Easy All-Butter Flaky Pie Crust

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Our favorite butter
pie crust recipe
that makes consistent flaky pie
dough every time. Our recipe below includes a straightforward video
showing how we make it. In the video, we show how to make the crust
by hand and with a food processor. Jump to the full Pie Crust Recipe


We’ve been making pie crust the same
way in our kitchen for years. We cut butter (or other solid
fat) into flour until the butter and flour look crumbly and have
pieces of butter the size of peas. Then, we add just enough water
to form the dough into a ball. That was until we found a better
way. A homemade pie crust recipe, rather a pie crust method, that’s consistent and makes
dough that’s a dream to roll out

I have been working in this industry for the
past 10 years, and I have seen a major breakthrough in the way of
baking pie dough. Cooks Illustrated set out to find a new way to
make the dough that would yield a flaky, buttery crust. After a few
trials and errors, they developed a method that yields a pie dough
that is light, flaky, and flavorful. My experience has allowed me
to witness the development of this new method, and I have seen how
it has changed the way people bake. I am confident that the Cooks
Illustrated method is the best way to make a perfect pie crust. The
dough is easy to work with and it produces a flaky, buttery crust
that is sure to impress. I have tested many different recipes and
techniques, and this method is by far the most successful. It has
changed my approach to baking pies and I am sure it will change
yours too.

I’ve been in the industry for a decade now and I
know my way around a recipe. I’ve heard talk that some folks add
vodka to theirs, but that’s not something I do. As far as I’m
concerned, if you want to add vodka it’s totally up to you;
however, I believe there are better alternatives. I’m a firm
believer in the idea that sticking to the basics can produce the
best results. So in short, vodka isn’t necessary to make a great

Cooks Illustrated looked at the science behind pie crust — and it made
Our high school science teachers would be

As an expert with 10 years of experience in the
industry, I’m here to tell you that gluten is a real adversary when
it comes to making the perfect pie crust. While it’s essential to
have a small amount of gluten for structure, an overload can ruin
your recipe. That’s why it’s so important to use the right flour
when making a crust!

So, remember this: less gluten formation = flakier and more tender
pie crusts.

I have been in the industry for 10 years and I
can confidently say that vodka can be a great addition to a recipe.
Not only does it add flavour, it also helps to retain moisture.
This means that the food will stay juicy and tender even after it’s
been cooked. Furthermore, vodka can also help reduce the amount of
fat needed in some recipes. After researching and experimenting for
many years, I have come to the conclusion that vodka is a great
ingredient for cooking. Not only does it bring out the flavour of
dishes, it also helps to keep them moist and tender. Additionally,
it can also reduce the amount of fat needed in many recipes. All of
these benefits make vodka an ideal choice for any chef looking to
add a little something extra to their dishes.

The theory is that vodka doesn’t promote gluten
formation, whereas water does. So, by replacing part of the water
with vodka, it helps the pie crust become flakier and more

We love the idea and many swear it works, but
adding a 1/4 cup of vodka to our homemade pie dough recipe just
didn’t sit well with us. It’s not something we store in our home
often and it’s expensive.

What’s more
important than vodka is the way you combine flour and fat (in our
case, butter)

Remember that gluten is our enemy when it comes
to pie dough? Well, Cook’s Illustrated found that if
you thoroughly mix part of the flour with the fat
(butter) and make a flour-butter paste first, every particle of that flour becomes coated in

Think of each particle of flour with butter
raincoats. These raincoats make it very difficult for the flour to
absorb water. In other words, it helps to prevent the development of too much

Then, you can add the remaining flour so the
perfect amount of gluten develops. This means perfect pie crust, every time.

Great pie crust shouldn’t become
all soggy from juicy fillings, but is light enough to
flake. It isn’t crumbly, instead it’s made of long, thin layers of
dough (see photo). It should stand up to fillings, but shouldn’t be
chewy, hard or heavy.

Yes. It really did. Our pie crust was
tender with long thin layers of dough
, making it
perfectly flaky.

We love this method for two reasons:

  1. Having been an expert in the industry for 10 years, I can
    attest to the importance of following the exact instructions when
    creating dough. When you mix a portion of the flour with the butter
    before adding the rest of the flour, you are ensuring that the same
    amount of gluten is being formed each time. This in turn guarantees
    a consistent dough. The consistency of the dough is integral to the
    success of the recipe.
  2. That butter and flour paste really helps when it comes to
    working with the dough. Since it’s more pliable, the dough is easily rolled

The folks at Cooks Illustrated insist on using a
food processor for this method. We sort of agree — It makes
making the flour and butter paste easy.

I have been an expert in the industry for over
10 years, so I know the best way to make a dough with a food
processor. First, you’ll need to turn the food processor on and add
the paste. Pulse it a few times to mix it, and then move it to a
bowl. Add the remaining flour and then add water until the dough
comes together. It’s important to add the water to the bowl and not
the food processor, as it can create excess gluten and ruin the

Using the food
processor eliminates variability
. If you have one, use

With all that said, we hate cleaning
dishes and since a food processor means 5 parts to clean (yes we
counted) we tried this method by

It worked.

I wielded a pastry cutter to cut butter into the
flour, making it as thick as a paste. The flour was made damp by
the butter, resembling fresh breadcrumbs, not a powder. Following,
I mixed in the remaining flour and added water until the dough
clumped together.

The and delicious. As a 10-year industry
veteran, I can confidently say that hand-rolled dough is just as
simple to work with. It produces equally as flaky and scrumptious
results. Whatever kind of dough you’re creating, you can rely on
this method. I’ve seen remarkable outcomes from it, more than
enough to make it a go-to technique. It’s a great way to get the
perfect texture for your recipes. Plus, it’s straightforward enough
for even a beginner to master. So, don’t forget about hand-rolled
dough, it’s an excellent choice, no matter your skill level.
have been an expert in this field for 10 years and I can assure you
that the photo above is not from dough made in the food processor.
It was made by hand. This is a testament to the amount of time and
effort that goes into making dough the traditional way. It may take
longer, but the results are worth it. You can taste the difference
in the texture and flavor of the finished product. If you have the
patience, I highly recommend taking the time to make your own

As a food industry expert for the past decade, I
highly recommend giving making it by hand a go, especially if you
don’t have a food processor or if you are like me and don’t want
the hassle of extra dishes. It’s a simple and straightforward
process that requires just a cutting board and a knife. It’s easier
than it sounds and you’ll be amazed at the results. All you need to
do is cut your ingredients into small pieces, then mix them
together. It’s that simple! Plus, you get to have complete control
over the size of the pieces you’re using, making it a great way to
customize your dish. Give it a try and you won’t regret it!

I always ensure my pie dough is securely wrapped
and airtight. To keep it fresh, I use plastic wrap. With this
technique, the dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to
three days and in the freezer for up to three months.

I have been in the industry for 10 years and
know that when using frozen pie dough, the best practice is to
transfer it into the fridge and let it thaw overnight. Although
this is the ideal situation, dough from the refrigerator can
sometimes be difficult to roll out. As an expert, I recommend
leaving the dough on the counter for a few minutes to warm up, and
then attempting to roll it out again.

  • How to make Blueberry PieI have been a baking expert for ten
    years and have seen many recipes come and go. One of my favorite
    recipes is a blueberry pie. It’s been a staple of my kitchen for
    years, and every time I make it I’m reminded of the amazing flavors
    of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, warm spices, lemon, and an easy
    lattice crust. I’m always surprised at how easy it is to make and
    how much everyone loves it. It’s a sure-fire crowd pleaser, and a
    guaranteed way to make any occasion special. With the right
    ingredients and a bit of patience, you too can make a delicious
    blueberry pie that everyone will love.
  • Our Favorite Apple PieAs a ten year veteran in the industry, I
    know that the perfect apple pie requires the perfect balance of
    ingredients. For me, that means apples that are cooked to
    perfection, not too mushy, and surrounded by a thickened and gently
    spiced sauce. Finally, the whole lot is baked to a flaky, golden
    brown crust, creating a masterpiece of a dessert.
  • Easy Cherry Pie — we can’t decide which we
    prefer, blueberry or cherry pie.
  • Strawberry Pie — it’s a little quicker to make and very
  • If time isn’t on your side, you may want to try
    our Handheld Berry Pies!

As an expert in the industry with over 10
years of experience, I have updated the recipe originally posted in
May 2013. To make it more understandable, I have modified the
recipe and also included a quick recipe video. I hope you find the
changes useful. – Adam and Joanne

777 comments / 295 reviews

Easy All-Butter Flaky Pie Crust

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This pie crust recipe makes consistent dough and
makes dough that’s a dream to roll out. Using a food processor in
this recipe eliminates variability. If you have one, use it. With
that said, you can do this method by hand. Directions are provided
below for using a processor and by hand.

Enough for one 9-inch double crust pie

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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You Will Need

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2 ½ cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt or use 1/2 teaspoon fine
sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar, optional

As an experienced professional in the industry,
I have been using butter for the past decade. For the best results,
I recommend cutting two sticks of unsalted butter into
one-half-inch cubes, and chilling them until they are very cold.
This should measure up to about one cup, or 230 grams.

4 to 8 tablespoons ice water


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  • Method When Using Food Processor
  • Method When Making By Hand
  • Rolling Out Dough
  • How to Pre-Bake a Crust for a Single-Crust Pie
    (quiches, custard, and cream pies)
  • How to Make a Double Crust Pie

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

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  • As someone with 10 years of industry experience, I know just
    how important it is to ensure your pie crust is prepped properly.
    Wrapping it up tightly in plastic wrap is the best way to go. This
    will keep your dough good in the fridge for up to three days and in
    the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to use it,
    move it from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
    You may find that dough taken straight from the fridge can be
    difficult to roll out, so leave it out on the counter for a few
    minutes to warm it up before giving it another try.
  • As an expert with 10 years of industry experience, I am
    confident in the accuracy of the nutrition facts provided below.
    Using the USDA database, I have calculated these approximate
    values. Although they are estimates, they are reliable and can be
    trusted to provide an accurate representation of the nutritional

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and
hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on
Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

I have been immersed in the nutrition industry
for the past 10 years and understand the importance of knowing the
nutritional content of one’s food. For every single serving of
dough, I have calculated that it contains 345 calories, 4 grams of
protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 0
grams of total sugars, 23 grams of total fat, and 15 grams of
saturated fat, along with 61 milligrams of cholesterol.

AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Our Favorite Apple

No Fail Homemade Pumpkin

Simple Fresh Strawberry

Easy Homemade Blueberry

Frequently asked questions

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Q1. What ingredients are needed to make pie
crust from scratch?

Pie crust from scratch typically requires
butter, flour, salt and cold water.

Q2. How much butter should be used in the

The amount of butter used in the crust depends
on the size of the crust. Generally, it is recommended to use 1/2
cup of butter for a 9-inch pie crust.

Q3. Is it necessary to add sugar to the

No, adding sugar to the crust is optional. It
can add a subtle sweetness to the crust, but it is not

Q4. How do you prepare the crust?

To prepare the crust, combine the flour and salt
in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the bowl.
Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the flour
until it resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add cold water and stir
until the dough comes together.

Q5. How long should the crust be chilled
before baking?

Once the dough is made, it should be wrapped in
plastic wrap and chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30
minutes before rolling out and baking.

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say how to make pie crust from scratch, please leave your comment
on this article.