How do you make the flakiest, most flavorful pie crust? There are a lot of opinions out there and tutorials telling you different things, and so it’s hard to know which recipe will be the best. Through trial and error, this is my favorite pie crust and the only one I’ll ever use. It’s very straightforward with no unusual ingredients or complicated steps.

I like to use only butter in my pie crust. Shortening is often added to help with the flakiness, but I feel that if you know how to properly prepare a pie crust, shortening isn’t required. Using only butter has more flavor and can still get you the flakiness we all desire.

My pie crust recipe starts with flour, salt, butter and water. I sometimes like to add a little sugar to my crust recipe, especially for fruit pies. It adds a bit more flavor. But it is completely optional. This recipe will make enough for 1 9-inch pie with a double crust, and it can be incorporated into just about any pie preparation.

Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Double crust for 1 9-inch pie

Serving Size: 1 slice

Perfectly Flaky Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks)unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup water, cold

Directions

In medium bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar (if using). Add cubed butter and use pastry blender to cut butter into dry ingredients until size of small peas. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough starts to come together into ball. Dump dough out onto clean surface and knead a few times to incorporate all of dry bits. Work quickly, do not over handle.

Divide dough in half and shape into disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Dough will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days and double-wrapped in freezer for up to 2 months.

When ready to assemble your pie, place one disk of dough on a floured surface.

With rolling pin, roll dough out into rough 12-inch circle.

It’s important to keep your crust loose while you’re rolling it. You don’t want to finish rolling it out, only to find out it’s stuck to the table. I rotate it often to make sure it’s loose, and if ever it starts sticking I use a bench scraper to lift it while I add a bit more flour underneath.

Transfer rolled pie crust to 9-inch pie dish by rolling it up onto rolling pin, and then rolling it out into pie dish.

Fill your pie crust as desired according to recipe and then roll out your second disk of dough.

Transfer second crust the same way you did the first and trim edges to 1 inch. Press two crusts together to seal and tuck them into pie dish. Crimp edges as desired.

All that’s left is to cut slits into the top for vents, brush with egg wash, and bake!

This basic pie dough will work with a wide variety of recipes. Follow recipe for specific baking instructions. Or, if you’re creating your own fruit filling, bake for 1 hour at 400°F. Cool for a few hours before serving at room temperature.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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