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 14 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
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (307.5g) shortening, cubed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 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

  • Becky says:

    I have always used crisco recipe and I always have flakey crust..I have never used an egg in pie crust. Seems odd to me

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Becky! 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. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Nancy Johnson says:

    how long do you bake this pie crust for and temp??

  • Anna says:

    No cooking temp given for pie crust

  • Betty Shaw says:

    I have used this pie crust recipe for years. It is the best there is. I only use Crisco! Gave it to a friend whose husband loved pie and HE sent me a Thank you!!

  • Jeanine Hebner says:

    This is a really different pie crust recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Diane says:

    Can you do some recipe for a diabetic?

  • Georgiann says:

    Delicious

  • Tammera Kirschbaum says:

    Is this for 2 or 3 pie crusts?

  • Michelle Paz says:

    With a question. Does the shortening have to be cold or at room temperature? Thank you!

  • Tara says:

    Ok, I don’t even like crust, but this is AMAZING!

    I thought I over mixed it because it was a pretty big piece of solid dough coming out on the food processor, then it was sooo soft after adding egg and water. But I went with it, let it chill over night and made the best of it, turned out great!

    Now I just need to learn how to roll it out without causing the thing to crack all through the middle haha.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Awesome, so glad it worked for you!

  • Martine says:

    I also have a question about the egg in the crust, I just used egg in a crisco crust recipe and it did not come together. I put the flour, the sugar, salt and crisco. Into the food processor. I used 1 egg and two tablespoons of water. I basically had to assemble the dough in little pieces because it did not roll, out, it was delicious but I am wondering if the egg ruins the process of coming together in the food processor. It did not form a ball that I usually am used to knowing that the dough has come together.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You used an egg in my recipe or a different recipe? I can only speak to the recipe I am sharing, sorry!

  • Raetoria says:

    Thank you

  • Patricia Heneghan says:

    What kind of shortening?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I use vegetable shortening, but that is not a “must”

  • Cynthia Murphy says:

    Why do you use vinegar and egg in a pie crust that’s the part I’m having a little trouble trusting with this recipe for a pie crust never heard of or seen it done this way and I come from a long line of excellent country cooks and this was not part of the ingredients for pie crust

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Feel free to try it! You’ll see just how flakey and wonderful the crust is.

  • Sabra Futrell says:

    Never gives instructions for baking the pie crust.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The recipe specifically states to follow the directions of the pie you are making.

  • Grma Linda says:

    How do u keep the apple pies from the crust getting
    Gooey. I make the best apple pies bit the crust will get gooey after letting it set.

  • Vicki says:

    This pie crust is great because it’s so easy to handle. Very similar to one my grandma use to make! Just wanted to let you know I so appreciate all the yummy recipes you share. You are my go to person when I am wanting to try a new recipe or just drool through ideas. Thanks!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Thank you SO much Vicki! <3

  • Nancy Noyes says:

    I have used this recipe for many years. I mix the flour sugar and salt together then in a mixing cup I put 1/2 cup water an egg and 1 TBL spoon of cider vinegar. Using a whisk or for best together. Then add to the flour mixture. Stir until incorporated. This rolls out like sugar cookie dough if you have done it correctly. No cracks! Easiest ever! Flakey and tender and lots of compliments!

  • Sandra Parker says:

    Only recipe I have ever used. My pies are delicious.

  • Jennifer says:

    Can i freeze half of the crust to use at a different time if only making one pie?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes!

  • Jackie says:

    This sounds like a great pie crust but I don’t have a food processor

  • Patricia Ryan says:

    I use Crisco butter flavored shortening, in stick form, and 1 1/2 cups weighs 282g. When I made your crust I did do using your 307.5g and came out ok. What would cause the difference? Also, 1/4″ thickness seems too thick although baked crust was substantial it was good.

  • Brenda Haughan says:

    Absolutely love your recipes. Usually make all my pastry with butter, going to give yours a go.

  • Mary says:

    I want to try this recipe also but have one question! I would like to know what flour you use to make pie crust. I always used Robinhood flour for all my baking and now you can’t find that brand anymore.
    Just want to know what brand of flour that you use!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I use all-purpose unbleached flour.

  • Christine says:

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