Mom's Oil Crust Pie Shell

"My mom's favorite pie cookbook is the old Farm Journal's "Complete Pie Cookbook" from 1965… and her copy is well-used and loved, full of clippings and hand-written notes. This recipe is based on the one from there, with modifications to her taste. It works really well for all sorts of pies, especially her Quiche Lorraine (see my other recipes) and pumpkin. Simple and flaky! Makes one 9-inch pie shell with a little left over… Mom takes the leftover and makes it into little snack crackers. :) My sister claims she doesn't like oil crust, but she never knows the difference when Mom uses them in her pies."
photo by COOKGIRl photo by COOKGIRl
photo by COOKGIRl
Ready In:
1 unbaked pie shell


  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt
  • 12 cup cooking oil (Mom uses canola)
  • 4 tablespoons cold water (some folks use 2 Tbsp water and 2 Tbsp milk, but Mom prefers the taste of the crust with all water)


  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the oil and water (and milk, if using 2 Tbsp water and 2 Tbsp milk).
  • Pour liquid mixture all at once into the sifted mixture, and then - with your hands - press the dough into a smooth ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough or it can become tough; it will be somewhat crumbly and soft.
  • To use, press the dough into the pie shell and shape the edges into flutes with your fingers. If there are thin spots, the dough is soft enough to easily to press extra into them with no worries.
  • Note: use any left over pieces of dough by baking them into little snack crackers. This dough freezes and thaws really well!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Thank you!!! I have been trying to find a crust like this forever, and it is so easy to make, I didn't know I could use oil, and it is just what I was looking for. Ttthhhaaannnkkksss!
  2. I have never been able to make a decent piecrust until I found this recipe! Thank you, thank you!!
  3. This is a very quick and easy to make pie shell. Very flakey. Thanks for posting.
  4. I don't know why this recipe has so few's amazing. I didn't use it for pie (I don't like pie), but I used it for quiche. It was so flaky and scrumptious. I caught my brother opening the fridge to break off pieces of the crust :D
  5. Super easy, delicious crust. The pie shell was crisp and flaky, and SO easy and quick. Mine did not cook in 11 minutes at still wasn't done after 20 minutes, so I turned my oven up to 400. Then it browned. By the way, directions didn't say whether or not to dock the crust before baking, but I did. (Dock=poke with fork all over bottom and sides to prevent shell from raising up from baking form.) I put water in the freezer for about 1/2 hour before measuring out my 4 T water from that. I also added 1 T sugar, since I was making a sweet Raspberry Cream Pie, Zaar #42831. Delicious! Oh, I used peanut oil, as it's healthier than canola or veg oil. I wouldn't hesitate to use olive oil for a savory pie, as others have suggested. I actually used all of the dough in the 9" glass form, so that's probably why it took longer to bake, but I've always liked a slightly thicker crust and had plenty of dough to make a more generously decorated rim crust that resulted in no notable shrinkage...and it all held together beautifully when removing, even the first piece. You could use this in a 10" pie form, and it would probably be the perfect "standard" thickness. I don't think I'll buy those Pillsbury crusts anymore, this was more flavorful, looked prettier and is much cheaper to make. Thanks for a keeper!


<p>It's simply this: I love to cook! :) <br /><br />I've been hanging out on the internet since the early days and have collected loads of recipes. I've tried to keep the best of them (and often the more unusual) and look forward to sharing them with you, here. <br /><br />I am proud to say that I have several family members who are also on RecipeZaar! <br /><br />My husband, here as <a href=>Steingrim</a>, is an excellent cook. He rarely uses recipes, though, so often after he's made dinner I sit down at the computer and talk him through how he made the dishes so that I can get it down on paper. Some of these recipes are in his account, some of them in mine - he rarely uses his account, though, so we'll probably usually post them to mine in the future. <br /><br />My sister <a href=>Cathy is here as cxstitcher</a> and <a href=>my mom is Juliesmom</a> - say hi to them, eh? <br /><br />Our <a href=>friend Darrell is here as Uncle Dobo</a>, too! I've been typing in his recipes for him and entering them on R'Zaar. We're hoping that his sisters will soon show up with their own accounts, as well. :) <br /><br />I collect cookbooks (to slow myself down I've limited myself to purchasing them at thrift stores, although I occasionally buy an especially good one at full price), and - yes, I admit it - I love FoodTV. My favorite chefs on the Food Network are Alton Brown, Rachel Ray, Mario Batali, and Giada De Laurentiis. I'm not fond over fakey, over-enthusiastic performance chefs... Emeril drives me up the wall. I appreciate honesty. Of non-celebrity chefs, I've gotta say that that the greatest influences on my cooking have been my mother, Julia Child, and my cooking instructor Chef Gabriel Claycamp at Seattle's Culinary Communion. <br /><br />In the last couple of years I've been typing up all the recipes my grandparents and my mother collected over the years, and am posting them here. Some of them are quite nostalgic and are higher in fat and processed ingredients than recipes I normally collect, but it's really neat to see the different kinds of foods they were interested in... to see them either typewritten oh-so-carefully by my grandfather, in my grandmother's spidery handwriting, or - in some cases - written by my mother years ago in fountain pen ink. It's like time travel. <br /><br />Cooking peeve: food/cooking snobbery. <br /><br />Regarding my black and white icon (which may or may not be the one I'm currently using): it the sea-dragon tattoo that is on the inside of my right ankle. It's also my personal logo.</p>
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