May 13, 2014

Flaky Pie Crust Recipe

Step by Step Flaky Pie Crust Tutorial

Flaky pie crusts are like my holy grail.  Flaky pie crusts are flavorful, delicious, and the perfect contrast to warm sweet pie filling.  But (and oh is this a big but) they can be tricky to get right.  Overworking the dough, too wet, too dry, butter or shortening, etcetc; lots of things can go wrong on your quest to make a flaky pie crust.

Luckily I have found the answer!  With normal pantry ingredients, a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, and your hands being the only tools you need.  This pie crust is easy to throw together a couple of days before you need it, and then you freeze it.  The freezing helps with the flakiness.  Don't ask me why, I just know that I've tried the pie crust both ways and the frozen crusts are always flakier.

To start making your crust mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Then chop the slightly softened butter into little pieces and toss it into the flour.  Using your hands mush the butter into the flour.  Really work the flour into the butter to create small pieces of butter throughout the flour.
Butter and Flour for Pie Crust

It should look like a craggy mess when you're finished.

Butter Incorporated into Pie Dough

Lightly beat the egg and pour it over your dough.  Mix it around a bit with the wooden spoon (so your not pouring the vinegar directly on the egg) and then add in the vinegar.  Gently stir it in.

Egg and Vinegar in Pie Dough

Add 3 tablespoons of the cold water and stir with the wooden spoon. If your dough is dry add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Just mix until it all comes together.  Be careful not to over mix, or you'll create a tough dough.

Gently Mixed Pie Crust Dough

Pull the dough into two chunks and then place inside the ziplock bags.  Flatten the dough to make it easier to roll out later, and place the dough in the freezer.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes.  The dough can be made and frozen up to two weeks in advance.

Freeze Pie Crust in Bags for extra Flakiness

When you're ready to make your pie remove the dough from the freezer about 30 minutes in advance.  Generously flour your counter and the pie dough.

Generously Flour Pie Dough

Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough.  Rotate the dough a quarter turn every few rolls.  Roll gently and patiently and the dough will tear less!

Rolled Out Pie Dough

Fold the dough gently into quarters and place into the pie pan.

Fold Pie into Quarters to Move

Gently unfold the dough and work it into dough into the corners of the pan.  Try not to pull, stretch, or tear the dough.  To work the dough into the corners lift and guide the dough into the edges.

Gently guide dough into corners

Trim the edges with a sharp knife.  Then you're ready for whatever filling you desire for your pie!

Trim the Pie Crust

Flaky Buttery Pie Crust
author: Happy Food Happy Home
adapted from The Pioneer Woman
makes 2 large pie crusts

1 ½ cups butter, slightly softened
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3-5 tablespoons cold water
  1. In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour and the salt.
  2. Cut the butter into small cubes and toss into the flour.
  3. Using your hands mush the butter into the flour.  Work the butter to create some small and some large pieces of butter.  All of the butter should be incorporated into the flour.
  4. Slightly beat the egg and add to the bowl.  Mix around a few times with the wooden spoon. 
  5. Add the vinegar and mix in.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix with the spoon until everything the dough just comes together. If your dough seems dry add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time.  At this point be careful not to over mix the dough.
  7. Pull the dough into two pieces and place each piece in a ziplock bag.  Flatten the pieces inside the bag, zip the tops, and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. 
  8. Take the dough out of the freezer and allow it to soften if it is frozen solid.
  9. Flour your work surface and rolling pin.  Place the dough on the work surface and dust generously with flour.
  10. Gently roll out the dough.  Rotate the dough a quarter turn every few rolls. Roll until about 2 inches wider than your pie plate and it's approximately ¼ inch thick. 
  11. Fold into quarters and gently transfer to your pie dish.  Unfold the quarters over the pie dish and gently work the dough into the corners of the pan.  Try not to pull or stretch the dough, just gently push it down into the corners.
  12. Trim the excess on the edges of the pie crust with a sharp knife.  You can then crimp the edges. 
  13. Your pie crust is ready for whatever you need it for!

  • Once you add water to the dough you can overwork the dough and make it tough.  Try to just mix enough to get everything to stick together.
  • The dough can be made and frozen up to two weeks in advance.  Allow dough to soften for about 30 minutes if frozen solid.
I love pie! And making this pie crust has only increased my love.  Now I totally have faith that my pie crusts will be flaky and delicious.  I just need to start giving these pies away and stop eating them myself.  

Check back tomorrow for my peach pie recipe, and on Friday for a super awesome and easy tutorial for making a lattice crust!


  1. I bet your pie crust is delicious! It looks so good and so flaky.

  2. I had Abby's peach pie yesterday and it was, without a doubt, the best piecrust I've ever eaten. I'll try and duplicate it soon and see it she has magic fingers or this is really as easy as it sounds.


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