Baked Goods, How To Tuesdays

How to Make the Ultimate Pie Crust

1 comment This post may contain affiliate links from which we get a commission. We may earn money from any companies mentioned in this post. Thank you for supporting our site.

Share this recipe!


Last updated on November 29th, 2021 at 03:21 pm

One of pie’s many virtues is the ability to transform into so many different things. Savory. Sweet. Custard. Fruit. Chicken. Vegetables. Baked. Fried?! (wait, you can fry a pie?) Filled. Top-crust.

Basically, there are infinite options. But a pie needs a crust. And for most pies, a shortcrust pastry is used to make the crust. Let’s dive in to make it the best pie crust it can be.

Shortcrust Pastry

Made mostly out of a mixture of fat and flour, a shortcrust pastry includes no leavening agents. Instead, the method of combining the fat and flour by rubbing or cutting them together helps create pockets of fat in the dough. These pockets of fat will then melt, create steam, and result in the flaky crust that everyone envies.

Ingredients prepped to make the ultimate pie crust

The type of flour used in the recipe can have an effect on the end result. I use plain old all-purpose flour in the recipe presented below. If you are using a different type of flour then you may need to change the amount of fat and/or water used to mix everything together.

An egg wash can be brushed over the crust to help give it a shine and enhance the golden-brown color we want. Just thoroughly mix a single egg with about a tablespoon or so of water and then brush it over your top crust. It doesn’t really affect flavor or texture, it is mostly about the looks and tends to feel a bit more polished. So do it if you are feeling a bit extra.

Steps to Get the Ultimate Pie Crust

  1. Keep everything as cold as possible – Cold butter, ice-cold water, cold shortening. You can even pre-measure the flour and put it in the fridge to chill before making it. A step in the recipe also calls for chilling the dough in the fridge before baking. This all helps make sure that the fat in the mixture stays cold until baking – which will lead to a flakier final product.
  2. Butter for flavor, shortening for texture – There are a lot of varying opinions on this one out there, but I think a mix of two types of fat helps produce the best end result. Get the best of both worlds. Or ignore me and do whatever you feel like – the fats can basically be substituted for each other 1 to 1. Butter has more flavor but is a bit more temperamental to work with because of its low melting point.
  3. Use a dough cutter to mix fat and flour – A fork may be substituted, but a real good dough cutter makes life a lot easier. It helps mix everything together faster so things have less time to warm up.
  4. Mix only long enough to just combine the dough – We aren’t trying to knead the dough and work it to help develop the gluten. Once it is no longer crumbling to bits and you have something that you can roll out, move on to the next steps. With enough water, it will start to look like the photo below, and squeezing it with your hand it will make it hold together.
  5. Blind bake with wet fillings – As we’ve learned from the Great British Baking Show, nobody likes a soggy bottom. So if the filling you are using is very wet, try pre-baking your dough for around 15 minutes before adding the filling. You can also use an egg wash between your filling and the crust to make a barrier instead.

Rolling and Finishing

After the step of letting the dough chill, take it out of the fridge and let it warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out the dough. When the dough has come together and when you have rolled it out, you should be able to see streaks of shortening and butter.

Dough split in two and wrapped to put in fridge

When rolling out your ultimate pie crust, go for 11 to 12 inches in diameter. This will give it enough to cover the sides of the dish and give a little overhang for decorating the edges.

Pie crust being rolled out

Once you’ve rolled out the crust, place it into the pie dish. To get it to fit properly you may have to cut off pieces that drape over the side. You can leave the edge unfinished for a kind of rustic look, or you can use a simple pinching method to make a classic wavy pattern. And if you are feeling fun, use some cookie cutters or specialty pie stamps to decorate. You can also follow some other instructions to make some more interesting edges.

Crust in the pie dish, ready to bake

Try making one of the following with this ultimate pie crust:

How to Make the Ultimate Pie Crust

Recipe by Marc PetersonDifficulty: Moderate


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time





This recipe makes enough for a top and bottom crust in a 9″ pie dish


  • 2 1/2 cups (380 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 cup cold shortening

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1/2 cup water in a bowl with ice cubes to keep cold


  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl
  • Add butter and shortening to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the ingredients together until most of it is in pea-sized pieces
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of the ice water one at a time to the pea-sized pieces and gently mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until it starts to come together and form larger clumps – note that the full 1/2 cup of water may not be needed
  • Split the dough into two equal portions, wrap each separately with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days – keep the dough chilled until you are ready to roll it out
  • When ready to cook your crust, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out one piece of dough to the size of your pie dish
  • Place it in the bottom of your dish
  • If blind baking, cut some parchment paper, put it on top of the dough, place some pie weights, dry beans, or rice on top of the parchment paper to weigh it down, and place it into the oven to cook for about 15 minutes
  • Place your filling into the crust
  • If you are putting a top on your pie, roll out the other piece of dough to size and cover
  • Bake until your filling is done cooking and the crust is golden-brown – cover the exposed top crust if it is baking too quickly and the filling is not yet cooked


  • If you are having an issue with burnt or browned bottoms, consider changing the pie dish you use for future bakes or moving the rack up to a higher position in your oven

Share this recipe!

One Comment

  1. Making pie crust terrifies me, but this recipe gives me hope. Thanks!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *