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. Wrap the dough in 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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4.88 from 25 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 kosher 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). Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill it 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.

Recipe Notes

*You only need to cube the shortening if using solid sticks. If using a tub of shortening, like Crisco, simply add the amount you need to the food processor; the food processor can achieve the pea-sized consistency you are looking for.

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Comments

  • Janet says:

    It’s a good pastry that rolls easily…makes a very flaky crust. Personally, I miss the taste of butter and I did use butter flavored Crisco.

  • Tiffany says:

    Can I substitute butter instead of the shortening?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Tiffany! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. I would not recommend substituting butter for shortening. 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. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Bonnet Alcorn says:

    My mother made the best pie crust I ever tasted, and she only used lard. These days lard is more expensive than butter or shortening!

  • Sandy Beutel says:

    Amanda, I really enjoy and use your recipes. Sometimes I pass many if them along to friends.

    You must have thick skin, to read all the ridiculous comments. Keep on sharing your great recipe ideas and ignore the crazies.

    Thanks, Sandy

  • Mary Daus Becker says:

    I have been making this for years..I have a recipe that makes five crusts abd you can feeeze them until you need them..bakes from frozen perfectly

  • Bonita Zobl says:

    Tried… and excellent.. question..I used white vinegar.. is that what you use? Would it be the same with apple cider vinegar?

  • Mary Laarman says:

    According to the recipe I have always used and loved, this would be enough for TWO pies.

  • Jan Reed says:

    I have been using this recipe for 50 years. ( Lordy I’m old). I have tried many others over the years but this is by far the best. I like it much better than lard or butter crusts.

  • Laura says:

    Would you omit sugar if making savory pie such as chicken pot pie?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Laura! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. I recommend following the directions as written; we use the recipe for our chicken pot pie recipe as well. Have a great day!

  • Tamara says:

    Hi Amanda!

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    Not only is it super easy to make, but working with the pastry is far better than what I’ve experienced. I’ve been making pies for over 20 years and this recipe is amazing to work with, tastes excellent and delivers results every time. Plus the volume is enough for 3 single 9″ pie crusts (regular sized no deep dish here!). I’m the pie baker of the family and in Canada we have our thanksgiving holiday earlier than our US neighbours, so this makes my pie adventures so much easier!

    Thanks again for the recipe 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    Can I use gluten free flour – the 1 to 1 kind – in this recipe? And if not, can you give me gf pie crust recipe that actually works? I’ve tried so many, and none of them hold up…or taste good. I have 2 gf children that love pie – pumpkin to be exact!
    Thank you!

  • VICTORIA TROUP says:

    could you freeze this and have many for later?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes! Wrap tightly and place in an airtight bag/container and label it. Can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  • Mary says:

    So the dough doesn’t need to be baked prior to using it for a cold pie, one that doesn’t have to be baked?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You’ll want to follow the directions of the recipe you are using. 🙂

  • Jean Jones says:

    Why do you dock the crust if making a fruit pie..?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      What do you mean?

  • Ruby says:

    please advise how to bake it…temperature and time.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You will want to follow the recipe you are using. For instance, I have linked to my chicken pot pie – the instructions for the crust are in that recipe.

  • Sharon says:

    This is my recipe for piecrust also. It is the best and always turns out a perfect pie. Very flaky and light!

  • Anne M Bartley says:

    Pie crust did not roll out well. Fell apart!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Anne! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with comments. If the pie crust dough is too dry, it could fall apart. Add a little bit of cold water to it to see if that helps. In addition, handle the dough as little as possible. And finally, you could try putting the dough in the refrigerator for a while and try rolling it out again after it has chilled a bit. I hope this helps, and have a wonderful day!

  • Susan Schwenker says:

    I am going to try this recipe and I wanted to know the purpose of the egg and vinegar.
    Thank you.

  • Karen says:

    How do you fluet your pie crust edge??

  • Mitch says:

    I just used this for my Thanksgiving apple pie and it came out perfectly! I mixed it by hand and it came together easily. I had enough to make two double crust pies, so I’m ready for Christmas now as well. Thanks so much for the recipe!