Flaky butter pie crust, just like Grandma used to make it using just 4 ingredients, is so simple and delicious that you will never buy another pre-made pie crust again.
This is my favorite pie crust recipe; it has never failed me for anything I needed a pie crust for. It consistently gives me a flaky crust. It might seem like an overwhelming item to make, but it’s really not hard once you get the hang of it, and the results you will get will be so much better than one of those frozen convenient pie crusts.
To make a good pie crust, all you need are four simple ingredients: some form of fat (lard, shortening, or butter), water, flour, and salt. The recipe I find works best is an all-butter crust. I find the taste of a butter crust has so much more flavor than using lard or shortening, but that is really just a personal preference.
Why you will love this recipe
- Quick and Easy This recipe is for an easy buttery pie crust that uses only 4 ingredients and takes just 10 minutes to pull together.
- Delicious Butter This pie crust is delicious and comes out super flakey, and because of all the butter, it is full of buttery flavor. This recipe doesn’t have shortening or any added preservatives.
- Adaptable What I love most about this recipe is how it’s so adaptable that you can use it for anything from an apple pie or pumpkin pie all the way to a savory meat pie or quiche. The possibilities are endless.
Ingredients you will need
- Flour I use all-purpose flour for this recipe, but you can also try pastry flour as well. I just wouldn’t use cake flour.
- Sugar I like to add a little bit of sugar to my sweeter pies, but I would omit this in savory pies.
- Salt I generally omit this from recipes but in a pie, it balances the flavors
- Butter I use unsalted butter because you can control the salt content in your recipe much better. Also, use all of the butter in the recipe to make sure you get a beautifully flaky crust.
- Ice water In order to make sure you’re working with cold water, I add ice to a cup of water and use the water from that cup. The ice water helps the fat in the butter stay cold so that it does not melt, which will help your crust stay flaky.
How to make Pie Crust
I like to make my pie crust in a food processor or stand mixer. For this recipe, I will be using a food processor.
- Pulse flour and salt measure flour, salt, and sugar
- Add cold diced butter and pulse until coarse until pea-sized pieces form
- Add 7-9 tablespoons of ice water and pulse until the dough starts to form a ball. If it is not coming together add 1 teaspoon at a time until it forms.
- Transfer dough to a clean surface and gather it into a ball and divide it into 2 balls and flatten. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour before using.
How to Roll out pie crust
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to not allow the dough to chill, but allowing the butter to harden is the key here. After the dough has had time to chill, your next step is to roll it out.
- Dusting of flour Having a small bowl of flour nearby is always a good idea when making a pie crust. Dusting your surface, rolling pin, and hands with flour will help prevent the dough from sticking. You can also use parchment paper, which eliminates the need for flour because it is nonstick. You will need two pieces of parchment paper, one on top and one on the bottom.
- Rolling dough When you are rolling out the dough, start in the center of it and then roll in all directions, turning slightly as you roll it out. You will want to roll it out so that it is big enough that it will fit your pie plate plus a little bit extra for form the edging.
- Edges I know the edges can seem complicated, but you can make everything from a simple fork pressed around the end to a press flute edging. To achieve the fluted edging, use two hands to pinch the edges of the crust together (flute). Use one hand to pinch the edge of the crust between your thumb and the side of your index finger.
Tips for successful pie crust
- The secret to a flaky crust is using very cold butter or other fat. I like to cut my butter into small pieces and then place it in the freezer for an additional 15 minutes prior to using it in the recipe.
- When you are working with your pie dough, make sure to not over-knead it or work it too much with your hands because it will start to melt or warm up the butter, and you don’t want this.
- When adding the ice-cold water, start using the minimum amount first, and if the dough needs more, you can add more. The dough is the right consistency when it starts holding together when held between your fingers.
- Always chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Easy All Butter Pie Crust
- 1 pie pan
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- ½ cup ice cold water plus more as needed
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter on top.
- Using a pastry cutter, food processor, or two forks, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until all flour is coated. You’re looking for pea-sized bits of flour coated butter. A few larger bits of butter is OK.
- Measure 1/2 cup of water in a cup. Add ice. Stir it around. Drizzle the cold water in, 2 Tablespoons at a time, and stir after each addition. Stop adding water when the dough comes together easily and begins to form large clumps. The dough will feel moist and a little sticky, but not feel overly wet. Do not add any more water than you need to.
- Place pie dough on a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball. Divide dough in half. Using your hands, flatten each half into a 1-inch thick disc.
- Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- When rolling out the chilled pie dough discs, use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands between rolls.