Easy Flaky Butter Pie Crust

This is the best pie crust recipe I’ve ever used! I’ve been using this recipe for flaky pie crust for over 10 years and haven’t looked back. Don’t miss the helpful video that walks you through every step for guaranteed success.

Easy Pie Crust Recipe Video

My favorite foolproof pie crust recipe guarantees perfect results every time. It’s so easy to roll out, and your pies will have a crust with the most wonderful light and flaky layers.

This easy recipe works beautifully for single or double crust pies, both sweet and savory. We recommend this pie dough for almost all the pie recipes on Inspired Taste. This is definitely a keeper!

Homemade All-Butter Flaky Pie Crust

Key Ingredients

  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour in this pie crust recipe and get consistently great results.
  • Cold Butter: You want to use very cold butter when making pie crust.
  • Salt: Use salt, even when making pie crust for sweet pies. It makes the crust taste amazing.
  • Sugar: Is optional, but if I’m making sweet pies or even a quiche, I use it. We only add a tablespoon, which doesn’t really make the crust taste sweet, its more for balancing the flavor of the flour and butter.
  • Cold water: Use icy cold water when you make pie crust.

The Secret to the Best Pie Crust

The secret to making the best pie crust is to coat a portion of the flour with cold butter before adding in the rest of your flour. This simple step guarantees a super flaky, light pie crust. Gluten forms when you mix flour and water. We want some gluten for structure, but too much will make your crust tough, dense, and less flaky.

Our tried and true pie crust recipe mixes a portion of the flour with our butter first. You can think about it as if we are giving the flour a butter raincoat, which make it difficult for the flour coated in butter to absorb water. In other words, it helps prevent too much gluten development. Less gluten = flakier and more tender pie crusts.

Great pie crust is light enough to flake and doesn’t turn soggy from juicy fillings. It isn’t crumbly. Instead, the crust is made of long, thin layers of dough (see photo).

How to Make the Flakiest Pie Crust

You can also see how amazing this crust is when looking at our recipe for apple pie with a lattice crust (the dough rolls out so nicely and makes it easy to add a beautiful lattice crust). Or look at this sweet potato pie. The bottom of the crust turns a beautiful golden brown and holds up so well against the wet sweet potato filling.

I learned this strategy of coating a portion of the flour in butter from Cooks Illustrated and Kenji López-Alt. I will be forever grateful!

How to Make Pie Crust

I use a food processor to make this pie crust. It’s quick and easy. Add a portion of your flour, salt, and sugar to your food processor. Pulse to combine, then add your cold butter.

You’ll process until the flour is well coated with the butter (the flour actually changes color). Watch me do this in the video, or look at the photo below. I can press the flour and butter mixture together.

How to make pie crust

Now that the flour is well coated in the butter, you can pulse in the remaining flour until crumbly (it only takes a few seconds).

The last step is to bring the crust together using cold water. I do this by hand, scattering the cold water over a tablespoon at a time until the dough is wet enough to hold together (some crumbles are fine).

If you prefer to do all this by hand, you can! It will be just as easy to roll out and turns out super flaky. To make this pie crust by hand, we recommend using a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour (they are inexpensive and helpful for other recipes like biscuits and scones).

In our recipe video, we show making this recipe in a food processor and by hand using a pastry cutter. You’ll follow the same method as when we use a food processor. Combine a portion of the flour with your butter, and then add the remaining flour and water.

All-Butter Flaky Pie Crust -- Baked

Easy Pie Recipes

Most of the pie recipes on Inspired Taste call for this butter pie crust recipe. It works wonders for fruit pies like homemade blueberry pie, my best apple pie, and this cherry pie. I also love it for this fresh strawberry pie, which uses pre-baked pie crust for the base, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream.

I also love it for custard pies like these holiday staples: easy pumpkin pie and perfect sweet potato pie. Finally, you can use it for free-form pies like my easy apple tart.

Pie made with our easy flaky pie crust recipe

Easy Flaky Butter Pie Crust Recipe

  • PREP
  • TOTAL

Of all the pie crust recipes we have tried, this makes the most consistent dough. It’s also a dream to roll out. Using a food processor in this recipe eliminates variability. If you have one, use it. With that said, you can do this method by hand. Directions are provided below for using a processor and by hand.

Enough for one 9-inch double crust pie

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

2 ½ cups (325g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt or use 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar, optional

1 cup (230g) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)

4 to 8 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed

Directions

  • Method When Using Food Processor
  • 1Add 1 ½ cups flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined. The remaining cup of flour will be added later.

    2Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

    3Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

    4Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle ice water over mixture — start with 4 tablespoons and add from there. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 2 to 4 more tablespoons of water and continue to press until dough comes together.

    5Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut the ball in half then form each half into disks. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using it).

  • Method When Making By Hand
  • 1Add 1 ½ cups flour, salt, and sugar to a medium bowl. Stir 2 to 3 times until combined.

    2Scatter butter cubes over flour and mix briefly with a fork or spatula to coat the butter with flour.

    3Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender, working mixture until the flour has a coarse, mealy texture similar to fresh bread crumbs. About 1 – 2 minutes.

    4Add remaining 1 cup of flour. Work butter and flour with the pastry blender until flour is evenly distributed. About 20 seconds. (Dough should look crumbly with pea-sized pieces).

    5Sprinkle ice water over the mixture — start with 4 tablespoons and add from there. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 2 to 4 more tablespoons of water and continue to press until dough comes together.

    6Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into disks. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

  • Rolling Out Dough
  • 1Remove one of the dough disks from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.

    2Lightly flour work surface, top of dough and rolling pin. Then use rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12-inch circle (about 1/8-inch thick). Be sure to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below — add a small amount of flour when necessary.

    3Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. To transfer dough to dish, starting at one end, roll dough around rolling pin then unroll over dish.

    4Gently press dough down into dish so that it lines the bottom and sides of the dish. (Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough). Then, use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 1/2-inch of the edge of the dish.

    5Fold edge of dough underneath itself so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside. Refrigerate dough at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.

    6If making a double crust pie, do not crimp edges yet. Roll out second dough disk, fill pie then top with second dough round. Trim the edges then crimp.

  • How to Blind Bake a Crust for a Single-Crust Pie (quiches & cream pies)
  • 1Heat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Place a baking sheet on a middle oven rack.

    2Roll out enough dough to make one 9-inch crust (1 dough disk). Place into a pie plate and then pierce the bottom of the crust with a fork (this prevent air pockets or bubbles from forming while baking). Line the crust with two sheets of aluminum foil or parchment paper. (Be sure to push foil against the edges of the crust). Then, fill foil with dried rice, dried beans or pie weights. Refrigerate 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

    3Place pie crust onto preheated baking sheet and reduce oven temperature to 400°F (204°C). For a fully baked crust, bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden. For a partially-baked crust (a crust that will be baked again, like a quiche), bake until the bottom crust is just beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes.

    4To add a shiny exterior to fully baked crust, make an egg wash by whisking one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cream in a small bowl. Then, remove rice, beans or pie weights and foil from pie crust. Brush the bottom and sides of the crust with egg wash. Bake until egg wash is dry and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool crust completely before filling.

  • How to Make a Double Crust Pie
  • 1Oven temperature and bake time for double crust pies will vary depending on the pie recipe you plan to follow. As an example, we set our oven to 400° Fahrenheit for our double crust cherry pie (see the recipe here).

    2Remove half of dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch (1/8-inch thick) circle.

    3Check for size by inverting pie dish over dough round. Look for a 1-inch edge around the pie dish. Carefully press the dough into the dish. Spoon the pie filling into pie crust.

    4Roll out second half of dough then top pie. Use a knife or pair of kitchen scissors to trim dough to within 3/4-inch of the edge of the dish.

    5Fold edges of top crust underneath edges of bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it so that it creates a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges by pressing the pointer finger of one hand against the edge of the dough from the inside of the dish while gently pressing with two knuckles of the other hand from the outside. Refrigerate pie at least 20 minutes or freeze for 5 minutes before baking.

    6Just before baking, make egg wash by whisking egg yolk and cream together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush over the top crust. Then, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then, cut 3 to 4 slits in top of pie. Bake as directed by the specific recipe you are following.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • The dough is hard to roll out: Dough straight from the refrigerator can be stiff, making it hard to roll out. Leave it on the counter for a few minutes to warm up slightly, then try rolling it out again.
  • Storing pie crust: Wrap well with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also place the wrapped dough into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen dough in the fridge overnight before using.
  • Recipe inspired by this easy pie dough. The method for creating the flour paste is inspired by Cooks Illustrated and Kenji López-Alt. Their original recipe also includes vodka, but we do not add this ingredient.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/8 of dough / Calories 345 / Protein 4 g / Carbohydrate 30 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 23 g / Saturated Fat 15 g / Cholesterol 61 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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945 comments… Leave a Review
  • Charlotte June 16, 2024, 1:45 pm

    THE BEST PIE CRUST OUT THERE the flavor is INCREDIBLE and it’s flacky but not dry MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW

    Reply
  • Julie Karns June 15, 2024, 6:15 pm

    Great foolproof recipe, but… To measure to correct size dough, turn your pie pan over and drape the dough over the bottom, then cut the dough an inch beyond to allow for crimping. If you follow the directions you aren’t allowing for the depth of the pan and will have too small a dough circle.

    Reply
  • Christa June 10, 2024, 5:28 pm

    This is my new go-to pie crust recipe! Buttery, flaky and easy. Following the directions, its a no-fail (as are all the recipes here on Inspired Taste). You are my first stop when I am looking for a recipe as the recipes are well tested and the tips so helpful!

    Reply
  • Anna June 4, 2024, 9:50 pm

    This pie recipe is the one. I used to use one from the New York Times cookbook that was perfect, and this one is even better. I just made a turkey pot pie, and it is to die for! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Adam June 20, 2024, 5:01 pm

      You are very welcome! Glad you loved the recipe 🙂

      Reply
  • Staci May 10, 2024, 4:53 am

    I made this crust to make homemade poptarts with and it was great!

    Reply
  • Kitty May 9, 2024, 10:56 pm

    I’m the person who scrapes the pie filling out of the pie because pie crust is just gross! But this recipe is a major game changer. I’ve used it a few times now and with patience, this recipe always comes out AMAZING! Flaky and crispy, and not limp or tasteless, and holds up to gooey apple pie!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 25, 2024, 3:40 pm

      Wow, Kitty! Thanks so much for coming back and letting us know. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe so much.

      Reply
  • Marina May 2, 2024, 12:45 pm

    Truly the easiest and best recipe I’ve ever tried so far. So easy to roll out and perfectly flaky.

    Reply

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