Quick and Easy Flaky Pie Crust

A quick and easy pie crust is a must-have recipe for any home baker wanting to cook from scratch. This flaky pie crust works for both savory and sweet pies, requires only a few simple ingredients, and comes together quickly with the help of a food processor, making it perfect for any pie recipe!

For a long time, pie was an intimidating dessert for me. It just seems like there are so many time-consuming components involved between making the crust, rolling the dough, shaping the edges, then making the filling. Pies are definitely something that get easier with practice, but the biggest game changer was learning to make pie crust in the food processor! Seriously, it cuts down on so much prep time, and now everyone is happier because I make pies a lot more often.

This easy pie crust recipe is so versatile. It works wonderfully for any type of pie or pastry crust where you want something buttery, flaky, and delicious. I’ve used it for fruit pies, pudding pies, hand pies, and even savory pies like chicken or beef pot pies.

Can I make this crust ahead of time?

If you are looking to put together a pie quickly or just want to ensure that you have a delicious, homemade pie crust ready to use whenever you need it, making the crust ahead of time great way to save time in the kitchen. Refrigerating and freezing and both great options.

After making your pie dough, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to use, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before rolling out.

If you want to make pie crust well in advance, you can freeze it. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, remove the dough from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Can I use whole wheat flour?

If you are looking to boost the nutrition in your pie crust, whole wheat flour adds an extra dose of fiber and B vitamins. I have substituted up to 50% whole wheat flour in this recipe with great results. If you use whole wheat pastry flour, you could substitute a high percentage. The slightly nutty, earthier taste of whole wheat also pairs great with savory pies.

What’s the best type of fat to use?

When it comes to making a good pie crust, choosing the right type of fat is essential. The fat you use has a big influence on the texture and flavor of your crust. Let’s talk about some of the different options.

Shortening
Shortening is a type of solid fat with a neutral flavor, made from vegetable oils. It is a very popular choice for pies as it creates a nice, flaky crust. It has a high melting point, which adds stability when rolling the crust and shaping decorative edges.
However, shortening is highly processed. It is primarily composed of hydrogenated fats, which have raised concerns for heart health over the past few decades. For this reason, I do not recommend using shortening in pies.
So, what are some of the alternatives?

Butter
Butter is a great choice for pie crusts because of its rich, buttery flavor. It also gives the crust a flaky texture. This recipe uses mostly butter. However, butter has a low melting point, which makes it difficult to work with an all-butter crust.

Lard
Lard is a type of fat that comes from pigs. It also has a high melting point and produces a flaky crust with a rich, savory flavor. Lard is the best natural alternative to shortening.
Lard has received a bad rap for being unhealthy, but lard is actually high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and is high in vitamin D and choline.
Not all lard is created equal, though. While homemade lard may have health benefits, store-bought versions are typically hydrogenated for shelf stability, making them not much better than shortening as far as processing.
This recipe uses homemade lard as a stabilizing fat along with butter.

Coconut Oil
If you are looking for a healthy fat to use in your pie crust, and lard is not an option due to availability or dietary restrictions, coconut oil can be a great alternative. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, providing similar results to lard and shortening. Unrefined coconut oil adds a nice subtle coconut flavor to desserts, while refined coconut oil is more neutral.
Coconut oil does have a low melt point, though, which can make it hard for decorative edges to set up properly. This can be remedied by keeping the crust well-chilled before the pie is filled and put in the oven.

Vegetable Oil
Oil can be used in pie crusts, but it can be difficult to work with because it is a liquid. And while it still produces a tender crust, it will not have flaky layers like solid fats provide. I would also avoid substituting liquid vegetable oil in this recipe.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Food processor (I love my Ninja Master Prep!)
  • Rolling pin
  • Silicon baking mat (opt.)
  • Pie shield (opt.)
  • Pie weights (for blind-baked crust)

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour – Or you can substitute some of the flour for whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lard – Or coconut oil
  • Ice water – Water should be as cold as possible to keep the fats solid during mixing.

Directions

Step 1:
Add flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor.
Add cubed butter and lard.
Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pie crust ingredients in a food processor

Step 2:
Pour the mixture into a bowl, or if you are able, remove the blade attachment of the food processor. Gradually pour in ice water 2 T at a time and mix the water into the dough until it is evenly combined. Add enough water that the dough holds together, but does not become sticky.

Pie crust in food processor

Pie crust in food processor

Step 3:
Form a ball of dough and flatten it into a disk. Then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until dough is cold, yet pliable. This allows the fats to become slightly firm, which will lead to a flakier crust.

Pie crust flattened into dish

Step 4:
Sprinkle a work surface and rolling pin with flour. (A table or counter will do. For less mess and less stick, try using a silicon baking mat.) Roll pie crust out in a 1/4″ thick circle.

Rolled pie crust

Lay the pie plate on top to make sure there is at least 2″ space around the edges.

Rolled out pie crust

Step 5:
Starting on one end, gently lift the rolled dough and drape over your other hand as you peel back the dough. Transfer into a greased pie pan. Press the dough firmly against the bottom and sides, but avoid stretching or pulling the dough to fill the plate. Stretched dough will shrink back to its original place in the oven.

Pie dough laid in pan

With a knife, trim the overhanging edges around the dish to about 1″ around the edge of the pie plate.

Trimming pie dough

Decorate edges to your liking. One straightforward option is to crimp the edges by pressing all the way around with a fork.
Another relatively simple option is to flute the edges. Place your thumb and index finger about 1″ apart and pinch the dough edge together while pushing the dough outward with the other index finger.

Decorated edges on pie crust

For a blind-baked crust:
Prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork. Line the shell with parchment paper. Add pie weights to crust.
Bake the weight-filled crust at 425º for 10-12 minutes.
Remove and carefully lift out the parchment paper and weights. Add pie shield, then place crust back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes and bake until bottom is golden brown.
Let crust cool completely before filling.

Quick and Easy Flaky Pie Crust

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • C all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp sugar
  • T lard
  • ¼ C ice water

Instructions

  • Add flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Add cubed butter and lard. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl, or if you are able, remove the blade attachment of the food processor. Gradually pour in ice water 2 T at a time and mix the water into the dough until it is evenly combined. Add enough water that the dough holds together, but does not become sticky.
  • Form a ball of dough and flatten it into a disk. Then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until dough is cold, yet pliable.
  • Sprinkle a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll pie crust out in a 1/4″ thick circle.
    Lay the pie plate on top to make sure there is at least 2″ space around the edges.
  • Transfer into a greased pie pan. Press the dough firmly against the bottom and sides.
    With a knife, trim the overhanging edges around the dish to about 1″ around the edge of the pie plate.
  • Decorate edges to your liking.

Notes

This recipe makes a single bottom crust.
For a blind-baked crust:
Prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork. Line the shell with parchment paper. Add pie weights to crust.
Bake the weight-filled crust at 425º for 10-12 minutes.
Remove and carefully lift out the parchment paper and weights. Add pie shield, then place crust back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes and bake until bottom is golden brown.
Let crust cool completely before filling.
 

Ready to get baking? Use this quick and easy flaky pie crust in one of our pie recipes!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating