Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

17 July, 2013 / by Hank Watson

For some reason, many folks find the prospect of making a pie crust from scratch to be very daunting.

Baking is a science; if you don’t use precise measurements, you’ll end with a science project gone wrong. You know that commercial that the volcano science project explodes all over the kitchen ceiling?  Often times, people who aren’t afraid to make pie crust, really shouldn’t be doing it. The first secret for a great pie crust recipe is FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS PRECISELY!

Okay, it probably won’t explode all over the kitchen ceiling if you aren’t precise, but you get the gist. Purchasing a bra requires knowing the precise size; would you purchase a bra without knowing measurements or what size to purchase? Or shoes? And so it goes, you shouldn’t bake without precise measurements. And don’t substitute! People tell me all the time that they can’t bake; as the conversation progresses, I find out not only did they not follow the directions precisely, they also made non compatible substitutions. Okay, enough of the lecture!

If you want to use this crust for something savory, add some fresh herbs when you add the butter, just not a lot of it. You want just a hint of flavor, not overwhelming flavor. The savory crust is great to use in making an amazing chicken pot pie.

Some folks use half butter and half shortening. I prefer butter all the way, baby!  I love the buttery, flaky taste of this crust and I bet you will, too! This pie crust recipe is enough for two bottom crusts, or a bottom and top crust, or about 2 dozen tartlets.


2 1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup COLD, UNSALTED butter (if it doesn’t say “unsalted”, don’t use it!)
1/4 cup ice water


Combine flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut butter into small pieces (I sometimes do this ahead of time and leave in frig so it stays cold. You’ll be surprised how quickly the heat from your fingers can warm it up.) and add to the processor bowl. Process until it resembles coarse meal or large grains of sand (should be about 10 seconds). With processor on, slowly pour ice water through the feeder until the dough holds together – it should not be wet or sticky! Divide the dough in two and fatten each into a round disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. When chilled, roll out on lightly floured surface to desired diameter.

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