All Butter Pie Crust

Follow this simple recipe and video tutorial for the best all butter pie crust. It will make you a pie expert immediately! Complete with all my tips and troubleshooting, this pie crust recipe is buttery, flaky, and tender with the most incredible flavor.

Lattice all butter pie crust tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

At the request of many, today I’m sharing my go-to all butter pie crust recipe. It competes with my butter and shortening pie crust for the #1 spot in my pie-loving heart. (Scroll to the recipe notes for my pie crust comparison!) I’ve made thousands of pies in my day and consider myself a pie expert. A pi-expert, if you will. I’ve made all the pie crust mistakes so I can coach you through the process and supply you with all the knowledge and confidence to tackle pie crust once and for all.

You’ll be a pi-expert with this recipe and tutorial on your side!

Watch my video tutorial for butter pie crust with lattice topping. This is my homemade apple pie with chai spices, a favorite every Fall season.

Start with a dependable pie crust recipe and you’re set for success. Soon everyone will be asking YOU for all your pie crust secrets.

Warm and sweet homemade deep dish apple pie flavored with delicious chai spice! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Only 5 Ingredients in Butter Pie Crust

This pie crust is made with 5 ingredients. Each ingredient has a very specific job. And with so few ingredients, it’s important to use the best quality.

  1. Flour – The structure of pie crust.
  2. Salt – Flavor flavor flavor. Use table salt instead of coarse salt. Smaller salt crystals dissolve and disperse more evenly throughout the dough.
  3. Granulated Sugar – Pie crust should not be sweet, but adding a little sugar to butter pie crust improves its flavor and enhances browning. The sugar crystals also help break down the hard pieces of butter.
  4. Cold unsalted butter – Supplies the pie crust’s unbeatable flavor and flaky texture. Use unsalted butter. The amount of salt in different brands’ salted butter varies, so for better control over the flavor, it’s best to begin with unsalted and add your salt.
  5. Ice water – The final ingredient, about 1/2 cup of ice cold water holds all the ingredients together. Use just enough so the dough holds its shape when rolling out. Many pie crust recipes don’t call for enough ice water, giving you a dry pie dough that cracks when you roll it out. When in doubt, add a little more water. You’re better off with more water (wet pie dough) than not enough water (dry, cracking pie dough) because you can always work more flour into the dough, but you can’t really add water to the pie dough when you’re trying to roll it out.

Basic Pie Crust Steps

  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or food processor.
  3. Add ice water a little bit at a time until the dough begins to come together. It will feel thick and moist, not overly wet.  You’ll use around 1/2 cup (120ml).
  4. Mold pie dough into a ball.
  5. Cut in half. This recipe yields two 9-inch pie crusts.
  6. Flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap.
  7. Chill for 2 hours before using.

These steps are shown in the video tutorial above and described in the recipe below.

The best flaky all butter pie crust recipe is super buttery and easy to work with! Recipe and video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The best flaky all butter pie crust recipe is super buttery and easy to work with! Recipe and video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Why the Emphasis on Cold?

Keeping your pie dough as cold as possible prevents the fat from melting too soon. Too soon = before the pie crust enters the oven.

  • What happens when the pie dough is warm? The butter in the pie crust will melt before baking, which means you lose all the flakiness and structure. Warm pie dough melts into a pool of grease. You’ll have a hard, crunchy, and greasy crust instead of a beautifully tender flaky crust.
  • What happens when the pie dough is cold? The butter in the pie crust will melt inside the oven. Butter has a high volume of water content and this water converts to steam as the pie dough bakes. The steam separates the crust into multiple flaky layers, making this the most delicious pie crust ever.

The colder the dough, the flakier the pie crust.


How to Keep Pie Dough Cold:

  1. Use ice cold water. Fill a glass with 1 cup of water, add ice. You only need 1/2 cup of water in this butter pie crust recipe, but have a little extra just in case.
  2. Use cold butter. I keep some of my butter in the freezer and transfer it to the refrigerator a couple hours before beginning the crust. The butter is part frozen and very cold.
  3. Chill the pie dough for at least 2 hours before rolling out. This step is non-negotiable; it’s the most crucial in the entire pie crust recipe.
  4. For extra insurance, chill your flour and your mixing bowl in the refrigerator or freezer. Sounds a little silly, but trust me… it really helps!

The best flaky all butter pie crust recipe is super buttery and easy to work with! Recipe and video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Roll Out Pie Dough

After the dough has chilled, it’s time to roll it out. Keep a small bowl of flour nearby to keep your work surface, rolling pin, and hands lightly floured. This prevents the pie dough from sticking. When rolling pie dough out, always start from the center and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough as you go. If the pie dough feels too warm or the butter is melting, stop. Lift it up, place on a baking sheet, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before continuing.

How to lattice pie crust on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Butter Pie Crust Tips

  • I’m going to repeat myself here. Keep all pie crust ingredients cold. On a hot day, you can chill the measured out flour in the refrigerator or freezer before starting. When taking the pie crust out of the refrigerator to roll out and fill, make sure your pie filling is ready to go. If not, keep the pie crust in the refrigerator until it is.
  • Glass pie dishes are best. Why? As opposed to ceramic or metal pie dishes, glass pie dishes conduct heat evenly, which allows the bottom of the crust to bake thoroughly. Also, you can see when the sides and bottom of the crust have browned.
  • If your pie recipe requires pre-baking (blind baking pie crust)– let’s say you’re making a pie with an especially wet filling– use pie weights or dried beans. Without pie weights, the pie dough will puff up, then shrink. Whichever you choose, be sure to line the crust with parchment or aluminum foil, then fill the empty pie crust with the weights. See my post and video tutorial for how to blind bake pie crust.
  • Always use a pie crust shield. A shield keeps the crust edge covered, which protects it from browning too quickly or worse, burning. Use an adjustable silicone pie crust shield that you can fit to the size of your delicate pie crust. Metal can break the crust. Alternatively, you can cover the pie with a piece of aluminum foil. Cut a large circle in the center of the square so the center of the pie is exposed.
  • Learn how to braid pie crust with my how to braid pie crust video tutorial.
  • Learn how to lattice pie crust, too.

Pie Crust Troubleshooting

  • Prevent a crumbly pie dough that rips and tears when you roll it out. Make sure you use enough ice water when preparing your pie dough. Too little water creates an unworkable dough.
  • Prevent a tough pie crust. Tough crusts are the result of not enough fat in the crust, as well as overworking the dough. Use the all butter pie crust recipe or my shortening and butter pie crust recipe to ensure a flaky, tender pie crust. Additionally, don’t work the dough too much.
  • Prevent a burnt crust with a pie shield. See above.

Warm and sweet homemade deep dish apple pie flavored with delicious chai spice! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Recommended Pie Crust Tools

  • Pastry cutter – Though you can use a food processor to make this butter pie crust, I strongly recommend a pastry cutter to avoid over-mixing. Food processors are quick to over-work pie dough.
  • Pastry mat – I prefer rolling pie dough out on a lightly floured counter because countertops are usually colder, but you can use a lightly floured pastry mat instead.
  • Rolling pin – An obvious must with pie dough! I also love this marble rolling pin. Marble rolling pins are usually cooler to touch and we all know that pie dough loves the cold.
  • Glass pie dish – My mother-in-law bought me this Pyrex pie dish 5 years ago and it’s been my go-to ever since. I have 4 of them now! Like I mention in my pie crust tips above, glass pie dishes conduct heat evenly, which allows the bottom of the crust to bake thoroughly. This is important. There’s no comparison, Pyrex is the best.
  • Pizza cutter or pastry wheel – To cut your pie dough into strips for lattice decoration or any decoration. Have you seen my pie crust designs post?
  • Pastry brush – An egg wash is simply an egg mixed with milk or water (usually milk). Lightly brush the pie dough with an egg wash using a pastry brush. The egg wash creates a golden, shiny, crisp crust. Without it, pie crust is dull and lacking color.
  • Pie weights – These are crucial when you blind bake pie crust for no-bake or custard pies. Note: 2 packs of these pie weights is definitely needed!
  • Pie crust shield – Pie crust edges are usually higher up than the center of the pie, leaving them exposed to the most heat. They brown quicker than the center of the pie, so it’s important to protect it with a shield. I usually place a pie crust shield on the pie about halfway through bake time. I recommend an adjustable silicone pie crust shield that you can adjust. Or you can cover the pie with a piece of aluminum foil: cut a circle in the center so the center of the pie is exposed.

Pie Recipes

Now that you’re fully prepared and equipped, here are several pie recipes to use your all butter pie crust. Pictured is my chai spice apple pie and I topped it with salted caramel in the video.

Print
Lattice all butter pie crust tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

All Butter Pie Crust

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 pie crusts
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Follow this simple recipe and video tutorial for the best all butter pie crust. It will make you a pie expert immediately! Complete with all my tips and troubleshooting, this pie crust recipe is buttery, flaky, and tender with the most incredible flavor.


Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230g; 16 Tbspunsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) ice water, plus more as needed

Instructions

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter on top.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, food processor, or two forks (pastry cutter is ideal, see post above), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until all flour is coated. You’re looking for pea-sized bits of flour coated butter. A few larger bits of butter is OK.
  3. Measure 1/2 cup (120ml) of water in a cup. Add ice. Stir it around. From that, measure 1/2 cup (120ml) of water since the ice has melted a bit. Drizzle the cold water in, 2 Tablespoons (30ml) at a time, and stir after each addition. Stop adding water when the dough comes together easily and begins to form large clumps. The dough will feel moist and a little sticky, but not feel overly wet. Do not add any more water than you need to. I always use about 1/2 cup (120ml) of ice water.
  4. Place pie dough on a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball. Divide dough in half. Using your hands, flatten each half into a 1-inch thick disc.
  5. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days before using in a pie recipe.
  6. When rolling out the chilled pie dough discs, use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands between rolls. Smooth out the edges if you notice cracks. (See video above.) Keeping your work surface, rolling pin, and hands lightly floured makes rolling out easier.
  7. Proceed with the pie per your recipe’s instructions.


Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the pie dough through step 4 and freeze the discs for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using in your pie recipe.
  2. Pie Crust Comparison: Let’s see how this all butter pie crust recipe compares to my favorite buttery flaky pie crust, which uses a mix of shortening and butter. Due to butter’s high water content, this all butter pie crust is lighter textured with more defined flakes. As the crust bakes, the butter’s water converts to steam, creating thousands of deliciously light flakes. It’s also so buttery! However, because of all this butter, I find that the shortening and butter pie crust is a little easier to work with. Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, so the crust holds its shape wonderfully. Both crusts are fantastic, but if you are looking to make intricate pie crust designs I highly recommend my buttery flaky pie crust.
  3. Try This: Replacing 1 Tablespoon of ice water with cold apple cider vinegar creates an even flakier, more tender pie dough. It’s so tasty. Try it!

Keywords: pie crust

51 Comments

  1. You are a lifesaver Sally! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for so long…thank you!!! And I always love the amount of tips and photos you have – makes it so much easier to get amazing results!

  2. Hi Sally! All of your tutorial videos/facebook live/step by step photos have made me so much more confident in making my own pie crust from scratch! And I love that you’re always trying to make your recipes accessible to the average baker (i.e. if you don’t have shortening on hand, but have lots of butter and want to make a pie!) Opinion question: my group at work is planning a bie baking competition this winter…which of your pies would you make?? Both in terms of delicious/unique flavor and also decorating potential. Thanks!

  3. The July Baking Challenge was the first (and thus far only! 😉 monthly baking challenge in which I participated. It was also the first time I had successfully made my own pie crust, and gosh was I proud! I will be almost 37 weeks pregnant this Thanksgiving but am determined to be in charge of pies and to make the dough from scratch again. My husband’s favorite pie is a chocolate bourbon pecan pie I’ve been making for years, and I plan to make 2. I don’t plan to do designs (we like to see all the “stuff” in this particular pie:) so which pie crust would you recommend – this one, or the other one? Thanks so much! 🙂

    1. Congrats on your bundle of joy on the way! You’re ambitious baking at 37 weeks pregnant. I was the same, I needed to be on my feet and active those last few weeks. 🙂
      Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either pie crust. I find the shortening/butter pie crust easier to work with and shape, but if you aren’t doing any fancy designs– this all butter pie crust is fantastic. Awesome flavor!

  4. This looks amazing! I am definitely using this for Thanksgiving! I do have a question though – would I need to blind bake the crust of a chocolate chess pie? When I’ve used store-bought crusts I did not, but not sure with this. Your blog has been so helpful!

    1. Hi Mollie! You don’t typically have to blind bake the pie crust when making chocolate chess pie. You certainly could for 10ish minutes, but it’s not necessary.

  5. Hi Sally, can you put the quantity of flour and butter in grams for us non U.S. readers please if you get a chance, looking forward to trying this out!

  6. Quick question Sally, I’ve been making various pie crusts over the years, variating from all shortening, to half shortening half butter, to all butter, but I keep encountering the same problem: shrinkage! I make a nice pie crust design, either braided or simple crimps, but every time the crust shrinks in on itself and looks so sad and small and ugly when it comes out of the oven! It’s still super tasty, but I’d like my pie crusts to hold their shape a little better. Any tips?

    1. Hi Anne! This is usually a result of overworking the pie dough. Pie dough should only be mixed until the ingredients come together. Don’t use a food processor if you continue to experience pie dough shrinking. Use a pastry cutter. Let it rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge– and if you can let it rest longer, awesome. Better yet, make the pie dough discs a few days in advance so they can rest during that time. Likewise, use gentle force when rolling out pie dough. Roll out very slowly and take your time. Keep the ingredients as cold as possible. You can even freeze the crust for 20 minutes before baking. That always always helps!

  7. Hi Sally! Thank you some much for the great recipes and video tutorials! I was making the shortening/butter crust the other day, and felt it came together after a few tablespoons of water…but wasn’t sure because I wasn’t close to a half cup of water. I added more water, and made a mess lol, then added more flour. Do you think it could have possibly been right without adding 1/2 cup? I’m sure there are factors that I don’t know about. I’m new at making my own pie crusts, but want to conquer it. I’m looking forward to pie week!

    1. Hi Jodi! That could mean that the butter and shortening were not cold enough. They began to soften, which created a wet pie dough before you were finished adding enough water. Sometimes I cut the butter and shortening in, then I freeze the mixture for 1 hour before adding the ice water. Takes extra time, but always guarantees a strong crust.

  8. Hi Sally, Thank you for uploading an all butter pie crust. I can’t get shortening where I live so im looking forward to trying this. I’m just wondering how much butter is needed in grams for this recipe? Thanks Tasha

  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE this crust recipe! I use it for pies as well as quiche. I used to make one that was half butter and half Crisco. Since I cannot get Crisco and no longer have my food processor, I make this all butter by hand and it is super yummy. Thanks for such a versatile recipe!

  10. Hi sally
    I’m making hand pies which I will cut in 3 inch rounds then will be folded over.
    My question is which of your pie crusts will be more ‘malleable’ for this type of recipe ?
    (I’m guessing it would be the one with shortening)
    Thank you

    1. Sally
      Thank you so much for your advice. (Also,it’s nice to know that once in awhile i am right:)
      I looked at your recipe for hand pies. I definitely liked yours over the one I had chosen. Can’t wait to try it

  11. Made this: LOVED it! Thank you! I Love your blog also! Every recipe I’ve tried has turned out well! And I am not a very good cook…at all. But with your hints/tricks/tips/Awesome recipes you’d think I was! Haha! Thank you again for this wonderful blog and all your help!
    #SallysBakingAddictionForever!

  12. Hi Sally,

    I’ve only made all butter pie crusts, and I found a tip I found on Epicurious I care share…adding 1 Tbsp cider vinegar with the ice water! The acid helps to keep the crust tender, and you don’t taste it at all.

  13. I have been searching for an all butter pie crust for awhile and I will definitely try this one. Just in time for Thanksgiving! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  14. Hi Sally!
    I’m a huge fan of your buttery flakey pie crust & discovered a love for making pie I didn’t know I had thanks to you. I’ve made it many times & it never disappoints. Will have to give this all butter version a try (& use the apple cider vinegar tip!). SO excited for pie week!! 🙂

  15. Wow! I thought my cheap glass pie dish (food network on sale at Kohl’s for like 4 dollars 6 years ago?) was junk and had my eye on one at Williams Sonoma for like 30x that price (probably exaggerating lol.. probably…) and now I can scratch that off my wish list because my pie dish is good? Maybeeee I’ll make a pie this week! I have butcher block countertops (stained and polyurethaned) and every time I go to roll out dough it just slides all around

  16. I just used this recipe to make your double crust chicken pot pie and it was very tender yet easy to work. I had enough and then some for my deep dish 10inch pie dish. Thank you Sally for all your hard work .

  17. Hi Sally!
    Question. I’m traveling to south Florida for thanksgiving. I plan to use this recipe for pie crust but the one year it was particularly warm here in MD on thanksgiving I had issues with my pie crust (had to use like three different recipes, hadn’t found your yet). I was thinking of making my pie crust here in MD before I leave and then freeze it and pack it frozen in a lunch box with ice packs. Then when i get there i would put it in the fridge and bake the next day. How do you think it would do? Do you think I should just wait and make it there?

    Thanks!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Meredith! I suggest making the pie crust at home, traveling with it on ice then baking the pie after you arrive. It travels very well.

  18. Happy Thanksgiving Sally! I followed your recipe and it was the easiest pie crust I’ve ever rolled out! However, I had it perfectly crimped and then after blind-baking before filling, it shrunk, slumped and didn’t hold its shape! What was my error?! Thanks!

    1. Hi Mercedes! No error at all. I find that all butter pie crusts don’t hold their shape nearly as well as pie crusts made with shortening or a shortening/butter blend. Sometimes I FREEZE the butter pie crust before blind baking– holds its shape much better that way.

  19. Question: I love all-butter crusts and have gotten pretty good at making them. However, is it my imagination or do pies which need refrigeration and made with all butter crusts need to sit on the counter for between 30 and 60 minutes before serving? The crust seems a little hard if this isn’t done and I wonder if the butter in the crust needs to soften before serving. My husband has noticed the same. What about say, a vanilla cream pie which shouldn’t sit out TOO long before serving. Do you recommend using a different pie crust?

    1. Hi Kathleen, you can certainly leave the pie at room temperature for a bit before serving if you like the crust better that way! I’m unsure of which cream pie recipe you are referring to but it’s 100% personal preference to use this all butter crust or the crust with shortening!

  20. I did a little experiment and made this crust with white whole wheat four… I was a little nervous but it actually came out really good! Still really flakey and yummy. I just needed a little extra water.

  21. I’ve already made this pie crust several times and each time it has turned out to be ah. may. zing. I usually make a lattice design on top and the pie dough is very easy to work with…stunning designs (and, of course, the beautiful buttery, flaky layers) with no crazy amount of effort 🙂

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