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Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Learn to make this easy homemade pie crust recipe with just four simple ingredients: flour, butter, sugar and salt. You’ll never reach for another pie crust recipe again.

Picture of pie crust, pricked with a fork, in a pie pan.

Why I Love This Recipe

This is my go-to pie crust for everything… from tarts to pumpkin pie to homemade chicken pot pie. It’s a foolproof recipe that always turns out great. There is something to be said about a dependable crust. And it lasts in the freezer really well.

A pie crust being rolled out with a rolling pin.

How to Make Pie Crust

Making pie crust is easy, especially if you have a food processor. Because the food processor isn’t the easiest to clean up, I like to make up large batches of pie crust at a time and keep them on hand in the freezer.

This is especially handy for the holiday season, when we’re generally baking up multiple pies.

This recipe makes enough for one double pie crust.

Pie crust ingredients on a kitchen counter.

Ingredients Needed

  • Flour – For the best results, use all-purpose flour. I like to buy my organic all-purpose flour in bulk from Azure Standard.
  • Salt – As always, we love our Redmond Real Salt and use it for all our recipes that call for salt. Use that link to get 15% off your order with coupon code “HFSalt” at checkout.
  • Sugar – It doesn’t take much to add the perfect amount of sweetness. You can omit the sugar for savory dishes like chicken pot pie or quiche.
  • Butter (or Lard) – For the best pie crust, use half butter and half home-rendered lard (don’t be fooled by the hydrogenated lard from the grocery store!). The trick for a pie crust is super-cold fat. Don’t let your butter or lard come up to room temperature. Keep it in the refrigerator until it’s needed. If you don’t have lard, use all butter.
  • Ice Water (+Vinegar) – Using ice water for your crust helps keep the butter cold. I like to get my ice water ready before I start making the dough so it has time to get extra cold. Homesteading Hack: Add a splash of distilled white vinegar to your water before adding to the pie crust. Trust me!

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (about 8-10 seconds). Homesteading Hack: If mixing by hand, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in until the dough resembles a coarse meal.
  2. With the machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube.
  3. Pulse until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, one tablespoon at a time. If it holds together, it’s just right.
  4. Divide the dough into two equal balls, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour before rolling out.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a star rating in the recipe card below. Then, snap a photo of your pie and tag us on social media @homesteadingfamily so we can see!

Homemade pumpkin pie on a wooden counter.

Tips for the Best Pie Crust

  • Half Lard, Half Butter – For the best pie crust, use half lard and half butter. Rendering your own lard is worth it, just for the incredible pie crusts and pastries!
  • Fat to flour to water ratio – In many recipes you’ll see a 3:2:1 ratio, but I like to reduce the flour just a bit for an extra flaky pie crust.
  • Keep your ingredients COLD – As the fat (butter or lard) melts during the baking process, it leaves behind air pockets, which we all know and love as a flaky pie crust.
  • Add vinegar (or vodka) – Add a splash of distilled white vinegar (or vodka) to the ice water before mixing it into your dough. Don’t ask me why this works, it just does!
  • Don’t overwork the dough – You only want to mix until the dough just starts coming together. It’s OK if it’s still a little bit crumbly. As the dough rests in the refrigerator, it will continue to hold together.
  • Don’t use your hands – Many professional bakers will tell you not to use your hands for mixing the dough. This is because the heat of your hands will melt the butter (or lard). But we also work in real homestead kitchens, so if using your hands gets the job done, don’t get too fussy about it.
  • Egg Wash – That’s right, egg wash the bottom of the pie crust before filling it. To make an egg wash, beat one egg with one tablespoon of water. Once you’ve rolled your pie crust out and placed it in your pie pan, brush some egg wash over the entire bottom and place it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes. The egg wash will harden and create a barrier between the crust and the filling, keeping the bottom of the pie crust from getting soggy.
Hands rolling out pie dough with a rolling pin.
Aerial shot of pie crust, pricked with a fork, in a pie pan.

Carolyn’s Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

Learn to make this easy homemade pie crust recipe with just four simple ingredients: flour, butter, sugar and salt. You’ll never reach for another pie crust recipe again.
3.48 from 34 votes
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 crusts
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • Food Processor optional

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar can add up to one tablespoon for added sweetness.
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup lard can use all butter
  • 1/2 cup ice water may not use it all
  • splash vinegar

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (about 8-10 seconds). Homesteading Hack: If mixing by hand, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in until the dough resembles a coarse meal.
  • With the machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube.
  • Pulse until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, one tablespoon at a time. If it holds together, it’s just right.
  • Divide the dough into two equal balls, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour before rolling out.

Notes

Tips for the Best Pie Crust

  • Half Lard, Half Butter – For the best pie crust, use half lard and half butter. Rendering your own lard is worth it, just for the incredible pie crusts and pastries!
  • Fat to flour to water ratio – In many recipes you’ll see a 3:2:1 ratio, but I like to reduce the flour just a bit for an extra flaky pie crust.
  • Keep your ingredients COLD – As the fat (butter or lard) melts during the baking process, it leaves behind air pockets, which we all know and love as a flaky pie crust.
  • Add vinegar (or vodka) – Add a splash of distilled white vinegar (or vodka) to the ice water before mixing it into your dough. Don’t ask me why this works, it just does!
  • Don’t overwork the dough – You only want to mix until the dough just starts coming together. It’s OK if it’s still a little bit crumbly. As the dough rests in the refrigerator, it will continue to hold together.
  • Don’t use your hands – Many professional bakers will tell you not to use your hands for mixing the dough. This is because the heat of your hands will melt the butter (or lard). But we also work in real homestead kitchens, so if using your hands gets the job done, don’t get too fussy about it.
  • Egg Wash – That’s right, egg wash the bottom of the pie crust before filling it. To make an egg wash, whisk together one egg with one tablespoon of water. Once you’ve rolled your pie crust out and placed it in your pie pan, brush some egg wash over the entire bottom and place it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes. The egg wash will harden and create a barrier between the crust and the filling, keeping the bottom of the pie crust from getting soggy.
Tried this recipe?We want to see! Tag @homesteadingfamily on Instagram.
A man and wife smiling.

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