Buttery, easy, flaky pie crust that will turn out perfect every time. Easy to make with just 5 basic ingredients!
Easy Flaky Pie Crust
This flaky pie crust is ridiculously easy to make, with just 5 ingredients, and it turns out beautiful and delicious every time.
Everyone needs a go-to, no-fail pie crust recipe, so I wanted to share mine with you. But first a back story.
One of the very first years I started cooking for the holidays, I made a French silk pie using a random butter crust recipe. For some reason, the pie crust had turned to some strange translucent, rubber-like consistency.
Everyone chewed on their rubber pie silently (including my hubby who was still my boyfriend at the time... it was the first thing I cooked for him! 🙈), until I finally broke the ice and mentioned that there was obviously something wrong with the pie! 😂
I have never used that recipe again. And much to my hubby's delight, I have found the perfect flaky pie crust recipe that turns out perfect. Every. Time.
It's flaky. It's delicious. It's easy. And best of all, it's NOT rubbery.
How to Freeze Pie Crust
This pie crust recipe is freezer friendly.
To freeze, follow recipe steps 1-3. Split dough in half and form into two discs. Cover each disc in plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Why I Use Shortening and Butter in My Pie Crust
As I mentioned earlier, I had a very bad experience with my very first butter pie crust. Since then, I have actually successfully made some that are a more normal consistency.
However, in my pie crust experimentation, I've found that shortening only and shortening and butter pie crusts taste better, hold their shape better, and are easier to work with (especially for beginners!) than all-butter crusts.
The butter and shortening crust is the best of both worlds. Flaky, buttery, and easy to work with.
For very beginners who are looking for the EASIEST possible pie crust to work with, use all shortening (you can just substitute 1:1 with the butter in the recipe). I don't even need to chill all shortening crusts to work with them. So simple.
Can You Use All Butter for Pie Crust?
Yes, you can. You can see above why I prefer not to.
But if you're a shortening hater and refuse to use it at all, here are some tips for dealing with butter crusts:
- Butter crusts need to be chilled for at least 2 hours before handling, preferably overnight. (See the make ahead instructions in the recipe for how to store).
- Flour, flour, flour your work area. All my butter crusts like to stick to the surface, and I often have to use my bench scraper to pull them up cleanly.
How Long Do You Bake a Pie Crust Unfilled?
To bake a pie crust without filling, line with parchment paper after rolling out and pricking the bottom with a fork. Fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake at 400°F for about 14-15 minutes.
How to Make Easy Flaky Pie Crust
In a large mixing bowl, cut shortening, butter, flour, and salt together with a pastry blender. (Photos 1-3)
Add cold water, and stir with a fork until it forms a ball. (Photos 4-6) If there's still flour at the end, add water, a teaspoon at a time. You want the dough to be stiff, not sticky, so be careful not to add too much water.
Divide in half, and form into discs. Cover in plastic wrap, and let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
If you need a little help with the next steps, check out my post for tips on rolling out pie crust.
More Pie Recipes You'll Love
- Easy Oreo Crust - a simple no bake chocolate-y crust.
- Southern Pecan Pie - a southern classic made with brown sugar and pecans.
- Classic Apple Pie - everyone's favorite all-American pie. Serve it a la mode!
- Coconut Cream Pie - light and creamy with bursts of coconut flavor.
- French Silk Pie - rich, decadent, and smooth chocolate filling and topped with whipped cream.
- Maple Pumpkin Pie - a classic pumpkin pie with a sweet maple twist.
Easy No Fail Pie Crust Recipe
- ½ cup shortening
- 4 tablespoons cold butter cubed or cut into small pats
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt optional
- ½ cup cold water
- In a large mixing bowl, cut shortening, butter, and flour together (add salt if you're using). A pastry blender is preferred, but as a newlywed without a well stocked kitchen, I have used a fork with success.
- Then add cold water and stir with a fork until it forms a ball. If there's still flour at the end, add water, a teaspoon at a time. You want the dough to be stiff, not sticky, so be careful not to add too much water.
- Divide in half, and form into discs. (If you're only using half, you can freeze the other half now.) Cover in plastic wrap. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- If you need a baked pie shell, bake in a 400°F oven for 14-15 minutes, or until the crust is cooked through and no longer translucent.
- Be sure to use COLD ingredients. Let water with ice in it (remeasure before use!) and keep butter refrigerated until the last minute.
- You can use this pie crust right away, but it's much easier to work with if you refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before use.
- Rolling Out Pie Crust Tutorial - If rolling out your own homemade pie crust makes you nervous, stop right now! This easy step-by-step tutorial will tell you exactly what to do for a perfect pie crust!
- Pretty Ways to Finish Pie Crust Edges - There are so many ways to finish pie crust once you're done rolling it out to make a truly special pie. Try some of these easy and fun ones this year!
- Must Have Pie Making Supplies - If you love pies, you need these tools so you can make them all the time at home!
- Before baking, prick bottom with a fork, gently line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans. This will prevent your crust from becoming puffy or misshapen.
- Recommended equipment: pastry blender | glass pie dish | rolling pin |pie weights-(2)
- Make Ahead: Prepare pie crust as instructed in steps 1-3. After covering in plastic wrap, cover in foil as well. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
- And be sure to check out my favorite pie recipes HERE
UPDATE INFO: This post was originally published in August 2014. It has been updated with new pictures, tips, detailed instructions, and video in October 2019.
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