This recipe is enough for a double crust pie. If you only need 1 crust for your pie, freeze the other half per the Freezing Instructions below. Is your pie dough tearing, cracking, or crumbling as you try to roll it out? See recipe Notes.
- 2 and 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for shaping and rolling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 2/3 cup (130g) vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1/2 cup (120ml) ice cold water
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut the butter and shortening into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal (pea-sized bits with a few larger bits of fat is OK). In this step, you’re only breaking up the cold fat into tiny little flour-coated pieces; you’re not completely incorporating it. Do not overwork the ingredients.
- 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, 1 Tablespoon (15ml) at a time, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after every Tablespoon has been added. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps. I always use about 1/2 cup of water, and need a little more in dry winter months. Do not add any more water than you need.
- Transfer the pie dough to a floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Avoid overworking the dough. If it feels a bit too dry or crumbly, dip your fingers in the ice water and then continue bringing dough together with your hands. If it feels too sticky, sprinkle on more flour and then continue bringing dough together with your hands. Form it into a ball. Use a sharp knife to cut it in half. If it’s helpful, you should have about 1 lb, 8 ounces dough total (about 680g). Gently flatten each half into 1-inch-thick discs using your hands.
- Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days.
- After the dough has chilled for at least 2 hours, you can roll it out. Work with one crust at a time, keeping the other in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roll it out. Lightly flour the work surface, rolling pin, and your hands, and sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough. Use gentle-medium force with your rolling pin on the dough—don’t press down too hard on the dough; you’re not mad at it! When rolling dough out, start from the center and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. Between passes of the rolling pin, rotate the pie crust and even flip it, to make sure it’s not sticking to your work surface. Sprinkle on a little more flour if it’s sticking; don’t be afraid to use a little more flour. If you notice the dough becoming a lopsided circle as you’re rolling it out, put down the rolling pin and use your hands to help mold the dough back into an even circle. Roll the dough into a very thin 12-inch circle, which is the perfect size to fit a 9-inch pie dish. Your pie dough will be about 1/8 inch thick, which is quite thin. Visible specks of butter and fat in the dough are perfectly normal and expected.
- Because your dough is so thin, use your rolling pin to help transfer the pie crust to the pie dish. Carefully roll one end of the circle of dough gently onto the rolling pin, rolling it back towards you, slowly peeling it off the work surface as you go. Pick it up, and carefully roll it back out over the top of the pie dish. It’s helpful to watch how I do it in the video below.
- Proceed with the pie per your recipe’s instructions. If your dough requires par-baking, see helpful How to Par-Bake Pie Crust tutorial.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Prepare the pie dough through step 5 and freeze the discs for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using in your pie recipe.
- Special Tools: Pastry Cutter & Rolling Pin. For more tools you may need to completely assemble and bake your pie, see my 10 Best Pie Baking Tools list.
- Salt: Use regular table salt. If using kosher salt, use 1 and 1/4 teaspoons.
- Shortening: This recipe uses a butter and shortening combination. Butter for flakiness and flavor, and shortening for its high melting point and ability to help the crust hold shape. You can use butter-flavor shortening if desired. If you want to skip the shortening, feel free to try this all-butter pie crust instead. Some readers have substituted lard for shortening in this recipe with success.
- Can I use a food processor? You can use a food processor to bring the dough ingredients together in step 1, but I find it quickly overworks the dough. For best results and a light, flaky crust, I recommend a pastry cutter.
- Pie dough is dry & cracking around edges when rolling: Use enough ice water when preparing the pie dough. If you work the fats into the dry ingredients too much, the dough will feel too wet before you can add enough water. (And the dough will be dry and thirsty.) Do not overwork the fats in the dry ingredients—you still want those nice crumbles. If it’s too late and you notice the edges of your pie crust are cracking as you roll it out, dip your fingers in ice-cold water and meld the edges back together. Wait a minute, and then try rolling out again.
- Pie dough is falling apart & crumbling when rolling: The dough is likely crumbling because there’s too much fat, and not enough flour and water. Again, this is usually a result of fat being worked in too much, which can easily happen if the ingredients weren’t cold enough. (Refrigerate those dry ingredients before you start!) If it’s too late and the pie dough is crumbling as you roll it out, try adding more water AND more flour. Sprinkle a tiny bit of ice water and flour onto the cracks and crumbled pieces, and gently work it all in with your fingers. Wait a minute, and then try rolling out again.
- More Crusts: If you need more than 2 pie crusts, make another separate batch of dough. Doubling or tripling the recipe leads to over- or under-working the dough, which ruins all of your efforts.
Keywords: pie crust