Homemade Pie Crust

Ever wonder how pastry chefs get that perfect crumbly, flaky, golden brown pie crust?

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

If you have the luxury of hopping on to a nearby store to get pre-made or frozen pie crust, I envy you. For those of us living in countries where “Pies” or “Tarts” aren’t homemade treats, getting a ready made pie crust is close to impossible. Besides, from what I gathered during my vast research on frozen pie sheets, most frozen pie tins available in supermarkets bake up into something that can taste pretty industrial.

But thankfully, making your own Pie Crust is no rocket science. It takes 4 basic “ingredients”, some labor and quick hands to get the job done.

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

If you do choose to make your own pie crust, there are umpteen methods out there for doing so. Every cook and every cookbook seems to have their own favorite. All butter/ all shortening/ vegetable oil/ part butter-part shortening/ lard… the list goes on. It is easy to get overwhelmed with so many recipes!

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

I tailored a recipe to use up the ingredients I had on hand. And even though I have never really eaten “Piesbefore, I’m sure I succeeded in making a more than decent crust! πŸ™‚ It was buttery, flaky and delicious! I’ll first show you how to make the pie crust with step by step pictures. BE SURE to read the PRINTABLE RECIPE where I’ve written ALL THE IMPORTANT STEPS, TIPS & TRICKS to get a perfect pie crust including an easier method to make it in the food processor!

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe {Disclaimer: I don’t wanna see any “O my how fattening” comments! πŸ˜€ If you chose to read a “Pie” recipe, you forfeited your right to comment on “how rich in calories” the recipe is!}

Here is how I made mine –

HOMEMADE PIE CRUST RECIPE

The ingredients –
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Add salt to flour. Mix well and chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Add cold cubes of butter to the flour.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Using a fork, break up all the butter cubes into smaller pieces. (see Printable recipe below for a Food Processor version)
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

You have to ensure everything stays extremely cold. If you feel the butter starts to soften, go ahead and pop the bowl into the freezer for 5 minutes. Keep breaking up the butter cubes into the flour until the largest chunk of butter is as small as a pea. The butter pieces should still be visible, but they should be really tiny pieces. (If you have a pastry cutter, use that)
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

At this point, its a good idea to again pop the mixture into the freezer for 5 minutes. Its not necessary if you are quick and your kitchen isn’t hot. But hey, I live in India. I can’t expect a cold kitchen! πŸ˜€
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Take the flour butter mixture out. Add ice cold water – ONE TABLESPOON at a time, constantly mixing.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

At this point, I switched over to my hand mixer with dough hook attachment. But you can still continue with a fork.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Keep adding 1 TABLESPOON cold water at a time whilst mixing just until the mixture clumps up together. (If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready)
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Dump the mixture onto a work surface.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Using your hands, pull the flour mixture together to hold its form.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Shape it into a round disk and flatten it out a little bit.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Cover with plastic wrap
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Chill for at least 30-45 minutes before using.
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

4.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Pie Crust
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Easy homemade Pie Crust
Author:
Recipe type: How-To
Serves: 1, 9 inch pie
Ingredients
  • 1 and ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • a pinch of Sugar (optional - use for sweet pies)
  • 100 grams (3/4 cup) Cold, Hard Butter, cut into cubes (or use Margarine)
  • 7-8 Tablespoons Ice Cold Water (see tip 3)
Tip
  • All the ingredients (including) flour and salt have to be very cold. SO freeze them for 30 minutes before using
  • Cut butter into cubes & freeze for over an hour to get Hard butter cubes
  • For the correct water measurement, you have to use your senses. Keep adding water 1 tablespoon at a time till mixture comes together.
Instructions
Hand made version
  1. Add salt to flour. Mix well and chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add cold cubes of butter to the flour.
  3. Using a fork, break up all the butter cubes into smaller pieces. Ensure everything stays extremely cold. If you feel the butter starts to soften, keep the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. Keep breaking up the butter cubes into the flour until the largest chunk of butter is as small as a pea. The butter pieces should still be visible, but they should be really tiny pieces. (If you have a pastry cutter, use that)
  4. Again freeze for 5 minutes just to make sure everything stays extremely cold.
  5. Take the flour butter mixture out. Add ice cold water - ONE TABLESPOON at a time, constantly mixing. (You can use the fork itself or switch to a mixer with dough attachment) Keep adding 1 TABLESPOON cold water at a time whilst mixing just until the mixture clumps up together. (If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready)
  6. Dump the mixture onto a work surface. Using your hands, pull the flour mixture together to hold its form. Shape it into a round disk and flatten it out a little bit.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap & chill for at least 30-45 minutes before using.
Food Processor Version
  1. Combine flour, salt in a food processor; pulse to mix.
  2. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter.
  3. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.
  4. Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface.
  5. Gently shape the dough mixture into disks. Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough.
  6. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
To Freeze for Future Use
  1. You can flatten out the dough, wrap each one in plastic wrap and store in the freezer upto 1 week.
  2. Whenever you want to make your pie (or turnover / tarts / crostata), just take the pie crust out of the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to soften it a little bit.
Important : General Pointers for the perfect Pie Crust
  1. One of the secrets to a flaky pie crust is to work with very cold butter. Cut the butter into cubes and freeze, at least 15 minutes, best over an hour or even overnight
  2. It is super important to keep everything extremely COLD while making the dough, kneading, rolling etc. At any point if the butter melts into the flour, you will lose the flakiness. SO if you feel that's happening, immediately pop the mixture into the freezer until its cold & hard again
  3. Making it in the food processor is the easiest way to make Pie Crust. But if not, use a cold bowl, cold fork and be careful not to over knead
  4. The dough, when you roll it out, should be a little crumbly at the edges. If your dough is too crumbly to shape, add more water, and if it is really wet (not crumbling at the edges at all), add a little more flour.
  5. I used a combination of Margarine and Butter. The recipe will work fine with just butter or just margarine too.
  6. If you want an extra flaky crust, shmoosh the dough mixture into the table top with the heel of the palm of your hand a few times. This will help flatten the butter into layers between the flour which will help the resulting crust be flaky. You can easily skip this step if you want
What to expect when your Making the Pie Crust : - If your crust --
  1. bakes too smooth, it was handled too much.
  2. bottom is soggy, use a dull pan next time or increase oven temperature.
  3. is tough, used too much water, or flour, or was handled too much
  4. is too tender and crumbly, used too little water or too much shortening
  5. is dry and not flaky, the shortening was cut too much, or too little water.
Ways to use the Pie Crust
  1. Traditional Sweet & savory Pies
  2. Tarts & Tartlets
  3. Quiches
  4. Crostata
  5. Turnovers
Additional Tip
  1. If you are using a food processor, you might as well double the recipe, make large batches and freeze separately for future use

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8 Comment

  1. venus john says: Reply

    can I use maida or atta instead of all purpose flour?where can I get ready made pie crust?

    1. All purpose flour IS maida. I wouldn’t use wheat flour (atta). I think maida works best. But you could try it out. Also, I’m not aware of where you can get ready made pie crust in India. check the gourmet food section of any super market

  2. Simone says: Reply

    I’m going to try baking an apple pie soon, so I want to know if there is any difference in the recipe when making a pie base and a pie crust. And if there is, how do I make both?

    1. They’re the same. πŸ™‚ But you should check out the recipe to see if it is significantly different from the one I’ve posted here.

  3. Chetna parikh says: Reply

    I want to use pie crust as base &filling with chocolate muffins & then bake it to make pie combination of muffins is it possible. Should i bake pie first then fill with muffin better&then bake again?

    1. Hi Chetna,
      I’ve never really tried that combination so I may not be entirely correct. However, most recipes that involve a Pie crust seem to bake sooner (in under 10 minutes), while muffins take anywhere between 20-30 minutes. The cooking temperatures vary too. If that is the case, then I’m not sure how well the 2 can bake together. Double baking the crust will make it too crispy and flaky (and burnt!). A better option is to bake the pie crust and muffins separately and fill one in another! If you must bake the 2 together, then just try 1 sample.

  4. Marie says: Reply

    Mmmmmmm… Looks yummy. I wish I could make it… Too bad someone forgot to tell us how much salt you need. Or how much flour you need. Or how much butter you need. Or how much water you need. I hope you can add the measurements soon. I reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllly… want to make this. Sorry for the hard discrimination. Thank you. ☺️

    1. Hi Marie! I did not forget! πŸ™‚ Why don’t you wait for the page to load completely, scroll to the bottom (below the step by step pictorial) and see for yourself? You’ll have a printable version of the recipe with all the measurements you need!

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