How to Make a Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

This post contains links that, if you click on them and make a purchase, will earn me money. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers. Thanks for helping me continue to produce great content!

This flaky homemade pie crust recipe makes the best pie crust my family and I have ever had. Guests in our home testify to this truth. It’s won pie contests a-plenty and even won a ribbon in the state fair. So, yes, you’ve come to the right place. 

I’m Sharing All My Secrets for a Flaky Pie Crust

In this post, I’ll share with you all the secrets my momma taught me for how to make a flaky pie crust. This is no small thing, because my Momma’s pies were the best I’ve ever had, and she was known far and wide for them. 

How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

The recipe for this easy, flaky homemade pie crust starts with 300 g of flour. 

This Recipe Makes Enough for a Double Crust Pie

The recipe makes enough pie crust pastry for one double crust pie. If you’re only making a single crust pie, like my strawberry pie recipe, you can either halve the ingredient amounts, or wrap one disc of pastry tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze it in a food saver vacuum sealed bag. The idea is to keep air and moisture out, while the pastry dough itself freezes. You want to avoid developing ice crystals and freezer burn that will damage your pie crust pastry’s texture, and flavor. 

How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

If you’re a numbers person, you may have noticed that the amount of fat/shortening that I use is precisely half of the flour that I used, making a lovely flour to fat ratio of 2:1 . Take note of the ice water, lurking in the background. 

This Recipe Uses Shortening

I am the original butter lover, but nothing does quite as good a job at making a flaky pie crust as shortening. I know, because I have tested, and seen. I did a blind taste test with my family members, and each of us agreed that while the butter crust was, indeed, delicious, that we each preferred the flavor and texture of the shortening crust.  (I dare you to do your own, and be sure you make it a blind taste test. You butter lovers might be surprised!)

I use shortening sticks because they’re super easy to measure, cut, and plop into the mixing bowl, without scraping a measuring cup. But now that I exclusively use a scale when I’m making pie crust, it’s a whole lot easier to measure shortening: just add in the approximate amount you need and then add and subtract bits to get the precise measurement you want.

I Weigh My Ingredients With an OXO Food Scale

OXO hasn’t paid me anything to say that, but buying a scale was a small investment of money into my kitchen tools, that has paid off HUGE dividends in the quality of my baking. 

But don’t worry: I also provide you the ingredients in cups, in case that’s the way you roll.

I believe weighing your flour is important. One cup of flour scooped, and 1 cup of flour spooned lightly into a measuring cup can weigh vastly differing amounts! And that can be the difference between a dry cake and a moist cake.
 When I weigh my flour, I prefer to use grams. They’re so much more exact than ounces. It’s not that I’m a snob. I just think that if I’m going to go to the time to make something, I want it to taste WONDERFUL! Not just OK.

My Secrets To a Flaky Homemade Pie Crust: 

  1. Measure your ingredients carefully. Using grams is much easier to me, and much more exact.
  2. Use a 2:1 flour to fat ratio.
  3. If you’re working the fat into the flour with a pastry cutter, you’re aiming for pea sized lumps of fat. If you’re using a food processor instead, only pulse the shortening in, using short pulses. Never turn it on and just let it run. (Been there, done that, ruined that pie crust.)

    How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

    Looking down inside my bowl, this is what the flour, fat, and salt should look like right before you begin adding ice water.

  4. Use ice water to avoid melting the fat.
  5. Mix the ice water gently into the  mixture. DO NOT OVERWORK THE MIXTURE. (When you overwork flour and water you’re developing gluten, which are like little elastic strings within the pastry. This is bad. It makes your crust tough.) Gently gather the pastry mixture into a ball. I weigh it, divide that number in two.

    How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

    Each disc ends up weighing about this much.

  6. Then form it into 2 approximately equal discs. discs.

    How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

    You can see the little veins of fat running through the pastry if you look carefully. Time to chill it for an hour. 

  7. When you roll the pastry out, first place a sheet of waxed paper down on the counter, and sprinkle it with flour. That will make your counter easier to clean up, and the pastry won’t stick to the waxed paper due to the flour you sprinkled.  Then, use the plastic you wrapped the pastry in to place over the top of the disc of dough, where it stays, while you roll the dough into a large circle. Keeps the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
    How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

    Here you can see I’ve placed the waxed paper on top of my counter, sprinkled it with flour to prevent the pie crust from sticking to it, placed the pastry disc on top of the floured waxed paper to roll it out, and then covered the top of the disc of pastry with its sheet of plastic wrap, so that it won’t cling to the rolling pin.

    How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

    I am lifting the edge of the waxed paper to help me lift the edge of the pie crust pastry up and over the rolling pin. Then, I’ll use the rolling pin to help me unfurl the pastry over top of the waiting pie.

  8. And you can use the waxed paper to assist you in lifting and wrapping the pie crust around the rolling pin. Then you simply transfer the pastry, still rolled onto the pin over to the waiting filled pie, and gently unfurl it, edge to edge, over top of the pie.
  9. After cutting slits in the pie, I flute the edges by pin pushing the index finger of my right hand between the thumb and index finger of my opposite hand.

    How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

    This is called crimping or fluting the pie crust edges.

Finally to give my crust a sheen, I finger paint a little half and half onto the top, and sprinkle the whole with about a tablespoon full of sugar.

How Long Do You Bake the Crust?

If this is for a one crust pie, like a cream pie, or a strawberry pie, you’ll roll out one disc, and do what is called blind baking (pre-baking) at 450º for 10 – 15 minutes, till it’s the color you like. 

For other pies, baking times vary according to the filling you’re using. For example, an apple pie needs longer to cook than a blueberry pie, because the apples need to be tenderized by their time in the oven. A pumpkin pie needs to bake till your filling is set. So, those pies baking times will vary according to the specific recipe you’re using.  

How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

I surely would appreciate you sharing this post with your friends, or with a budding baker in your house!

Without further ado, here’s the recipe for: 

Flaky Homemade Pie Crust: Double Crust Recipe

Yield: 2 pastry discs for one double-crust pie

How to Make a Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

How to Make Flaky Homemade Pie Crust

The best pie crust ever, ever, ever in the whole wide world. Made with shortening.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (300 g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 c. plus 2 Tablespoons (150 g) of shortening
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons of ice water

Instructions

  1. Combine flour and salt with a whisk.
  2. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender. Mixture should appear like coarse meal, with lumps of shortening no larger than peas.
  3. Sprinkle ice water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, over surface. Blend with a fork after each addition, until dry ingredients are moistened. Bring together into a ball, and then divide the ball equally into two discs.
  4. Chill pastry discs for at least 1 hour.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 265mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
Now that you know precisely how it’s done, let’s take a look at all the lovely recipes you can make with it.

Me, Oh My: I Love Pie

For all the pies I've loved before....

All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

Speak Your Mind

*