This recipe for Flaky Pie Crust is multipurpose, as it can be used for any of your favorite sweet or savory pies. It uses a combination of butter and shortening for a delicious end result.
Easy Flaky Pie Crust Recipe
Pie crusts can be intimidating to the most savvy home cooks and bakers. There’s nothing at all wrong with using a quality convenience product, such as a refrigerated or frozen pie crust and I often use them myself. That said, when I make a homemade crust this is the recipe I use. As with any homemade dough recipe, it takes practice to master pie crust making but, you can do it. Once you master making homemade pie crust, checkout my article on Parade featuring 30 decadent pies and tarts.
How to Make the Best Flaky Pie Crust Recipe
Follow these tips for homemade pie crust making success:
- Start with very cold butter and vegetable shortening for the flakiest pie crust.
- The sugar in the crust assists with browning and doesn’t make the crust sweet. You can omit with no other adjustments, should you choose to.
- Leave some tiny chunks of butter in the dough. The butter will melt while baking forming pockets of steam that result in a flaky crust.
- Why is there vinegar in the pie crust recipe? Vinegar affects the gluten development in the flour and provides a safeguard against overworking the dough. Overworked pie dough could make the pie crust tough. Vinegar keeps the pie dough tender and helps promote the flakiness of the crust. Some bakers may choose to use Vodka for the same reason.
- Use just enough ice cold water to allow the dough to come together.
- After forming into disks, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days before using.
- Roll the dough from the center to the edge using even pressure and rotate 1/4 turn each time, to keep the thickness uniform.
- Fold the dough over the rolling pin to assist in moving it to the pie dish.
- Drape the crust loosely over the dish, then press firmly onto the bottom and sides.
- Fold the pie crust under along the edge or trim excessively long pieces.
- Flute the edges as desired or, use the tines of a fork to press along the edge of the crust.
How to Blind Bake a Flaky Pie Crust
This pie crust can be baked prior to filling or baked with a filling. Whether it’s a Western omelet quiche, a tomato tart, butterscotch pie or Southern pecan pie it works equally well with them all. When baking prior to filling:
- Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork
- Line with foil or parchment paper
- Fill with dry beans or pie weights
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the weights and bake for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the bottom is golden.
- Cool and fill with your favorite pie filling.
Delicious Southern Pie Recipes to Make
Now that you’ve got an all purpose basic pie crust recipe under your belt, checkout these recipes to put it to use!
- You’ll need both crusts to make this delicious Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie.
- Decadent German Chocolate Pie.
- Hearty Steak and Potato Pie recipe.
- Luscious Caramel Pie.
- Make a streusel topped Sweet Potato Pie using this pie crust recipe.
- A personal favorite Southern Pecan Pie with a big dollop of whipped cream.
- Fudgy Chocolate Chess Pie.
- Classic Southern Style Chess Pie.
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Helpful Kitchen Items
Flaky Pie Crust
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup cold butter cubed
- 1/3 cup cold solid vegetable shortening cubed
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
- In a mixing bowl using a whisk, sift together flour, sugar and salt.
- Using a pastry blender or a food processor, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles peas.
- Mix together cold water and vinegar. Add to crumb mixture 1 Tbsp at a time pulsing until it comes together. Squeeze a small potion of dough in hand, if it holds together then it's fully moistened.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a smooth ball. Divide in half.
- Form each half into a flattened disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
- On a lightly floured surface using a floured rolling pin roll into a 12 inch disc. Roll from the center to the edge turn 1/4 turn each time to keep the crust uniform in thickness.
- To bake: Preheat oven to 375°F. Press crust into a 9 inch deep dish pie pan. Fold edge under, trimming any excess using a sharp knife. Use the thumb and forefinger method to flute the edge or the tines of a fork to make a design.
- Dock the bottom of crust using a fork. Line with parchment or foil and fill with dry beans or pie weights.
- Bake for 15 minutes until edges are golden. Remove pie weights and continue to bake for 5 -8 minutes or until bottom is golden.
- Fill with your favorite pie filling.