Our Favorite Pie Crust Recipe-How to Make a Tender Pie Crust

READY IN: 45mins




  • For a flaky, tender crust (as opposed to one that’s harder, mealy, and more cookie-like), the following works well.
  • Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, reserving a few tablespoons of the flour.
  • Cut in half of the fat, working the mixture until it’s mealy and crumbly.
  • Place the reserved flour on your work surface, and coat the remaining fat with the flour.
  • Use a rolling pin or the heel of your hand to flatten the fat till it’s about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Break this flour-coated fat into 1-inch pieces, and mix it into the dough, just till it’s evenly distributed; some of the pieces of flour-coated fat should break into smaller pieces.
  • Sprinkle the liquid(s) over the dough while tossing with a fork.
  • Just as soon as the dough becomes cohesive (i.e., you can squeeze it into a ball easily), stop mixing; there should still be visible pieces of fat in the dough.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap or waxed paper.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer; this resting period allows the flour to absorb the water, making the dough easier to roll out.
  • Flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 12 x 9-inch (approximately) rectangle.
  • (If it isn’t holding together well, sprinkle it lightly with a couple of teaspoons of water.
  • Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter), then fold it into thirds the opposite way, to form a rough square. Wrap it well and refrigerate again.).
  • When you’re "ready to roll," remove the dough from the fridge.
  • If the dough is made with all lard and/or vegetable shortening, you’ll be able to work with it directly from the refrigerator.
  • A dough made with all butter will need to warm slightly (10 to 15 minutes) before rolling, as butter becomes brittle when it’s refrigerated.
  • Dough made with a combination of butter and shortening should rest for about 5 minutes at room temperature before rolling.
  • Roll the dough to the size needed (about 13 inches for a 9-inch pie).
  • Fill and bake as directed in your recipe.
  • Note: in this particular recipe, cut all of the lard or vegetable shortening into the flour, then coat the butter with flour before adding it to the dough.