There are two essential elements to a perfect pie – the filling and the crust. You can have the most delicious and sweetest filling, but with a lousy crust, it’s all for naught.
While it’s true you can buy readymade or frozen pie crusts, they just don’t seal the deal. Pie crusts you make in your own kitchen with your hands never fail to uplift the quality of your dish.
With that, I’ve gathered the best pie crust recipes you can make from scratch. They’re simple, flaky, and perfect, which undoubtedly improves the quality of your ideal pie recipe.
1. Easy All-Butter Flaky Pie Crust by Inspired Taste
Flaky and buttery are adjectives that are never lost when describing a perfect crust. Striking a balance can be challenging, but a perfectly golden, buttery, and flaky crust is a breeze with this recipe.
The ingredients are quite standard for a crust: all-purpose flour, kosher salt, unsalted butter, ice water, and the optional sugar. The key, though, isn’t that much in the ingredients but in the technique.
You must make a flour-butter paste first to help prevent too much gluten formation. You have more control over your crust’s texture and quality when there’s little gluten formed.
2. Perfect Pie Crust by Simply Recipes
Many internet blogs promise perfect pie crusts, but only a few live up to their promise. Simply Recipes provide us with not just one but two recipes – an all-butter and a butter and shortening combo.
If you opt for the all-butter recipe, it’ll be more challenging. Kneading or working too much can lead to a tough and weird-feeling pie dough, which falls short of perfect.
On the other hand, the butter and shortening combination recipe is the easier route, because you can’t accidentally work your dough too much. The butter gives flavor while shortening makes it flaky.
3. Perfect Pie Crust by The Pioneer Woman
This is another perfectly flaky pie crust recipe, but this time from the Pioneer Woman. Although it also promises nothing less than perfection, it achieves it in its own unique way.
How unique? First off, there’s no butter in this homemade pie crust recipe. It uses vegetable shortening, flour, egg, cold water, white vinegar, and salt.
After using a pastry cutter to work the shortening into the dough and adding all the other ingredients, you’ll divide it into three even balls. Freeze the dough balls before use to make them very flaky crusts.
4. Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust by The Recipe Critic
Grandma’s recipes always make a way not just into our hearts but also into my recipe lists. This time, her perfect crust recipe eagerly competes against the other perfect recipes on this list.
But is it only love and care that makes Grandma’s recipe so awesome? No. Its superior taste, texture, and technique make Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust the perfect one for your apple pie, cherry pie, and other treats.
This simple recipe uses flour, shortening, salt, and cold water; again, no butter in this crust. Once done, you can plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to three days.
5. Easy Pie Dough Recipe by Serious Eats
The recipes above have focused on making the perfect flaky pie crust dough, but this one centers on making the best buttery pie crust.
Butter leads to fantastic dough flavor but is hard to work with because of its high water content and low melting point. To work around that, you’ll use a flour-butter paste, like one of the recipes above, and a food processor.
Why do you need a food processor and not just hands? Not only because it’s less effort, but it also makes the process more consistent, allowing you to produce high-quality pie crusts at every moment.
6. Shortbread Crust/Sablé Breton
You can categorize crusts into types, one of which is the shortbread crust or sablé breton. Its trademark is a sweet, crumbly, buttery crust perfect for pies, tarts, and cookie bars.
You’ll need unsalted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and all-purpose flour. The ratio of ingredients may vary depending on your pan’s shape (round or rectangular).
Depending on what kind of pie or dessert you’ll make, you’ll cook it until it’s a pre-baked pie crust or just par-baked. It will be pre-baked for around an hour if the filling does not need baking.
7. Sweet Pie Crust/Pâte Sucrée
Sweet pie crust has a fancy name – pâte sucrée — but as intimidating as that sounds, you can make it with the right recipe. Pâte sucrée is sweet, flaky, and crisp, often made for creamy, moist pies.
Prepare this sweet pie crust dough before the actual pie so it can rest. You’ll need all-purpose flour, granulated sugar (the special ingredient), salt, cold butter, and cold water.
After making, refrigerate for at least two hours. After such, you can blind-bake it, or bake it without filling, using a pie dish and pie weights to create a pre-baked crust.
8. Graham Cracker Crust
One of the most well-known types of pie crust is the graham cracker crust, which is my favorite. It’s easy to make, has a fun texture, and has great flavors from the crackers, sugar, and butter.
You’ll need graham crackers (pre-crushed or not), sugar, brown sugar, and melted butter. Combine to form coarse crumbs, and then pack those tightly against the pie pan or pie plate.
Depending on your need, you can bake it for a tighter, more firm pie crust. Otherwise, you can freeze it to have an unbaked pie crust, perfect for no-bake recipes.
9. Single Crust Pie
Pie recipes may call for either a single or a double-crust pie. The former has no top crust, only a bottom crust lining the pie pan.
For this recipe, you’ll need flour, salt, vegetable shortening, cold unsalted butter, and ice water. Also, remember to have a rolling pin and lightly floured surface when making all these recipes to better shape and work your pie dough.
This recipe entails refrigerating the pie crust before adding and baking with the filling. Depending on how long you refrigerate, you may need to let it rest at room temp first.
10. Double Crust Pie
Our last recipe entry is for a double-crust pie, which is what you’d usually imagine when thinking of a pie crust. It has top and bottom crusts, perfect for many pies like a chicken pot pie.
With this recipe, you’ll have two 9-inch crusts, one each for the top and bottom. You’ll need flour, salt, vegetable shortening, very cold unsalted butter, and ice water.
Make sure to keep and handle your ingredients at the right temperature to produce a good pie crust. The ice-cold temperatures ensure the crust is flaky, as the fat remains firm.
10 Simple Pie Crust Recipes
Prepare effortlessly great pie crusts with these simple recipes.
Easy All-Butter Flaky Pie Crust by Inspired Taste
Perfect Pie Crust by Simply Recipes
Perfect Pie Crust by The Pioneer Woman
Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust by The Recipe Critic
Easy Pie Dough Recipe by Serious Eats
Shortbread Crust/Sablé Breton
Sweet Pie Crust/Pâte Sucrée
Graham Cracker Crust
Single Crust Pie
Double Crust Pie
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a pie crust in 30 minutes or less!