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!

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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

  • Luz Marina Puertas Vera says:

    Me encanta como enseñas tus recetas

  • Luz Marina Puertas Vera says:

    excelente

  • Annie Kovach says:

    I make your cream cheese pumpkin muffins. They are good. My husband loved them.

  • Kim kernohan says:

    I make the same but use lard always perfect and flaky

  • Ethel Ellena says:

    I have made this crust for years.it is a wonderful recipe.

  • Nanette says:

    The same one only I use COLD lard. I have never had a fail.

  • Deanna Akeson says:

    This makes a delicious flaky crust every time! Has been my favorite go-to pie crust recipe forever.🥰

  • Loretta says:

    can you substitute Butter for the vegetable shortening.? thanks

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Loretta! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, you can substitute butter for the shortening. However, it will result in a different textured pie crust (probably not as flaky) since it is only 80% fat vs. 100% fat in shortening. If you have lard, you could use that (also 100% fat), but be sure to use 2 tablespoons less of lard for every one cup of shortening. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Susan O says:

    I will definitely try this! Your crust looks beautiful.

  • Mary DeLucia-Todd says:

    this is the no fail pie crust my mother used I have made hundreds of pies with this recipe easy to roll and a sturdy crust. But i have now found a full butter recipe that is easy to manage Butter does taste better 🙂

  • Diane Knight says:

    Could you please give the quantities in measurements instead of cups all cups are different . Thank you for your delicious recipes .

  • virginia welcher says:

    I. Am so happy to see this recipe! I have used it for over 40 years! I’ve tried to convince many stubborn bakers to try it. For some strange reason, some are loyal to a handed down recipe. This is such a great recipe to introduce bakers to making their own pie crust. At this time of year, I make around 20 apple pies and freeze them so I’m not a novice at pie baking

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Sounds like you have been blessing folks with amazing pies for decades!! What a blessing you are, Virginia!

  • Marty L Blake says:

    Thanks for the tips. and the recipe

  • Julie LeFavor says:

    I love everything you suggest! Thank you for sharing all these delicious recipes with all of us! And for also allowing easy printable Directions! 🙂

  • Jan Heerspink says:

    Thanks for your pie crust recipe. When you say shortening, do you mean solid white shortening, like Crisco? I haven’t bought that in years. Are there other kinds of shortening?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jan! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Yes, Crisco (the most well-known brand of shortening) was used in this recipe. There are other brands of shortening. Or, you could use lard. However, if you use lard, use 2 tablespoons less of lard for every one cup of shortening. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Avis Ervin says:

    What type of vinegar are you using in this pie crust recipe?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

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

  • Jan says:

    Oven baking temperatures are not provided.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jan! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. The recipe is for the pie crust dough. Once you have that made, follow the pie recipe you are following for baking times. Have a great day!

  • Alexis Dix says:

    I’m thinking of trying your recipe but I have a question before trying. I have leaf lard that I got from a butcher shop that I’m using for my buttermilk biscuits. Can I use it instead of shortening? Have you ever used leaf lard?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You hit the jackpot!!! Yes, you can absolutely use it, that will be amazing!

  • Premila says:

    What is the alternate name of shortenings cubes

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Premila! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Shortening is hydrogenated oil that is solid at room temperature and 100% fat. Crisco is the most well-known brand of shortening. You could also use lard, but be sure to use 2 tablespoons less of lard for every one cup of shortening. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Judith A Miller says:

    What is leaf lard?

  • Gene or Mary J. Jorgensen says:

    This is a great recipe! I use lard always perfect and flaky and easy to roll out! I have made it for years. My Mom used it for years also too. That is where I got the recipe!

  • joanne says:

    Have been looking everywhere for advice/recipe for 2 pie crusts. Do I just double the recipe? But the egg mixture would be the problem I guess. Would really appreciate your advice!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Hi Joanne- This recipe does make 2 crusts. You separate the dough in half, then you have crust for the top and bottom of the pie. If you were to double the recipe, that might overwhelm your mixer (it would be 8 cups of flour) and might be more hassle than time-saving. If you need 4 crusts, I would make it in 2 batches. (unless you have all the necessary tools to make a large batch)

  • Monica Kime says:

    I am a Celiac and cannot use regular all purpose flour. Can I use gluten free 1 to 1 flour for this crust?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Monica! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tried using gluten-free flour in the recipe, but you certainly could try it! Let us know how it turns out, and have a great day!

  • Vaughn says:

    I learned to make pies from my mom. Flour, crisco, water, salt. Everyone loves my pies, flaky crust. I don’t over work the dough, mom said roll it once. I don’t understand the egg what does it do. Thank you

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Vaughn! 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!

  • Anne says:

    This is my go to recipe for pie crust. It never fails.