Good Pie Crust Recipe

I like experimenting with new pie crust recipes and have been hesitant to post a favorite. However, it’s pie season and I’ve found myself turning to this one quite often. The dough is easy to work with and the pie crust aficionados in my life always comment on this one when I use it. The recipe is based on one in Greg Patent’s book, Baking in America. It’s a great book, so if you are new to pies, you might want to buy it for more detailed instruction dealing with the dough. This is the “cut-to-the-chase” recipe.

Pie Crust

UPDATE:  I’ve made this pie crust several times and it always tastes great.  It’s easy to work with too.  However, this recipe doesn’t make a lot of dough and the crust does tend to shrink if you are blind baking it for a cream pie.  If you are using anything larger than an 8 3/4 inch tin pie plate like the sell at the grocery store, I recommend you double this recipe and use what you need.  You’ll have a little more than you need for a 9 or 10 inch deep dish if doubled, but it’s better to have too much pie dough than too little.

Good Pie Crust Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An easy to work with pie dough
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks OR use 4 T. butter and 4. T. shortening.
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
Instructions
  1. In bowl of a food processor, pulse both flours and salt to mix.
  2. Add the butter (and shortening, if using) chunks to food processor and pulse to cut in butter. Pulse until you have pea-size clumps.
  3. In a smaller bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine water, egg yolk and vinegar.
  4. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and pulse until mixture comes together. I usually end up using all the water mixture plus a little more, but Greg Patent says not to pour it all in at once because you may not need it all.
  5. Turn mixture into a bowl and form into a scruffy looking ball. Press it into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour or until ready to use.
  6. When ready to use, bring the dough ball back to room temperature.
  7. Roll into a 12 inch circle and use to line a 9 inch pie plate. To help prevent shrinkage, chill the lined pie plate before blind baking.
  8. I recommend doubling this recipe if you are making a deep dish pie. You'll have dough leftover.
  9. To blind bake, press into pan as directed. Poke several holes in the dough with a fork and chill the lined bowl for an hour. When ready to bake, cover with parchment paper, put pie weights (or dried beans) in the center to weigh the parchment down. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, then remove parchment and weights and bake at 325 for another 20 minutes or until pie shell appears set and is slightly browned.

 

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Comments

  1. Chelsea says

    This has nothing to do with pie crust (even thought that sounds yummy! ;)), but I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me?
    Can you suggest your favorite cookies that freeze well? And HOW do you freeze them to make sure they don’t get burnt? (Seems like the only way I can prevent my meats from getting freezer burnt is using the specific freezer wrap) :/
    I’m doing cookies for christmas gifts, but we go to my mother’s 2 days before Christmas, and I don’t want the cookies to get stale within that time. And I love the freezer idea so that I can start on them ahead of time, and not be rushing to get them done the day before we leave.
    Thank you so much for any tips!
    ~Chelsea

  2. says

    Chelsea, I’d go with biscotti.I made that batch of double-almond biscotti over a week ago and it tastes as good (maybe better) than the day I made it….and I didn’t even freeze it.

    I really don’t like to freeze cookies. Sometimes I freeze a couple for myself, but I don’t freeze them and give them away because I find the quality goes down after being frozen. The cookies lose taste….less umami….I don’t know. Fresh is better. However, I know that’s not possible.

    Do you have time to freeze the dough and bake the dough the day before? I do that quite a bit and don’t usually notice any deterioration in quality.

    When I do have to freeze cookies, the things that freeze the best are brownies, almond toffee (not cookies) and biscotti. If you do brownies, line the pan with foil and lift brownies from pan to cool. When cool, wrap them tightly — don’t cut them up, just wrap the whole slab. This exposes less surface area to oxygen and will help the brownies stay fresher.

    But in this case, it sounds like biscotti might be your best bet.

  3. Chelsea says

    Thank you for answering my beginner questions! ;)
    I guess I can just have a baking marathon the day before we go to my parents. lol. My only worry was that they cookies would expire quickly (since I’d be waiting 2-3 days to give them away) and I didn’t want them to get stale. I know the Martha Stewart packaging is made specifically for baked goods, but I don’t think they’re meant to hold them for very long.
    Can you suggest a good brand of airtight containers to keep them in before I package them?
    Thanx again~
    Chelsea

  4. Adare says

    Thank you! It seems recently that your posts are in sync with what I’m doing (apples, anyone?). Today, I was thinking of trying a new recipe for one of my Thanksgiving pies, and voila! You came to my rescue – I know this will be perfect!

  5. Therese says

    Hey Anna!

    I think what you do on this blog is of major importance here. Look at all the peeps who need you to answer there culinary questions!

    So…for all the times you have helped me out…(there have been many!)…I just want to offer my complete gratitude to you!! THANK YOU!!

    You are a busy mom…volunteer…etc..etc..etc..etc.!! It is very much appreciated. Just wanted to let you know!!

    p.s. THANK YOU FOR THE PIE CRUST…you have answered this girls prayer. THANK YOU AGAIN!

  6. says

    Pie crust–the hopeless quandary for many. It doesn’t *seem* too hard, but it is so hard to get RIGHT. I want to give this one a try, because I have to admit I have bought pre-made crusts before…let’s just say I’ve had some bad experiences making my own.

  7. Deb/bakinmama says

    Okay Anna, I must admit (and I hate it, with as much time as I spend in my kitchen) that I don’t have a food processor. *GASP* Do you think this recipe would still work as well using the “old fashioned” method?? I’ve been tinkering with pie crust recipes, too and just can’t seem to settle on one!

  8. mary h says

    I have made pie crust for years and years – here is the recipe I use :
    1 1/4 c. shortening
    1 beaten egg
    2 scant tsp. salt
    5 TBSP. cold water
    3 c. regular flour
    1 tsp. vinegar —– blend shortening , salt and flour. Add beaten egg and water to which the vinegar has been added. Mix into a ball. Divide into amounts needed for 1 crust. Wrap separately. Freeze and use as needed. Each ball is enough for 1 9 inch pie crust. I always make pie in my 9×13 cake pan – just double the amount of filling and it will take all the crust you just make. Brush crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake.

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