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.
Best Pie Crust Video
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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Tshanina | Thrifty T's Treasures says
I'll admit it...I'm intimidated at the thought of making a pie crust. But with three ingredients, I just might have to try your recipe! :O)
Awesome pie crust! Very easy to make- I love to bake but usually stay away from pie crusts but tried this one! Lioved it!! Thank you for sharing!!
Alicia J Hoffman says
I made an apple pie today using this FANTASTIC crust recipe exactly as stated. I am waiting for it to come out of the oven now, but the crust came together so easily and was the perfect size for my deep dish pie pan! I also used your tips for rolling it onto the pan, and for once I didn't have a patchwork quilt on my hands! To speed things up and keep the butter cold, I used a frozen 1/2 stick of butter and box grater to grate it into the flour as I do with my biscuits. Works like a charm! A HUGE thank you, Michelle, for the pie crust recipe I cannot live without!
Love those stories of our first time "cooking" for company, sweetheart or family! I have a few on my on. Think biscuits and hockey pucks. Sorry your pie dish broke. The recipe looks like a winner.
Oh...did I laugh when I read about your "hockey pucks!!!" My biscuits have that distinct name at our house!!! I finally found a recipe that works, but for years, they were "hockey pucks." I gave up on making them!!! LOL
Sara @HappyBrownHouse says
The last time I tried to make homemade crust I failed miserably. Going to give yours a try! Thanks for linking up with Good Tips Tuesday! Just letting you know this is going to be a featured post next week.
Definitely try it! If you run into any problems, let me know, and I'll help you out!
I made the pie dough but, accidentally put it in the fridge instead of the freezer. Will it still work? Thanks for any help.
It depends on how long ago you made it. If you made it recently, like less than a month ago, and it's been wrapped in the fridge, it should still be okay. If you made it over a month ago, or you forgot to wrap it tightly, I would dispose of it and make it again.
Hello, can this dough be made in a food processor?
It can. Just pulse the butter and shortening together until pea size clumps form. Then add the ice water and mix again until dough.
I have made this crust several times now and it always turns out perfectly. After several failed attempts with other recipes and rock hard crusts here's a recipe that even I can't mess up. Thanks so much for sharing!
I'm so glad it worked for you! It definitely makes pie-making a lot less intimidating
Lara @ Methodical Living says
I've been a little scared to make homemade crust. This will work perfectly with my chicken pot pie filling. I pinned this for later!
I use it for pot pie too! It turns out great! Hope you love it too!
Do you precook the crust when making pot pie?? And self rising or All purpose??
No, I do not pre-cook it for pot pie. All purpose flour.
Kyla — HouseOfHipsters.com says
I haven't had the best luck with pie crusts. I'm going to try your out! Thanks for sharing! Also wanted to let you know about a new linky party starting this Saturday at 8pm called “Found & Foraged” Can’t wait to party with you at http://www.houseofhipsters.com
Amber Joy says
Thank you for posting your recipe! It turned out great and that is coming from someone who doesn't care for crust and I ate it all!! I gave a shout out to you on my blog for this recipe. http://www.ambersantics.blogspot.com/2015/03/strawberry-pie-and-promo-code.html
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Juanita Broussard says
Do you use self-rising or all-purpose flour?
Karen Spencer says
This is a great receipe! I did add 1.5 TBSp of sugar and 1/2 tsp salt.
Shortening, do you mean Crisco?
Yes, Crisco makes shortening.
Deborah O'Neal says
I don't have shortening could I use lard.
STACY GARCIA says
WHAT TYPE OF FLOUR SELF RISING OR ALL PURPOSE??
Always all-purpose unless otherwise noted 🙂
Miranthi Fernando says
Oh my, i stumbled on your post cause I was desperate to find a pie crust recipe and although I was apprehensive to bake this with my friends today, I decided to give it a go (first time using shortening, too) AND OH MY GOSH, this is THE best recipe ever. Thanks a million for sharing!!
I'm glad you love it!
Thanks for this easy pie crust recipe. I do have a silly question though. When baking your Traditional Apple Pie should I bake the bottom crust before filling and adding the top crust?
Nope, you can bake it all at once.
I made a pie last night and didnt bake my crust first.... it turned soggy 😭 what did I do wrong
What kind of pie was it? I'd need to see the pie recipe to know what happened. My only guess without the recipe is that you just didn't cook it long enough.
I added some salt. Easy dough. pulsed in the food processor. Came together and rolled out great.
Hi just a question about the pie crust! I've made it before (and it's great by the way!) but I always used it right away. Can it sit in the fridge overnight and I roll it out tomorrow and cook it? Thanks!
Yes. I just cover it in plastic wrap to make sure it stays moist.
Will the crust bulge up when baking in the oven?
It's generally recommended that if you're baking pie crust without filling in it that you use some sort of weight to prevent the bulging. https://www.thegraciouswife.com/must-have-pie-making-supplies/
I made it which I really suck at making crust. It was sooooooo easy and for the first time in my life I could cut it with a knife and not a hammer.
I've never been 100% successful when making pie crust even though I have tried many recipes. Unfortunately, this one was no different. No matter how much water I added, that dough was never going to form a ball so I had to form a ball with my hands. Also, when it came time to roll it out, it kept breaking apart. The overall taste after it came out of the oven was good but texture was not flaky. I would welcome any tips or suggestions.
I'm guessing you added too much water. You do have to make it into a ball with your hands, it won't just happen. And you only need enough water to wet all the flour.
Thank you for your suggestion. Hopefully I will have better luck next time. ?
So, total beginner questions here. Does it matter what type of shortening you use? Is the shortening cold and hard? Would it be possible to use butter as a substitute? Sorry if these questions seem a bit silly, I'm a complete beginner when it comes to baking pies.
I always use plain shortening, like Crisco. Some people use butter in their crusts, but if you read my story above, the rubber crust was one with butter. I made another butter crust this past holiday season, and it was MUCH harder to work with than this shortening crust. So if you're a beginner, especially, I recommend sticking to the recipe.
Thank you! 😀
Does the shortening have to be chilled first
Mine is always room temp.
Can I use butter flavored Crisco?
I have never tried it, but I think it would probably work. Let me know how it goes if you do try it!
I just baked a peach Cobbler and made the crust using the Butter F
lavored Crisco and it was delicious!!!
Can I double the recipe and still get good results?
Question , I don’t have a pastry cutter so can I freeze the butter and then grate it into the flour ? I do that for my buttermilk biscuits and they come out great !
Absolutely! Or you can cut it in with a fork or by criss-crossing 2 butter knives.
Wow! Thanks for sharing this easy recipe! I, among others, was intimidated by making a homemade crust. Pillsbury gave us the easy way out and Sam’s club promotes that in bulk! Hahaha! I have these two bad boys chilling in the refrigerator right now. I did not have any crisco because we have a freezer stocked with lard, from our pig being processed. Will there be a significant difference between the lard and crisco? I realize crisco plant-based and the lard is from an animal, but will the lard hinder the outcome of the crust?
Thank you again, for a simple, non-intimidating recipe!
I think mostly just taste as crisco is vegetable based. But it should still turn out great!
I found your recipe and blog from a Pinterest search. I have always loved pies and quiches, but never have ready-to-bake refrigerated pie crusts when I need them. I have found a few other pie crust recipes online at other blogs via Pinterest, but none of them compared to this one. THANK YOU! This one rolled easily and was super flaky! I used stick margerine instead of shortening and I used my KitchenAid mixer and dough hook to blend the crust dough (adding extra all purpose flour toward the end to help keep it from being super sticky).
Do you have a sugar cookie dough recipe that rolls easily without becoming super bleh from adding so much flour? I'd love to know!
I'm so glad it worked so well for you!
This is the sugar cookie recipe I use: https://www.thegraciouswife.com/sugar-cookies-hold-shape/
I don't make pie often but every time I do, I try a different recipe. This was by far the easiest to prepare and roll! I am hoping the finished product (Turkey Pie) proves this to be the only pie crust recipe I will ever need to use in the future. Thanks so much for posting!
Okay! This is going to be the only pie crust I ever make again!! The only thing I would add is maybe a teaspoon of salt. Other than that, it was the easiest crust I have ever made. Thank you so much!!!!
Used the food processor to blend flour (and salt I added) together. Then added cut up shortening and pulsed til crumbly. Drizzled on water and pulsed til it formed a ball. The easiest to work with flakiest pie crust. I even used it to make empandas. Today, lemon merangue for easter.
Carl T Steinmetz says
Great I do not know much about cooking in general, but your/my making pie crust turned out great. The only thing I did different was using butter in place of shorting, my wife can't have it.
My question how long out of the freezer to roll out?
You can work with it as soon as its soft enough to mold and handle. I usually just take mine out of the freezer the night before and put it in the fridge, and it's ready to go the next day when I need it.
Fi MacVane says
This is very similar to my recipe given to me by my husband's Aunt Nancy although she used half lard and half butter for her shortening. I use all butter and fingers are the best thing for making pie crust (unless you have hot hands). I rub the butter into the flour . Just goes to show how easy making crust is.
Jackie Sherlock says
....am I crazy? Was this recipe recently changed to add the butter? I thought it was all shortening before...?! I’ve been using this recipe for the last year or so whenever I need a pie crust...And I only just made it with butter tonight 😂
Yes! I just updated the recipe to include butter. I did some recipe testing, and found that adding a little butter with the shortening improved the flavor, but kept all the flakiness and structure of the shortening. You can (and I sometimes do!) use all shortening though. Just replace the butter with the same amount of shortening.
Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life says
A good pie crust recipe is a must in every baker's repertoire, and this is a great recipe! Your tips are so helpful too.
It looks like another great way to make crust. I've tried many different recipes but everytime I experiment with a new one, I learn some new insights. Can't wait to try yours!
I am alway a little nervous to make pie crusts. I enjoy that your recipe is simple and easy so I feel like I can do this this time!
This is a perfect pie crust for our Thanksgiving potluck. The topping ideas will be endless, oh, I can't wait.
Always wanted to have an easy recipe for the perfect pie thanks for publishing your tips now I’m inspired to go and make pie.
I was just searching for this recipe and came across yours..thank you so much.
This was perfect and so simple! Great to have on hand for the holiday season
Andrea Metlika says
This pie crust looks perfect and I really like easy it is to make.
This pie crust turned out perfect!!
Michelle Miller says
Excellent! Thanks for this handy recipe, especially on this festive season!
I love this recipe as it has shortening in it. This crust turned out so flaky and buttery.
Ann Acker says
I love homemade pie crusts and can't do it. One thing my mama made that I just haven't been able to make. But, I'm going to try your recipe. First,, does this recipe make 2 pie crusts if you don't make a double crust?
This recipe will make a top and a bottom crust (or 2 bottoms).
If you've had a hard time handling pie crust in the past, using all shortening makes it a lot easier and less sticky to roll out.
Is this recipe for the pie crust enough to make a top and bottom for a 9 x 13 cobbler?
No, I would double it for that.
I was so happy with this recipe!! Thank you for sharing it! My crust was flakey and delicious. ❤️
I use a food processor to mix everything and it works perfect!
Thank you for sharing! I was very intimated to make my own pie crust, but your instructions were great and easy to follow! I even went for the lattice top, beautiful!!
You're welcome! I'm so glad it worked for you!
Help!!!, Pie crust frustrate me, I tried this one , followed the recipe, when rolling out it kept falling apart, did not roll smooth, dough never seemed smooth either....this is always my problem LOL help me succeed what am I doing wrong?
With it being summer, it's possible the dough and/or the room is too warm. Chill the dough for an hour then make sure to liberally flour your work surface AND your rolling pin. The dough will look splotchy. That's from the butter pieces, but it will bake smooth and the butter pieces make it super flaky.
Phyllis pudman says
Hi Thank you so much your recipe is absolutely mouthwatering but in my country we don't have shortening , is there any substitute please
You can use lard or all butter. Since both of those are softer than shortening would be at room temperature, be sure to refrigerate before rolling out so that its not too sticky!
This looks so yummy and perfect! Can't wait to make a pie with this crust!
Everyone needs a dependable pie crust recipe to use again and again. I have now found mine!
Pam Greer says
I have been scared of pie crusts, but this recipe and your perfect instructions make it so doable!
Toni Dash says
This is really amazing! It turned out so good! Thanks for this recipe!
Just made this Chicken Pot Pie and perfect pie crust for dinner tonight. It was Delicious!! Best we’ve ever had! I highly recommend that you try it too.
Best crust ever, hands down
This is the BEST pie crust EVER!!! Great taste, flaky and super easy to make with the instructions given! I've made several and it's my go to recipe! Thank you for sharing this fantastic recipe!
Aw. You're welcome 🙂
I have tried this recipe twice and for the life of me, can't get it to roll properly. It rips and sticks. All of my ingredients are well-chilled at the start. I don't have issues like this when I make an all-butter crust. Any ideas? I'd like to try again.
Hm, that's weird. All-butter crusts are usually stickier because butter is more temperamental to temperature than shortening.
On impulse and assuming all of your ingredients are cold, I would suggest lowering the amount of water. Start with 1/3 cup. Then add a tablespoon at a time, using as little as possible to make all of the flour into dough. Then flour your surface well. I hope this helps!
Whenever I try to precook the crust a few minutes before adding the filling, the sides start to slide down like a wax museum on a summer day. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!
That's pretty normal pie crust behavior. You could try using foil with weighted beads, coffee beans or beans. You will need to usually cook it just a little bit longer when it's covered with foil.
Carolyn Eldred says
Best Pie Crust EVER! Love, love , love it! Tasty and the instructions were easy to follow!
Have you ever tried making this gluten free? If so,, please tell me what particular bands of flour work best. I have family members who can't have gluten so I'm trying to incorporate my best recipes into gluten free.
I haven't yet. I do plan to though. My best thought on type of flour would be a cup-for-cup gluten free flour.
Debra Black says
I am anxious to try your pie crust. I have been an avid cook/baker for over 20+ years but pie crust has always been a struggle for me. If I was using this in a 9x13 for chicken pot pie does this same size work or would I need to double the recipe? I want a double crust (top & bottom)
You would want to double this recipe for a double crust in a 9"x13"
I am going to be making my first pie crust ever. I just went apple picking Saturday and I'm ready to give it a try lol Since Covid hit baking has become a hobby of mine (I've always been fascinated with baking shows esp. The Great British Bske Off) and I'm ready to tackle something a little bit more challenging.
Good luck! I love this pie crust recipe, and use it for every holiday!
Libby DeMoss says
Any tips for using the dough from the freezer? Does it need to thaw at all, or is it usable straight from the freezer?
I always thaw in the refrigerator before using.
Lou Ann says
Thank you! I’m 63 and just made my very first successful pie crust! I’ve had so many failures but this one works perfectly!
Yay! I'm so glad to hear it!
where is the filling recipe? i was going to make it tonight. can you only use only the butter crisco?
This is just the recipe for pie crust. What pie are you looking for? I have lots here 🙂
So far this has been the easiest pie crust to make and work with. Making a blueberry pie - can't wait to taste it. Thanks for the recipe.
lisa gordon says
Shirley Luce says
It is one of the best pie crusts I have had. One of the best qualities of this recipe is that it was a breeze to roll out and put in the pie pan. That is the one reason I hate making pie crusts. Problem solved. It is excellent also. I put sugar and cinnamon on the scraps and ate them. I will keep this as my all-time favorite. Thank you.
Loved it. 1st pie crust I've ever had turn out for me...thank you gracious wife!!!
So glad to hear it!
Evelyn Musselman says
I'm so happy I found this recipe. I made it yesterday. I'm 83 years old, and this is the first time I've found a pie crust recipe that was really easy to make and good. The only thing I changed was I mixed it up in my food processor. It worked great that way.
Do you know the weights for the ingredients that you can share? Thanks