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Perfect Pie Crust

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Before I had much experience with pie, I tried a recipe called “perfect pie crust,” which employed butter instead of shortening for the fat.  At the time, I’d only ever made shortening crusts and the butter one had a much better flavor, so I thought the name apt, although it wasn’t as flaky as I desired. Although I balk at the word “perfect,” I have now found my own favorite pie crust that for me is very close to it, and although I’ve included the recipe before on a previous blog for apple pie, I think it’s good enough to warrant a blog of its own.

This one has the best of both worlds–the butter adding flavor and the shortening, flakiness. It turns out well even when I over-process it, which I almost always do (I don’t like to see big globs of fat in my crust so I tend to over-mix the fat into the flour). I don’t think there’s a way to ruin this crust besides burning it, which would be really hard to do. It puffs as it bakes and is so flaky that you can see it with the naked eye.

Like I said, it’s perfect!

Perfect Pie Crust

Printable Recipe

*Makes enough for two pies or one double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, cold and cut into 16 pieces
1/4 cup shortening, chilled in freezer
6-10 T ice-cold water (I use a scant 1/3 cup every time)

Mix flour and salt.  Cut the butter and shortening in with a pastry blender or food processor until pieces are the size of small peas (I usually make them half that size at least or smaller, but the crust will be more flaky if you can resist following my example).  Add ice water and mix until it starts to form a ball.  Divide dough in half, gather in your hands and gently shape each into a ball, flatten them into discs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  If they get too hard, I leave them on the counter until pliable enough to roll out.

When ready to make your pie, roll out one disk and fit into a pie plate, trimming off the excess. Fill, cover with the top crust, pinch and flute the edges. Brush beaten egg over the top crust (that’s how you get that golden shine), cut a few vents holes and then bake according to pie recipe directions. If you are making a one-crust pie, you can either halve the recipe or freeze the second disc for later use.

Recipe Source: The Dessert Lover’s Cookbook by Marlene Sorosky

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

27 responses »

  1. I tried your pie crust with Laura’s dulce de leche apple pie; it was fantastic!!! Thanks!

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  7. I had saved this recipe from a couple years ago and finally got a food processor so I could attempt it. I’m a total FAIL at all things pie crust, so I was sure that the food processor was the key. The first pie crust I tried (not this recipe) totally bombed and I was almost heartbroken because I thought I’d never get it right. Then I remembered the apple pies you made and hoped I had saved the crust recipe. And I did….and guess what? Complete and utter, beautiful, miraculous SUCCESS. Seriously….best pie crust EVER. And I did it all by myself. Thanks so much for posting such a reliable recipe. My family thanks you, too because now they no longer have to choke down crappy crust.

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  12. Hi Veronica!

    In the photo above where you have the stack of pie dough… can you explain to me what is going on here? :-) Is that your freezer? and what are you wrapping your dough in? I am possibly going to be making 100-200 pies for an event so I am doing some research to see what I can do ahead of time. I wasn’t sure if maybe you made extra dough and stored it in the freezer/

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    • Sorry for the slow reply! Have a new baby and haven’t been checking my comments lately. That stack was in my refrigerator. You could totally make them ahead and freeze, then put in the fridge 24 hours before it’s time to use it. It rolls out easier if you let it stand at room temp for 15 minutes or so before hand too.

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  13. I think my food processor melted the butter and made the water too warm – it never formed a ball – so I had to add flour until it wasn’t too sticky to get out and then let it chill until it could be rolled out. What did I do wrong? Or was it the processor?

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  14. Kelsey Richardson

    Hi! This is THE best crust I have ever seen. Quick question, do you have a favorite brand of shortening? I want to get it just right, like yours.

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  15. This was absolutely amazing, fabulous, wonderful and EAZZZY!! Thank you thank you! This was my very first attempt at making pie crust and it was a knock out damn delicious, pardon my french. In my efforts to keep everything cold, cold, cold, I also put my food processor blade in the freezer(the one out in the garage plus did this while the kids were in school, with little ones u never know where they will end up prowling right??) about 30-40min right before mixing. Not sure the impact it made but wanted to share. Thank you so much you’ve help boost my confidence tons. Will definitely use again!!

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  17. Just made this crust for 2 blueberry and 1 peach pie, amazing! My 22 year old daughter even commented on how amazing the dough looked….now that is amazing. She just might eat the pie!

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  18. Trying this today!! It looks AMAZING.

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  19. Hi, I don’ have a food processor but do you think if I grated frozen butter and used my kitchen aid it would have the same effect? Thanks

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  20. Been married 40 years & im a good cook… Except for pie crust. That process has always eluded me….until today! Not only was this recipe easy to follow, the end result was easily the best, most delicious pie crust I’ve ever eaten. Better late than never! Ty! Ty! Ty!

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