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The Only Pie Crust Recipe You’ll Ever Need to Know

The Only Pie Crust Recipe You’ll Ever Need to Know – This best-ever pie crust recipe is PERFECT and so easy! Use it for sweet or savory pies and enjoy tender, flaky pie crust every time! 

The Only Pie Crust Recipe You'll Ever Need to Know // One Lovely Life

Pssst! This recipe has been updated to a gluten & dairy free version

There are two basic schools of pie crust: butter and shortening. While it’s true, nothing on earth can match the flavor of a butter crust, the truth is, shortening crusts are going to give you the flaky texture you’re looking for. Every. Single. Time.

This recipe is adapted from one that comes from my Great Aunt Helen. I have never–EVER–had a problem with it. The same cannot be said about so many other crust recipes I’ve tried.

I use this recipe for both sweet and savory dishes (like chicken pot pie), and have had no problem adapting it one way or the other. This makes a double crust. If you only need a single, make the entire recipe, and wrap the second half in plastic wrap to freeze. To use the frozen crust, just thaw in the refrigerator. Beautiful.

The Only Pie Crust Recipe You'll Ever Need to Know // One Lovely Life

LOVE A GOOD PIE? TRY ONE OF THESE FILLINGS IN YOUR PIE CRUST:

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Aunt Helen’s Flakiest Pie Crust


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Double Crust 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (omit if making savory dish)

For the slurry:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cut shortening into flour, sugar (if using) and salt with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Combine the 1/3c flour and 1/2c water to make a slurry. Pour over cumbled shortening mixture and mix till just combined.
  3. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and form into a round.
  4. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc.
  5. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to set. (This will make rolling it out much easier. If you don’t need a double crust, you can freeze one half of the dough and use it later.)
  6. When ready to use the crust, roll out each half on a heavily floured surface with a floured rolling pin. If it doesn’t go well the first time, it’s okay. Just crumple it back into a ball and try again. It’s VERY forgiving.
  7. Makes 1 double crust

TO USE FOR A PIE – Follow the baking directions of your pie filling recipe.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: best pie crust recipe, pie crust recipe, shortening pie crust recipe

20 Comments

  1. Hi – I work with Michael. One day he came to work with this wonderful cherry almond pie you made. It was yummy, so he directed me to your website for the recipe. Yesterday I made the pie and though I’m a pretty good, though not fancy cook, I have always had problems with rolling pie crust! I followed your recipe but made one error, I got distracted and cut the 1 c. of shortening into only 1 c. of flour and added the slurry before I realized what I had done. I stirred in the last cup, too late. That crust is pretty forgiving but I had trouble rolling it out, as I did, even with my own pie crust recipe. I always get these cracks around the edge that migrate to the middle. I’ve tried everything I can think of, refrigerating first like you do, I’ve tried patching them, I’ve tried reshaping into more of a circle with my hands. Do you have a trick to rolling out and getting a nice edge?

    Shelby

    1. Shelby, I’m not sure if there was a problem because of the little mistake at the beginning, but this is a problem I haven’t had reported before. Are you having large tears as you move the dough from the countertop to the pie pan, or do the cracks occur while baking?

      1. Emily – The cracks occur while I’m rolling it out…they are from the outer edge, spreading to the center of the crust. Usually one or two large ones rather than a bunch of small ones. I’m wondering if it may be the surface I’m using (butcher block top), that when I’m rolling it out, some parts of the crust are moving and others not, regardless that I have a good amount of flour underneath. What do you roll yours out on?

        Shelby

        1. Shelby–I usually just use my countertop. I’ve made this crust on my laminate countertops (in our four apartments), as well as Corian, and marble countertops at other people’s homes.
          I start with well-chilled dough, a good amount of flour underneath (like you said you do), a little sprinkled on top of the dough, and even some on your rolling pin (I use a wooden rolling pin). I find I don’t have any sticking or pulling, which can cause the dough to tear. When I roll out the dough, I start in the center of the circle and push outward in all directions using gentle pressure, rather than going back and forth (if that makes sense). One thing to be sure of is that your dough is moist enough that it isn’t crumbling when you remove it from the plastic. It should hold together well from the start.

          Another trick you might try if these tips don’t help is to use cooking spray instead of flour to grease your surface. I’ve done this with other doughs, but I find it doesn’t work as well as flour. If you have rough butcher block countertops, the dough might be snagging on an uneven surface, but again, I’m not sure why this is a problem if you have lots of flour under the dough. BEST OF LUCK!!!

  2. Emily – Thanks for the tips. The butcher block is smooth. I think I’ll try the dough again, maybe chill it longer (I did, but just barely 30 minutes) and maybe use a lighter touch when rolling, working from the inside out, like you do. I do tend to get a little assertive with it and squish it down pretty quickly. What brand name do you buy for the dried TART cherries. I found dried sweet ones.

    Shelby

    1. I’ve gotten them at Costco, I’ve also bought SunMaid (the raisin brand) ones, and then a store brand once or twice, all with good results. If all you can find is dried sweet ones, those should work just fine too. No worries!

  3. Emily,

    I made your pie crust on Saturday for a family affair. It was superbly flakey…even if I did have difficulty transferring the pie crust after rolling out. Next time I’m rolling it out on parchment so I can carry it over and slide the parchment out from underneath.

    Being off dairy the all shortening was good. I think when I can have dairy again I’d like to go half butter half shortening. I found the flavor slightly lacking…but the texture was, as you said, divine flakiness.

    Thanks for being a go-to recipe source for me!

  4. Oh my stars. I use this recipe for every holiday since I first saw it 4 years ago, but I always have to come look for it again in my favorites to find it. But my computer’s hard drive got wiped earlier this year and I hadn’t backed up my favorites … had to do a google search to find the recipe. So glad I was able to locate it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. I made a peach cobbler and I use this pie crust recipe. It came out perfectly, I usually buy ready-made pie crust, because I could never get my crust to come out right. It was flaky and better than any store bought pie crust. This will be my go to recipe, whenever I need to make a pie crust…Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe!!!

  6. Loved this crust for its flakiness, but I agreed that it lacks a little flavor. Has anyone tried making it with butter-flavored shortening?

    1. Joy – My friend makes it with butter-flavored shortening and really enjoys it. I find the butter-flavored shortening to taste a little too strong for me, but it’s worth a try! Please let me know if you try it that way!

    1. Jami – You can! Butter will produce a slightly more fickle crust. If you choose to use butter, I recommend dicing the butter into small cubes and refrigerating them until firm. Use cold water in the slurry, and work quickly to prevent the butter softening too much. I’ve found those things help keep that light, flaky result and help prevent the dough from being too tricky to work with. Best of luck!

  7. Hi! Can I use my stand mixer to cut in the shortening? I have never had a good hand at cutting in shortening or butter when doing my pastries.

  8. My grandmother made the best pie crust. It was always better than anything she put inside it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get her recipe but I still have the memory. I have made so many different pie crust recipes over the years, always hoping to find one that measured up to hers but they never did.

    I have to say, this pie crust recipe is as good, if not better. And it is so easy. I have one of those hand pastry mixer things and it took only a couple of minutes to mix with it. I had never heard of the slurry mixture so I had my doubts when I mixed that up and poured it over the dough. Worked like magic. I made a cherry pie, my second favorite kind of pie. Pecan will be next.

    I live in a VERY humid area. It’s only about 300 feet to the ocean, as I said, very humid. So I used about 2 tablespoons less water in the slurry. And I used Crisco shortening. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. I cooked the cherry pie filling while the crust cooled in the fridge. I rolled out the double crust, assembled the pie, trimmed off the edges, and popped it in the oven. I re-rolled the trimmings and made a cinnamon-sugar roll and baked it at the same time. The crusts on both were wonderful. Re-rolling the dough did not hurt it a bit.

    When the pie had just reached room temperature, I cut myself a piece and put it on a saucer sitting on the kitchen table. About this same time my dogs treed a snake. I had to go take care of that pesky critter and calm them down. When I got back in the house, my youngest cat was chomping away on the crust of the piece I’d cut. She never gets on the table and had not touched the cherries, only the crust. Then she begged so much that I gave her the other corner off the crust. And since then, when I cut myself a piece she is right there for her corner of the crust. So that crust was a great hit with both of us discerning females. 🙂

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to have found this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. I’d give it 20 stars, if I could.

    1. Carole –

      I cannot tell you how much your comment made my day. This is the reason I love doing what I do. Sharing joy and memories (and food) with others! I’m so glad the recipe worked so well for you. I hope it’s the start of many delicious pies to come. Thank you again for making my day!

  9. Can I just say that you are my most favorite person on the internet for posting this recipe?! You have NO. IDEA. how much I appreciate it! I despise buying premade crusts but I’ve never found a recipe that was foolproof, every time. On Thanksgiving I made 6 pies using your recipe, it was perfect every. single. pie. I used it again for Christmas pies. Thank you, so much, sweet wonderful miracle woman! Merry Christmas 2019!!

    1. Tasha – This is the NICEST COMMENT!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with me! I’m so glad it worked out so well for you! Honestly, I’ve never had a bad pie crust with this recipe! 🙂

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