for every one cup of shortening.

So, can you use butter or margarine in place of shortening or lard? It’s not your best bet in a recipe like this pie crust. Butter is 80% fat, which is close but made of water, which may keep the crust from being light and flaky. Margarine has been used to replace shortening because it is also made with vegetable oil, but it can be as low as 35% fat.

Again, making any substitutions in recipes can have an effect on the final product.

Rolling out Homemade Pie Crust

How to Make this Homemade Pie Crust

  1. Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined.
  2. Add the shortening and combine until crumbs about the size of a pea form. 
  3. Bring the dough together with a wooden spoon. 
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together your egg, vinegar, and water.
  5. Pour this over the dough and mix it together until it is fully incorporated. (Don’t worry if the dough is sticky at this point.) 
  6. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and set it in your refrigerator to chill for a minimum of one hour.

Edge of Homemade Pie Crust Before Baking

Hot Pies

For a hot pie, divide the chilled dough in half and set it on a flour work surface.  Roll out half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and then transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan.

If the hot pie is covered, roll the second half of the dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness.  Bake the pie as instructed in the recipe. Store any remaining dough by wrapping tightly in plastic and refrigerating.

Baked Pie Showing the Pie Crust

Chicken Pot Pie

Cold Pies

To use this homemade pie crust for a cold pie, divide the chilled dough in half and set it on a flour work surface.  Roll out half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and then transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan. Continue with the instructions of the cold pie recipe you are using.

Docking a Crust vs. Pie Weights

Before baking the crust, be sure to dock it. To dock the crust simply means to poke holes in the crust with a fork. This will help the crust to cook more evenly and prevent any pockets or bubbles from forming in the crust. If you dock the crust, you do not need to weigh the crust down. 

If you choose to use pie weights (as opposed to docking), loosely fit aluminum foil over the pie dish and weigh it down with pie weights, raw rice, or uncooked beans before baking according to the recipe.  The only time I prefer using pie weights is when the filling is runny, as when baking a quiche.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Pie showing Homemade Pie Crust

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

Looking for Recipes to Use this Homemade Pie Crust?

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5 from 18 votes
Homemade Pie Crust
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Resting Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 2 mins
 

Addicting and easy to handle, this Homemade Pie Crust will be your go-to pie crust recipe. Despite how you use it--hot pies, cold pies, or hand pies, you'll get a delicate flaky holding vessel every time!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Pie Crust
Servings: 12
Calories: 172 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke--iambaker.net
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • teaspoons salt
  • cups (307.5g) shortening, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • ½ cup (118g) water
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the shortening and pulse until pea-sized crumbs form. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and bring the dough together with a wooden spoon.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vinegar, and water. Pour over the dough and mix until combined (dough will be sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling.

Hot Pie
  1. For a hot pie (e.g. with a filling that needs to be baked), divide the chilled dough in half on a generously floured work surface.

  2. Roll half of the dough to ¼-inch thick and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Repeat with the second half of the dough if the pie is covered.

  3. Bake as instructed in the recipe. Wrap any remaining dough in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

Cold Pie
  1. For a cold pie (e.g. with a filling that doesn't need to be baked), divide the chilled dough in half on a generously floured work surface. Roll half of the dough to ¼-inch thick and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish.

  2. Continue by following the instructions of your cold pie recipe. Wrap any remaining dough in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

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Comments

  • Christine says:

    The best pie crust. I will never use my old recipe again. Everyone loved it yesterday!

  • Debra Warner says:

    How long can this pie crust be stored in the refrigerator? Can it be frozen?

  • Patricia says:

    As close to perfect as pie crust could be! Delicate, crisp/tender. You have made a believer out of me.
    Thank you!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yay! Awesome Patricia!

  • Dee Lakey says:

    Oven temperature?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Dee! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Follow the recipe of the pie you are making. Have a great day!

  • Lisa TODD says:

    What if you don’t have a food processor how do you do the crust?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Lisa! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can do this by hand, or use a fork if you don’t have a food processor. It just may take a little time. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • julie says:

    cannot wait to try this! thank you so much

  • Leni says:

    What type of vinegar do you use?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Leni! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We used distilled white vinegar in this recipe. Have a wonderful day!

  • Patricia says:

    I have made this several times and I find it extremely easy to work with. I like the taste also.

  • Barb says:

    Hi can I frozen the pie crust and can you tell me the temperature of the oven.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Barb! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, you can freeze the pie crust. Follow the specific pie recipe you are making for the correct oven temperature. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • William Hare says:

    Thanks for all the recipes. They are all so awesome. Please keep them coming. You are so great at what you are doing here.

  • Tim Tobish says:

    You sacrifice flavor for flakiness by substituting shortening. All shortening pie crust have a weird texture to me and I miss the flavor of the butter. I do it all butter crust even though it is not quite as flaky, but it tastes better. Sally of Sally’s baking edition does it mostly shortening pie crust, and it’s one thing I disagree with her on

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I respectfully disagree. 🙂

  • Mary Jane Ditrapano Page says:

    The shortening pie crus—what is oven degree for best results?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Mary Jane! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Follow the pie recipe you are using for best results with the crust. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • judith judge says:

    can i make the dough the night before and keep in refrig and does the shrotning need to be cold

  • Barbara Roman says:

    Why would you put sugar in a pie crust?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Barbara! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. The right balance of salt and sugar in a pie crust enhances the flavor of the crust. I hope this helps and have a wonderful day!

  • Jerri says:

    I may just be missing it, but what temperature do you suggest baking the crust on when you need it baked prior to filling? We are at the end of this recipe & have rolled it out, but don’t see a temp! Help!! 🙃

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jerri! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Follow the pie recipe you are baking for the oven temperature. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • JaNice Vodegel says:

    perhaps it’s just me but I have look all over this recipe and still can’t find a cooking temperature and I see it asked many times. How hard is it to just say the temp for both recipes getting very upset with this.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The baking instructions will be in the recipe you are making. This is a pie crust that works for any hot or cold pie. So, if you have a recipe for apple pie with homemade crust, you will use this recipe instead, but follow the baking times for the apple pie recipe. I cannot add a baking time for this as baking times vary greatly depending on what you are adding to the pie crust. Does that make sense?

  • Sandra Distad says:

    Can l use Crisco shortening in a can? Sticks of Crisco? What works best?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Sandra! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, you can use Crisco in a can or sticks. Have a wonderful day!

  • Jan says:

    Great recipe. Tastes good, is flaky and looks good

  • Vassiliki Pitsiou says:

    I like this recipe and I am happy for sharing with us.
    Happy Day
    Vassiliki from
    Greece

  • Nicole Martineau says:

    I have always used shortening for my pie crusts. They always turn out flaky. Your pie pastry does look beautiful.🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Why do you add an egg? What is its purpose? What are the benfuts?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Lisa! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. The egg causes the dough to be more pliable (easier to roll out) and compact. Have a wonderful day!