A recipe for one pie crust to rule them all: the perfect combination of butter, shortening, and a touch of sugar.
Pie crusts have a reputation for being difficult to make, and they can be. Part of the trouble is that making a pie is hard. There’s the crust, the filling, the assembly. And if the pie crust doesn’t turn out, it’s all for nothing. It’s enough to make you throw up your hands and buy a premade one, for which I would NEVER judge you.
But making your own is no big deal. This recipe is easy as long as you have some time to put into it, and it’s worth the wait for a perfectly flaky crust that’s tender and flavorful. It’s versatile enough to be used for both sweet and savory pies.
Table of contents
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Prep ahead of time. The dough can be made totally ahead of time, as in weeks beforehand, and frozen, which makes the stress of pie-making day much better. Thanksgiving is crazy enough!
- Overnight pie crust. You can also make it the night before and pop it in the fridge.
- Easy to make. And if you’re really full of energy, it only requires a three-hour chilling period, so you can have your pie ready to eat in one day.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
You’ll need the following for this pie crust:
- Cold unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Vegetable shortening such as Crisco
Butter adds great flavor to everything, and baked goods especially, but Crisco has a magic way of improving texture. The solution? Use a pie crust recipe that uses both!
The easiest way to cut flour into butter is to use your food processor. A few pulses make quick work of it.
- food processor or pastry blender
- rolling pin
- pie dish
If you don’t have a food processor, I’d recommend grabbing a pastry blender. It’s like a giant rolling fork and makes quick work of this step. It’s super handy for biscuits and crumb toppings too.
Step One: mix the ingredients
Chop the butter into about eight pieces using a knife and blend them into the flour by pulsing with a food processor or using a pastry blender. Keep working until the butter is the size of small peas.
Add the salt, sugar, shortening, and water and stir by hand or with the food processor. Mix until a dough forms. It will look slightly dry and crumbly, but should come together as a ball. If it does not, add more water one teaspoon at a time
Step Two: roll out your pastry
The steps of chilling the dough and then letting it warm back up to room temperature are crucial.
The chilling period hardens the butter and shortening, so you don’t get a sticky mess. But if it’s too hard, you won’t be able to roll it at all, and it will need to warm up so you can roll it out easily.
Generously flour your counter before you start.
Roll from the center of your dough circle outward. Use gentle pressure with your rolling pin, and keep turning the pastry to prevent sticking.
Then transfer it using an offset spatula, dropping it right into your pie dish.
Step three: trim and crimp the crust
If you use a baking dish with high edges, such as deep-dish or quiche pans, it might be that no trimming is needed.
But if you want to use a regular pie dish, you’ll need to trim it a bit.
You want a one-inch overhang, and the easiest way to do this is with kitchen shears.
For a one-crust pie, crimp before you fill. For a double crust, crimp at the end.
Push the inner edge out with the index finger of one hand while pinching the outer edge in with the thumb and index finger of the other. Repeat over all edges of your pie. You’ll get a classic scalloped edge.
And there’s nothing wrong with just pressing a fork all along the edge if you don’t want to crimp!
🥫 Storage instructions
You can store pie crust in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you’re freezing it, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer bag.
If you don’t have shortening, you can substitute butter. All butter pastry is lovely too.
You’ll need to blind-bake, and blind baking means you’re baking an empty pie shell.
Line the crust with parchment paper, then fill the pie with pie weights to prevent it from shrinking.
Bake at 375 degrees until the edges of the crust are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
For a partially baked crust, bake for about 10 minutes, and the crust will continue baking once filled.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Don’t overmix: handling the dough too much will make it tough
- Be gentle when you’re transferring the dough to the pie pan. You don’t want to stretch it out or else it’ll become too thin.
- This recipe makes enough for a double-crust pie. If you only need a single crust for your pie, cut this recipe into half OR freeze the other half according to the recipe’s make-ahead instructions below.
📘 Related Recipes
📖 Here’s the recipe
Pie Crust with Butter and Shortening (Tender + Flaky)
- Food processor or pastry blender
- ¾ cup cold unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoo salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable shortening such as Crisco
- ½ cup water
- Cut the butter into the flour. Chop the butter into about eight pieces using a knife and blend them into the flour by pulsing with a food processor or using a pastry blender. Keep working until the butter is the size of small peas.
- Add the remaining ingredients to form a dough. Add the salt, sugar, shortening, and water and stir by hand or with the food processor. Mix until a dough forms. It will look slightly dry and crumbly, but should come together as a ball. If it is does not, add more water one teaspoon at a time.
- Allow dough to rest. Turn dough out onto a cutting board and divide in two. Shape the pieces into rough discs and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Place them in the fridge to chill for at least one hour, or up to overnight.
- Roll out and prepare for filling. Place discs to warm at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before rolling out. Unwrap the first one and place on a generously floured counter. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out to desired thickness. Carefully transfer to the pie plate and trim and crimp the edges.