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Consistent and versatile, my Nana’s Flaky Pie Crust Recipe is the best you’ll ever try! Made with only 5 ingredients, this easy all-butter pie crust can be made completely in your food processor and is perfect for both sweet & savory pies!
It’s been a while since we did a Kitchen Basics post, hasn’t it?
I know it’s only June, but with the 4th of July around the corner and the holidays slowly making their way back around – I figured you guys deserved the best pie crust recipe ever.
Honestly, who doesn’t love a big slice of pie every now and then – holiday or not?
In all of the years I’ve been baking, I’ve cheated on homemade pie crust with the store-bought stuff more often than I care to admit. The convenience of it can’t be denied.
And since my Nana used it, being the well-versed baker she was, I’ve never felt any guilt over it.
Of course, now that I found her hand-written flaky pie crust recipe from years ago, the differences are obvious. Glaringly so. And, thanks to the food processor Abe got me for Christmas, all the moaning and groaning about making my own pie crust is over with.
If you’ve ever shied away from making your own crust, too, then this food processor pie crust is the way to alleviate your fears! No cutting in butter or worrying about getting flour under your fingernails (ugh, so gross.)
And the best part is that you end up with the flaky pie crust of your dreams!
It’s absolutely delicious and you may never go back to your lazy supermarket ways!
How to make pie crust from scratch in your food processor
1. Add 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour to the bowl of a food processor. Pastry flour is my second choice because it ends up being a much more fragile final product. You can also use wheat or white-wheat flour here if you’re looking for a more savory crust.
If using gluten free flour, be sure to add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to help the structure.
Hot Tip: Grab a kitchen scale and start weighing your flour when baking for best results. American cup measurements can be squirrely when it comes to something as delicate as flour, and weighing the ingredient (which would equal 10 ounces or 150 grams) is your best bet for a perfect crust every time.
2. Add 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar to the bowl.
You may also use a sugar substitute, or leave it out completely for a savory crust.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl.
Or sea salt. Or Himalayan. You know – whatever you fancy.
4. Pulse it all together to blend the dry ingredients completely. 5-6 pulses should do.
5. Add 1/2 cup of very cold, cubed unsalted butter in two batches. Pulse 6-8 times per addition, until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand, with granules the size of peas.
Hot Tip: Keep the cubed butter in the freezer until the last second. The colder the butter, the better – especially if you plan to roll the dough immediately after mixing it.
6. Drizzle 1/4 cup of ice cold water into the processor bowl, again in two batches. Pulse until the mixture is moist and dough clumps begin to appear.
Hot Tip: Measure out your water in a measuring cup then add ice to really chill it. Remove the ice before adding the water to the dough.
When it’s all said and done, it should look like this. Almost a dough, but still in need of a bit more attention.
The food processor brings this pie crust together so easily – but if you don’t have one, it’s time to get a little dirty!
How to make pie crust by hand:
- Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until you have pea-sized pieces.
- Add half of the ice water, then mix the dough with your hands. Add the remaining water and knead the dough with your fingers until well mixed, and a dough begins to form.
7. Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured surface (table or non-slip mat), and gently knead by hand until it just comes together in a cohesive ball. Flatten it to form a disc.
Hot Tip: Try to avoid over-kneading so you don’t end up with a tough crust. As with other butter-rich doughs (biscuits, scones), the less you handle them, the better the final product is.
At this point you can either roll it out immediately or wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for later. You might find chilling it makes it easier to use (i.e. less sticky due to the butter being colder.)
This homemade pie crust doesn’t look like much at first. Pretty much a pile of edible play-dough – but one that can create some incredible desserts!
How much dough will I need for my pie?
Follow this recipe exactly for a single layer of pie crust. Think streusel pies or cream pies that require a blind bake before filling and chilling.
Double the pie crust recipe if you plan on baking a double-crust pie, or need extra dough for fancy latticework and decoration. You can freeze any leftover dough, or bake it up in cut-out shapes for a batch of festive pie shooters.
In the case of a slab pie for an event, or multiple regular, deep dish, mini, or hand pies, a triple batch of pie crust dough is the way to go.
Now that you’ve got the best pie crust recipe in your hand, what will you make with it?
- Balsamic-Roasted Cherry Almond Galette
- Pumpkin Chiffon French Silk Pie
- Southern Peach Pie
- Summer Chicken Pot Pie Crostata
- Easy Mini Apple Pies
The Best Flaky Pie Crust Recipe
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cold, cubed
- 1/4 cup ice water
- Add all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. If you have no food processor, simply whisk the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add half of the cold butter and pulse 6-8 times. Add the remaining butter and repeat the 6-8 pulses, until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand, with granules the size of peas. No processor: use a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until you have pea-sized pieces.
- Drizzle the ice water into the processor bowl, again in two batches. Pulse until the mixture is moist and dough clumps begin to appear.No processor: Add half of the ice water, then mix the dough with your hands. Add the remaining water and knead the dough with your fingers until well mixed, and a dough begins to form.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly-floured surface and gently knead by hand until it just comes together in a cohesive ball. Flatten it to form a disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
- When ready to bake your pie, remove the crust from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes beforehand. Lightly flour a work surface and the top of the pie dough. Use a rolling pin and, starting from the center, roll until the dough is about a 1/8-inch thickness, and about 1/2-inch bigger than your pie pan is.
- Using the rolling pin as a vehicle, roll the crust over the pin and transfer it to a pie pan. Press the pie dough lightly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
- If you're pre-baking the crust, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Poke the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork, then bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.If not pre-baking, fill the crust with pie filling and bake according to directions for your pie recipe.