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Easy Pie Crust Recipe

4.95 from 19 votes
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posted: 11/17/19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Pie Crust Recipe is easy to make, but more importantly it tastes delicious. The combination of butter and shortening help the pie keep its shape without sacrificing any flavor.

a pie crust recipe that has been rolled out, edges pinched, and placed in a clear pie pan

Happy Sunday my friends! With baking season upon us, I wanted to give you an updated version of this pie crust that has been pinned more than 200k times! Today I’m giving you the BEST pie crust recipe with easy to follow photos. I even have a video for you, so you know exactly how to make pie crust.

This pie crust is a recipe that I fall back on over and over again. It never fails me and it turns out flakey and perfect every single time. It is a stand by for a lot of you too! Look at this review:

I think this is the first time I’ve made a crust I can be proud of! Amazingly light and flaky. I needed a crust for a cream pie so I blind baked with the sugar as the weight. Worked perfectly. Will definitely use this as my go to crust. Thank you for posting this. – Chris

WHAT MAKES THIS HOMEMADE PIE CRUST WORK

Pie crust with butter and shortening

This recipe has both butter and shortening (vegetable lard).

The butter creates the most delicious taste to the pie crust. But a pie crust made completely of butter will be less likely to hold it’s shape.

Therefore, we add shortening to this recipe. While it doesn’t taste as amazing, it holds the shape of the crust.

The two together are the beginning of the best pie crust.

This pie crust uses vodka

That is right my friends! We are using vodka! This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, and they perfected pie crust using vodka.

Vodka is a key ingredient that makes for a flakey pie crust.

Every pie crust needs moisture. Not enough moisture and the dry ingredients can’t come together. Too much moisture and you have a pie crust that doesn’t flake.

The vodka works to pull the ingredients together, but then because of the alcohol content it evaporates in the oven, leaving you with the flakiest pie crust!

Don’t have vodka? Don’t drink vodka? Can’t use alcohol? I have an alternative at the bottom of the post.

HOW TO MAKE PIE CRUST

PLEASE NOTE: This pie crust recipe comes together in a food processor, but you can make it without one! See instructions at the bottom of the post.

STEP 1: Put 6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) butter, 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (50 grams), and 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/29.6 ml) of vodka in the freezer for 30 minutes.

STEP 2: Fill a small measuring cup with water and ice and put it in the refrigerator.

STEP 3: Add 3/4 cup (96 grams) all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt (3 grams), and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (12.5 grams) to your food processor. (Please see note under frequently asked questions about measuring flour.) Blend to combine.

overhead view of a food processor with flour, sugar, and salt to create an easy pie crust
overhead view of a food processor with flour, sugar, and salt blended together to create an easy pie crust

STEP 4: Add the butter and shortening from the freezer. Blend together until there are no streaks of flour left. I’m including an up close picture so you really know what you are looking for.

overhead of a food processor where cold butter and shortening have been added to a flour mixture
overhead of a food processor that flour and butter have been added to a flour mixture to blend together, mixture is crumbly with no flour showing
close up of the beginning of pie crust dough before the last bit of flour is added, mixture is crumbly, sizable chunks, and not pulled together

STEP 5: Add in the final 1/2 cup (64 grams) of flour. Blend until the mixture becomes a fine crumb. Be careful not to over blend.

overhead of a food processor that has had cold butter and shortening added and now the last 1/2 cup of flour is poured on
overhead of a food processor that has had cold butter and shortening added and now the last 1/2 cup of flour is blended in to make  fine crumb mixture

STEP 6: Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add in the cold vodka (from the freezer) and 2 tablespoons ice cold water (29.6 ml) that you had in the refrigerator. Using a spatula during this process keeps everything chilled and cold by not adding the heat from your hands into the mix.

The second photo is what it looks like after you add the vodka and water.

overhead view of a pie crust recipe in a bowl before vodka and water are added
overhead view of pie crust dough after liquid has been added and it's being pulled together with a spatula

STEP 7: Make the mixture into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to two days.

a disk of pie crust sitting on plastic wrap waiting to be wrapped
a disk of pie crust that has been wrapped tightly with plastic wrap to be put in the refrigerator

STEP 8: After the pie crust has been chilled in the refrigerator, flour your surface very well. Unwrap it and roll it out. You are looking to roll it out with about a 15 inch diameter for a 9 inch deep pie pan.

Use the rolling pin to help transfer the pie crust into the pie pan.

Do not skimp on the flour when going to roll it out and add more as needed.

a disc of pie dough that has been refrigerated and is ready to be rolled out on a very well floured surface
a flakey pie crust recipe that has been rolled out on a marble surface
a pie crust being transferred to a pie pan using the rolling pin

STEP 9: Trim the edges and then crimp them. Put one finger between the dough and the pie pan and two other fingers on the opposite side to press and create a ridge. Sometimes I use pieces of dough that have been trimmed off in areas that are lacking in dough.

a pie crust recipe that has been transferred to a glass pie pan and the rim of it has been pinched

HOW TO BAKE

The most important thing is to follow the directions in the pie recipe you are using.

A lot of recipes (including my pumpkin pie) use blind baking to pre bake the crust before adding the filling.

  • Line the pie crust two times with aluminum foil.
  • Fill with pie weights or coins.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • Remove the coins/weights and foil and add the pie filling.
  • Return to the oven for the rest of the baking.

REPLACING VODKA IN THIS PIE CRUST RECIPE

I have received this question so frequently: I don’t drink alcohol, what can I use instead?

The answer is vinegar! It will evaporate the same way that vodka does in this recipe. If you do that, I would use a high quality vinegar to ensure you don’t taste any in your pie. (Note: You will taste it in the dough before baking, don’t panic.)

I have also received the question: I don’t want to buy an entire bottle of vodka to use this recipe.

Buy a small one ounce bottle! Like the kind in hotel refrigerators. You can try the recipe without committing.

MAKING THIS PIE CRUST WITHOUT A FOOD PROCESSOR

You absolutely can make this without a food processor. Follow the instructions above, but:

  • Make the recipe in a large bowl.
  • Use a whisk in step 3.
  • Use a pastry cutter for steps 4 and 5. You will need to use a lot of muscle and focus on my pictures so you get the same texture.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

My pie crust didn’t come together! What did I do wrong?

Most likely you had too much flour. If you measure your flour right from the container it will be packed and you will have too much. Scoop your flour into your measuring cup and level it off.

How long can I store it in the refrigerator?

This pie crust can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Can I freeze it?

Yes! Triple wrap your pie crust and store it in the freezer for up to one month. When ready to use let it defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

It is too hard to roll out! Help!

Leave your pie crust on the counter, don’t panic. Keep trying every 5 minutes until it is rollable. Be careful not to wait too long.

Can I use a flavored vodka?

I haven’t tried that. I would suggest making sure that it is the same alcohol content as a typical bottle of vodka. If not, it might be too much moisture.

Can I double this recipe?

Absolutely. Follow the instructions up through step 6. At step 6 divide it equally and wrap the two discs separately.

What size pie is this for?

This pie crust works great for a 9 inch deep dish pie. You could use it for smaller pans, and just trim off the extra or use them for decretive pieces on top.

Can I use salted butter?

Yes, but cut the salt in the recipe. Use only 1/4 teaspoon salt. It will not be the exact same taste as this recipe, but it will work.

If I’m making this for a quiche, should I take out the sugar?

I personally wouldn’t! I think that the sugar enhances the taste of the crust without making it taste sweet. That being said, you can take it out and it will still work.

RECIPES TO USE THIS PIE CRUST

My favorite recipe to use this pie crust in is my pumpkin pie.

I also love this Triple Berry Pie and have fallen head over heals for this Pecan Pie.

If you use this recipe, I’d love for you to come back and leave me a comment letting me know how it went!

a pie crust recipe that has been transferred to a glass pie pan and the rim of it has been pinched
4.95 from 19 votes

Fool Proof Pie Crust

Serves: 1 crust
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
This Pie Crust Recipe is easy to make, but more importantly it tastes delicious. The combination of butter and shortening help the pie keep its shape without sacrificing any flavor.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 ounces or 85 grams
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 50 grams
  • 2 tablespoons vodka 1 fluid ounce or 29.6 ml see note
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour divided (3/4 cup/96 grams & 1/2 cup/64 grams) see note
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 12.5 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 grams
  • 2 tablespoons ice water 29.6 ml

Instructions

  • Cut up the 6 tablespoons butter into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the cut up butter, shortening, and vodka into the freezer. Fill a measuring cup about a 1/2 cup full of cold water and ice and put it in your refrigerator. Leave the butter, shortening, vodka and water in the freezer/refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • To the bowl of your food processor, add 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 TBSP granulated sugar. Pulse until just combined.
  • Add the chilled butter and shortening.
  • Pulse until it is combined and there are no streaks of flour left.
  • Add the last 1/2 cup of flour.
  • Pulse until it is combined, broken up, and evenly distributed around the bowl.
  • Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of cold vodka and 2 tablespoons ice water.
  • With a stiff spatula work the dough into a ball.
  • Turn the dough out, shape into a disk, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Using a lot of flour, roll the dough out.
  • Once the dough is rolled out, use the rolling pin to roll it up and transfer it into the pie plate.
  • Press into the pie plate, trim off the extra dough, and pinch the edges.
  • Line the crust with aluminum foil and pie weights or coins and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes to prebake the crust, or fill and bake following the instructions in the pie recipe you are using.

Notes

If you are not able to use alcohol in recipes you can replace it in this recipe with a high quality vinegar. See the notes in the post for further instructions.
When measuring the flour, make sure that you scoop the flour into the measuring cup and then level it off. Scooping directly from the container will result in more flour.
NOTE: This recipe makes one pie crust. If you would like a lattice top or a double crusted pie, you will need to double it.
 
Calories: 214kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 15g (5%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 15g (23%) Saturated Fat: 7g (44%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 23mg (8%) Sodium: 10mg Potassium: 3mg Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 2g (2%) Vitamin A: 250IU (5%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Video

a pie crust recipe that has been transferred to a glass pie pan and the rim of it has been pinched

did you make this

Fool Proof Pie Crust

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Jenny Kirk says

    Is this pastry any good for meat pies or only good for sweet pies

    • Lisa Longley says

      This would work great with any recipe that calls for a pie crust.

  2. Anne Marie Philli says

    Sounds great but I can’t cope with American recipes. What is shortening? And what size is a cup?

  3. Donald Granger says

    I use vinegar and get no taste, just maybe a bit of smell. I use butter flavored
    crisco and don’t have to get it cold. No butter.Too much water in it I suppose. My crust turns out great every time, even when I preroll the scraps. Make a tart with the extra.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Sounds like a good crust recipe, Donald, just not the same as this one. We will have to agree to disagree. ???? I love this one so much, I’m sure I will never be swayed.

  4. Helen W. Tyler says

    5 stars
    I m 89 and have used this recipe for many years, LOVE IT only I have always used vinegar with NO PROBLEM. It is a perfect crust and I have given it to so many friends who really love it also.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I wonder if when I used vinegar there was something wrong with the brand I used. But you are right, this pie crust is really the best!

  5. Pamela says

    What do you consider a high grade vinegar. I buy at the regular grocery store. I use Heinz. I am sure you mean not apple cider vinegar but just plain vinegar. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Lisa Longley says

      That should be fine!

  6. Dianne Leone says

    I made this and realized it is ONLY for one crust, not a double…had to re-do it for a top crust.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so sorry Dianne. This post has a lot of information, I will add a note to the recipe to make it clear it is for one pie crust but easily doubled.

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