How to Make a Pie Crust from Scratch

4.20 from 5 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

The truth is, few things in the kitchen have ever intimidated me.  Making a pie crust from scratch was the exception.

With some flour and a little ice water and cold butter, I’m going to show you how to make an easy homemade pie crust.

How to Make a Pie Crust from Scratch

Our Brandy-Infused Chocolate Chess Pie with Roasted Hazelnuts


There was a time when the thought of making a pie crust could put me into the same state of mind as getting my yearly taxes together. Panic mode would set in. I hadn’t made pie dough often but when I did it seemed as tho I was never sure of what I was doing and it seldom turned out to my satisfaction.

A table full of homemade pies
From Not Quite Amish, these are precisely the kinds of pies my Mennonite mother, aunts, and relatives made on an almost daily basis.

While growing up, I’d watched my mother and sisters make pie crust with the seemingly mindless effort that was required to fold a basket of towels. A no-brainer, for them. Why wasn’t it easy for me? Then one day, an old saying came to my mind. “How do you get to Carnage Hall? You practice, practice, practice.” I had to practice.

An unbaked pie crust.
You can use a table fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of a pie crust.


Ingredients for homemade pie crust

  • Flour
    • All-Purpose flour or Pastry Flour both work. Try different combinations of each to get the type of crust that your looking for.
  • Fat
    • You can use straight butter (best flavor) lard (homemade lard may add a savory flavor) or shortening (easiest to handle) or a mixture of any of the above. I’ve even seen vegetable oil called for as the fat.
      If you are using straight butter, remember it starts to melt at 59*. With a body temp of 98.6* a pastry cutter might work out better then using your hands to mix.
  • Ice water
    • I use mostly ice so the water stays very cold.
  • Salt
    • Some recipes call for regular salt, others for kosher salt. You also have the option of mixing the regular salt with flour or with water.


How to make it

Use a bowl (metal) for mixing that will easily contain your hands and ingredients without spilling over when working.

  1. Place flour into a bowl.
  2. Cut in fat & salt with a pastry blender until your ingredients look like coarse crumbs.
  3. Gradually add water, by the tablespoon and while gently blending with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  4. Watch for your crumbs to curd to the size of peas.
  5. If you are uncertain, add a tad more water. If the pie dough is too dry, it won’t stick together when your try to roll it out but if you add too much, you’ll end up with a tough crust.
  6. Once you add more water, and the dough sticks together when gently squeezed, you’ve got the correct consistency.
  7. Place your dough on a work surface and give it a few folds over onto itself
  8. Then, shape into a flat, 2 sided round, place in plastic wrap & refrigerate for 1/2 hour. This will give the gluten a chance to relax so that when the rolling time comes, it will stay put and won’t spring back.


Rolling out a pastry dough

Perfect Pie Crust, from The Pioneer Woman.

Rolling the dough was always tricky for me. First lightly flour your rolling board and rolling pin. I found that I was applying too much pressure and ended up with cracks and fishers all over my crust. With the help of my sister, I learned to ease up and apply a more evenly distributed roll. Start in the center and gently roll out to the edge, turning dough 10* at a time, making sure that the dough doesn’t stick.

“The truth is, few things in the kitchen have ever intimidated me.  Making a homemade pie crust was the exception.”

Try to end up with a dough that is round and approx. 1/8” thick. Roll the dough 1/2 way around your rolling pin and slide it into the pan. Or, you can 1/2 then 1/4 the sheet of dough and fold it in the pan. Let the dough find the corners of the pan by gently working and lifting dough to a smooth fit with your pan. If you stretch the dough, it will shrink during baking. Chill crust once again.

Rolling out a pie dough on a rolling pin
Rolling your pie dough around your rolling pin is an easy way to transfer it to your pie dish.

I think that my glass pans are my favorite for baking pies. I can see when the pie is done on the bottom. When I’m using a disposable aluminum, I always place it inside a glass pan to give the aluminum stability and more evenly distributed heat. I feel that dark pans absorb too much heat and have a propensity to burn. Shiny metal pans tend to deflect heat and make a soggier crust.

A pie in a dish with a slicer cut out
Glass pie pans allow you to monitor both sides of your crust, as it bakes.

Depending on my filling and to avoid a soggy bottom, I put a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. The pie enters the oven, place directly on the baking sheet at 475℉ for 15-20 minutes. This gives the chilled dough a shock of heat and helps to set the crust.  Next, the temp is knocked back to 375℉ for about 40 minutes more.

Our family recipe for Pecan Pie

About halfway through the baking time, I check the pie to see if the crimp in the crust is browning too fast. If it’s almost the color I’m looking for but still only halfway cooked, I know that I have to put aluminum around the top (in a halo, shinny side out) or I’ll have a burnt crust before the pie is actually finished cooking.

You will know that your pie is done soon after the aroma hits your nose. Look for steam and bubbles coming up through the vents and your pie will be done. Finally, allow the pie to cool until the contents are set, usually at least 15 minutes to a half-hour.

Homemade pie is a part of my heritage and like other foods that have been an integral part of my life, I’m often reminded of the people in my life that I associate with pie. My good friend Liz, who I grew up with, is a perfect example of this.

It’s with her immortal words that I dedicate our lifelong friendship with, through this post. “If  I don’t get a piece of pie, I am afraid I’ll simply DIE.”  Thank goodness, we have enough pie ideas right here on Platter Talk to keep Liz around for a long, long time.

Easy Homemade Pie Recipes

👨‍🍳 Tried this Recipe? Please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. We love hearing from our readers!
⏩ Stay in touch with us on social media by following us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube!
📬Get our Recipes delivered to your inbox for FREE!

Homemade Pie Crust

4.20 from 5 votes
This homemade pie crust will be your go-to recipe for delicious pastry desserts!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 8


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup water, use ice water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar


  • Combine flour, shortening, sugar, and salt.

  • Work together with a fork until consistency is pebbly

  • In separate small mixing bowl, beat egg and add water and vinegar, beat again.
  • Add liquid mixture to flour and shortening then use a fork to stir and form into a ball. Roll out dough on a lightly-floured surface.


Adjust amounts of flour and water as necessary.


Calories: 410kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 301mg, Potassium: 57mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 30IU, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 2.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
4.20 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. This receipe I am going to try it for the crust. Do you have any suggestions for cherry pie using can cherries. I know their is something you put in the cherries to make a thickening. Any suggestions I would appreciate. Thank you

  2. I am wondering if I make the pie crust recipe and end up with two pie crusts and I only need one; can I freeze one? If so, can you tell me the best way to do so and the best way to unthaw.
    Thanks, Michael

    1. Michael,
      Excellent question!To freeze, wrap the unbaked pie crust tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in a freezer bag and seal tightly. There’s no need to thaw the unbaked crust — you can bake it straight out of the freezer. You’ll need to add about three minutes to the usual baking time.

  3. Great post for all us amateur pie crust makers. I think this is something that can be tricky for a lot of people 🙂

  4. I’ve made pie crust from scratch numerous times, but still haven’t managed to find *just* the right texture yet. I’ll have to try this recipe and make note of all these great tips! Pinning now so I don’t forget!

    1. Good luck! I bet you’ll be on top of the pie crust by Thanksgiving. Thanks for the comment.