Tender, buttery, and easy-to-make, my Grandma’s perfect pie crust is everything you need this Thanksgiving. It’s so foolproof, you won’t want store-bought again!
No matter the pie you want, this crust will make it shine. Chocolate, peach, and apple pies are some of my favorites on the blog. They’re all insanely good, I highly recommend you put them in the Thanksgiving pie lineup this year!
Super Easy Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
My grandma knew how to make the best pies every year for Thanksgiving. Aside from the absolutely divine fillings, the crusts she made were always tender and flaky! Every year we would look forward to going to my Grandma’s for Thanksgiving. She was the BEST cook. She raised 8 kids and had a home-cooked meal on the table for them each night. Everything she made was from scratch. Growing up, I remember staying a few weeks in the summer with her and she was always baking bread or a batch of peanut butter cookies. As soon as the warm bread came out of the oven she would slice it up and we would eat an entire loaf. You can find that recipe here and join in on the deliciousness!
But really, the best part about Thanksgiving was her pies. You couldn’t wait to finish the meal to have a slice of her cherry pie. In all honesty, I have yet to try a better pie. She would make them all herself and you couldn’t get enough! Her crusts were tender and perfect. In my opinion the best! Sometimes making any kind of dough from scratch can seem intimidating, but today I am going to show you how easy it is! The crust comes together in just a matter of minutes and you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand. Trust me, it’s going to enhance any pie you make! If any recipe is a staple, it’s this one! I’ve included a printable graphic to have on hand for all of your baking needs. Let’s keep the tradition going!
Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust Ingredient List
Simplicity is key! The best pies start out with a flaky, golden crust with no frills. This pie crust will bring your whole pie together with just pantry staples! Measurements can be found in the printable graphic or recipe card at the end of the post.
- All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour works great for acheiving a soft, flaky crust. It doesn’t have a high protein content, so it will keep the structure nice and light. You can also use a low-protein pastry flour.
- Salt: You need a little salt to enhance the overall flavor.
- Shortening: This is needed for fat content. You can also substitute it with butter, margarine, or even coconut oil!
- Cold Water: This is used to moisten the dough. Be sure to keep it cold! Cooler temperatures is the secret to a nice and flaky pie crust.
How to Make the Perfect Pie Crust
Making a solid pie crust isn’t difficult at all. All you need is a little love and attention to detail! You’re going to love it. It’s better than anything you can get from the store!
- Mix Dry Ingredients and Shortening: In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening till pea sized.
- Moisten: Next, we add some cold water. Sprinkle water on top one tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side. Mix until all flour is moistened. Don’t mix too much or your crust will be hard.
- Shape and Roll Out: Form into a ball and roll out on floured surface. Turn and flour dough a few times till its the size you need. It’s now ready for all of your favorite fillings!
Pie Filling Ideas
Whether you want a classic pie, or you’re looking to switch things up a little, I’ve got you covered! From chocolate to citrus, cinnamon to sweet, there’s a pie for everyone. And the good news is, it will taste amazing on your freshly-made pie crust! You can find more delish pie recipes here.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Caramel Apple Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
Amazing Decadent Pecan Pie
Making a Successful Pie Crust
Making a pie crust from scratch is both tasty and impressive! Here are a few simple tips and tricks to make your crust bakery-worthy. You’re going to love how it turns out!
- Use Chilled Ingredients: The secret to a flaky crust is to use refrigerated ingredients. Warm ingredients can make your dough tough and dense.
- Don’t Overmix: As with other homemade pastries, don’t overwork your dough. It can cause gluten to develop and make your crust chewy and hard. You only want to mix your dough until it sticks together and you can start shaping it into a ball.
- Add Water as You Go: Add too much water and your dough might be hard to salvage. Add too little water and it will be dry and crack. To avoid these extremes, add a little bit of water at a time and mix gently until you have reached your desired consistency.
- Use a Food Processor: Instead of using a pastry blender to cut ingredients together, you can pop your mixture in a food processor and blend for short intervals. Once it is blended smoothly, you can remove and begin adding water to moisten.
- Adding Flavors: One tip that is often overlooked is that you can flavor your dough! Whether it be a hint of pumpkin spice, fresh herbs, lemon zest, vanilla, almond extract, or sugar and cocoa powder, it can really take your pie up a notch! You’ve got a flavorful filling- why not add flavor to your crust, too?
Storing and Making Pie Crust Dough Ahead
You can easily store your pie crust and use it later if you’re not ready to bake! It will be just as flaky and delicious as the day you prepared it!
- In the Refrigerator: Wrap a ball of uncooked dough in plastic wrap. It will stay good for up to 3 days. Let it come to room temperature before rolling out or it may crack.
- In the Freezer: Pie crusts are great for freezing and using later. I recommend shaping your dough into a pie pan before freezing. This way, you don’t need to thaw it and it can go straight into the oven. If you’ve frozen a ball of dough, allow it to thaw overnight and then come to room temperature before rolling out. Both shaped crusts and balls of dough need to be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap before freezing.
A Reader’s Review
Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 4 to 5 Tablespoons cold water
- In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. With a pastry blender cut in shortening till pea-sized.
- Sprinkle water on one tablespoon at a time tossing with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side. Mix till all flour is moistened. Don't mix too much or the crust will be hard.
- Form into a ball and roll out on the floured surface. Turn and flour the dough a few times till it's the size you need.
add 1 more cup flour
1 more ½ t salt
Double the shortening
Double the cold water
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
I’m new to eating gluten free so I was wondering if I could use gluten free flour in place of the AP flour used in the recipe for a pumpkin pie
I haven’t tried that before! Let me know if you do and how it turns out.
is lard as good as shorting or not
You can use lard as a substitute for shortening.
I tried this pie crust recipe and it was great! I appreciated the little tips (like the cold water and why it was important). This was my first attempt at making my own pie crust (and I tend to loath eating pie crusts cause most are not tasty or are too dry, so I felt the pressure), and this was phenomenal! It has been firmly cemented in to our family recipe binder! Thank you!
So maybe im just dumb but it says to bake the crust before using but gives no specifics on time or temp to use or if the pan needs to be greased for this.
If you need to bake the crust beforehand ( for a crem pie or custard filling etc, you need to “Blind Bake” the crust. Here are the instructions on how to do that! How To Blind Bake a Pie Crust
What do you mean by “shortening”
Shortening is a solid fat at room temperature that is often used in baking. You can substitute it with margarine or butter instead.
FYI – Crisco is “shortening”
The initial recipe says 1/4 t salt; when you double it the instructions say to add 1/2 t more salt. Don’t you mean and additional 1/4 t for a total of 1/2 t?
Will I need to blind bake?
Yes! Here is a recipe! How To Blind Bake a Pie Crust
If substituting with butter, is the amount the same as the shortening?
Yes! Your pie crust may end up a little less flakey if you make this substitution.
What size pie crust does this make? Is it for a single pie crust no or double?
This makes a single, 10 inch pie crust.
I am making this now and not clear on whether I pre-bake the crust at all. Seems like the answer is “no”.
Use this recipe to prebake the crust! How To Blind Bake a Pie Crust
Hi I was wondering what you would recommend for baking directions with this crust for a pecan pie?
Here is my pecan pie recipe with instructions on how long to bake it! Amazing Decadent Pecan Pie
Perfect recipe! I used butter instead. Even had some dough left over to do some cute leaves for decoration.
The best pie crust ever, I used butter instead of shortening —- amazing. Thank you
How much butter did you use? Thank you.
I made this pie crust recipe with my grandson. It was quick and easy. We were making a lemon pie. We got the pie crust all made but when we went to bake it we couldn’t find the baking instructions. Can you add the cooking temperature and time to the recipe if you are baking right away? Thank you. We love our grandmother’s recipes. They are the best!
Hello! The baking instructions will vary depending on what filling you cook in it! This recipe is to make the pie crust for any of your favorite pie recipes which is why it doesn’t offer baking instructions. If you are looking for a certain pie, in particular, I can help you out and send over my recipe to you! Let me know!
Can butter be used in place of shortening? If so would it be the same amount?
Yes, that is the best substitute.
How much sugar would you recommend adding to the dough if it’s doubled? I’m making a strawberry rhubarb pie and would like a sweater crust. Thank you!
I have this recipe you can try: https://therecipecritic.com/strawberry-rhubarb-pie/
My daughter loves pumpkin pie so I wanted to make her one homemade! I will definitely store this recipe in my collection it was amazing!! The crust was so good and the pumpkin pie was loaded with flavor! It was a total hit! Thank you for sharing!