Pie Crust 101

Hey! I am so glad you stopped by to check out my recent bakes. My name is Kelsey. I love baking all things but especially pies and pastries. Follow me along on my journey!


This is the pie crust recipe I use for ALL of my pies!! I mean, unless its a graham cracker or Oreo crust of course lol. I love this recipe for so many reasons: it makes 2 crusts, you can substitute butter and shortening as you like, and if you want a flakier crust you can make this recipe by hand (no food processor).

I typically use my hands and a pastry blender which helps you control how large to make the butter pieces. The larger the butter pieces, the flakier the crust. In a food processor, you cannot manage the butter sizes as well. However, a food processor makes quick and easy work of making pie crusts! Which honestly, we all need sometimes! Here is how I would choose which way to make the crust… Use a food processor for a pie crust that will need to hold a heavy pie like chicken pot pie, a crust that will be used for designs, or a crust that will hold a very wet pie like apple pie or other baked fruit pies. Use a pastry blender for a crust used for cold pies like fresh strawberry pie, custard pies like French silk or coconut cream pie, or crusts that will be used as a top crust.

You also have the option to switch out butter and shortening. If you do that, then you should use these measurements: ¾ cup butter, cold and cubed and 6 tablespoons cold shortening. As for the instructions, add the shortening at the same time as the butter and continue with the instructions. I prefer to use butter only as it gives it a nice, rich taste.

There are a few ways to bake a pie: blind bake, or par-bake or you can add all your ingredients to the raw pie crust and bake. Choosing which way to bake your pie will rely on your recipe. For example, most baked fruit pies don’t require pre-baking your crust. However, I typically always par-bake to make sure I don’t end up with a soggy bottom – no one wants that!!

A partial bake (par-bake) is when you bake the pie crust for about 15-25 minutes. I typically do 15 with pie weights and 10-15 without the pie weights, the bottom will still need to bake as it will be soggy. This is when you will add the filling and pop it back in the oven! A blind bake is when you fully bake your pie crust before adding any filling. You will blind bake all crusts for cold pies, custard pies, etc.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, cold and cubed
  • 8 tablespoons ice water

Directions:

  1. In food processor, mix dry ingredients.
  2. Add cold, cubed butter and food process until butter is pea sized.
  3. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed, do not over work.
  4. Turn out on a floured work surface, cut in half and shape into two discs.
  5. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Baking Instructions:

  • Roll out your dough, place it in your pie pan. Trim extra pie dough around the edge or tuck it underneath for a little extra crust (I always tuck!)
  • Add a scrunched up piece of parchment
  • Fill it with ceramic pie weights
    • If you don’t have pie weights, rice or dry beans will work just as well! 
  • Bake on 375º for 15 minutes
  • Remove parchment and weights, poke sides and bottom with a fork
  • To par bake, return to oven and bake 10-15 minutes more.
  • To blind bake, return to oven and bake 25-30 minutes longer or until bottom and crusts are browned.
    • You can use a pie crust shield if the edges are getting too browned (aluminum foil along the edges works just as well!)

The video below shows a quick step-by-step process.

Making the Pie Crust
Baking the Pie Crust

Shop the products I used to make this recipe!

Ceramic Pie Weights
Joseph Joseph Rolling Pin
Redmond Real Sea Salt – My favorite!
Threshold Pie Pan

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