How to Make Pie Crust
All you need to make your own pie crust is cold butter, a rolling pin and your best pinching fingers.
The key to a flaky pie crust is very cold butter. In fact, if you want to make pie crust, stop what you're doing right now and go put your butter in the freezer. Give it a half hour and you'll be ready to create the perfect crust.
Gather the Ingredients
For your pie crust, you'll need: Two cups of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of sugar, 2/3 cup of butter and ice water.
Freeze the Butter
Chill the butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Why so cold? Cold butter helps create air pockets in the dough — which results in a lighter, flakier crust. Plus, chilled butter makes your dough easier to handle and roll out.
Cut in the Butter
Sift your flour into a large bowl, reserving some extra flour for dusting. Whisk in the salt and sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour until it becomes the size of peas.
You can use a food processor for this step but be careful to not over mix. You'll know it is perfectly mixed when no streaks of flour remain in your bowl.
Work the Dough
Add ice water to the flour mixture and mix the dough with your hands. The dough is ready when you pinch some of the mixture in your hand and it holds together. If it does not hold, add a little more ice water and mix again. Be careful not to add too much water or overwork it — that will make your crust tough.
Don't handle the dough too much. Work with chilled utensils and/or dip your hands into ice water and dry them before working with the dough to make sure everything stays as cold as possible.
Shape the Dough
Gently shape the dough into two round disks. You should have visible pieces of butter in your dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the dough. To thaw, place it in the fridge overnight.
Roll the Dough
Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit for 5 minutes. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough from the center out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick.
Place the dough over a pie plate. Gently press the dough down into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Do not stretch the dough.
Watch that your dough isn't sticking to your work surface. If it is, slide a little flour underneath and continue rolling.
Shape the Crust
If you are making a single-crust pie, cut off any excess around the edge using kitchen scissors and fold the dough underneath itself. Use the tines of a fork or your fingers to shape the edge of the dough.
Ready for Fillings
Prepare your filling of choice and pour it into the crust. If you are making a double crust pie, roll out the second disk of dough and lay it on top of your pie filling. Cut off the excess dough around the edge of the plate. Fold the top piece of dough underneath the bottom piece and pinch them together. Cut vents in the top of the dough using a knife.
Brush the top of the crust with an egg wash (eggs mixed with milk or water) and sprinkle with sugar.
Want more pie crust tips and tricks? Watch our video about crimping pie dough.
Find more helpful How-Tos here »
Plus: Get the full recipe for this pie crust »
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