Pie Crust Recipe with Butter and Shortening (The Best!)

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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. So many opinions and different techniques. 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 to follow and you can make it the day before so you aren’t so stressed.

It’s versatile enough to be used for both sweet and savory pies.

crimped pastry pie crust in glass plate

Pie Crust with Butter and Shortening (Tender + Flaky)

For a perfect pie crust that's easy to work with and is super flaky, you need butter, Crisco, and some patience. This recipe requires chilling but is easy to make.
Prep Time 30 minutes
chilling 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Serving Size 8 slices

Equipment

  • Food processor or pastry blender

Ingredients 

  • ¾ cup cold unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoo salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • cup vegetable shortening such as Crisco
  • ½ cup water

Instructions 

  • 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.
    hand holding pastry blender.
  • 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.
    pie crust in food processor.
  • 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.
    discs of pie crust on counter.
  • 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.

Notes

When dividing the dough, consider how you are using it.  For a lattice-topped pie, you’ll want a bit more dough for the bottom crust and a bit less for the strips.  
If you don’t want to crimp the edges, just use a fork to press a design in. 

Notes about what you’ll need

You’ll need the following for this pie crust:

  • Butter
  • Vegetable shortening such as Crisco (If you don’t have shortening, you can substitute butter. All butter pastry is lovely too.)
flour, water, butter, salt, sugar, and Crisco on marble counter

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.

hand holding a metal pasty blender

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.

trimming and crimping

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

crimped edge pie crust in glass pie plate

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.

🔍 FAQs

What if I don’t have shortening?

If you don’t have shortening, you can substitute butter. All butter pastry is lovely too.

What if my recipe calls for a baked pie crust?

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.

How to blind bake

Blind baking means you’re baking an empty pie shell.  If your recipe calls for a pre-baked crust, here’s how you do it.

  1. Line the crust with parchment paper, then fill the pie with pie weights to prevent it from shrinking.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees until the edges of the crust are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  3. 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.

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have FINALLY mastered my crust…thanks to you & this AMAZING recipe. I can now make a custard pie that rivals Marie Callender’s.

  2. My Crisco only pie crusts were perfect until Crisco changed the formula about 20 years ago, then they failed and were thrown away or were hard, not delicate and flaky. Solution? Sub half the water with cheap, unflavored vodka! Moist enough to handle, but evaporates into being a flaky crust! And I always add a tsp of pure vanilla, unless making a savory crust.

    But I’m going to try yours without the sugar. We’ll see what happens😊 I bought Granny Smith apples today. Soon hubby will be going around with exhuberant cries of “pie! Pie!” like the birds in Finding Nemo crying “Mine, Mine!”

  3. hi; I would like to save the crust for April. I am waiting for the rhubarb in April or so; Can I freeze the dough in the pie tins? Just like you buy in the supermarkets??
    Thanks,
    Sarah

  4. 5 stars
    Made this crust and it worked perfectly. Usually I struggle but it seems like the butter/Crisco combo made this easy to handle. Thank you!