Here’s how to make homemade pie crust! It results in a tender, flaky pastry that’s perfect for any pie recipe, from apple to peach.
As kids, my sister and I learned an intense passion for pie. Our favorite, my mom’s Best Peach Pie, would appear just 2 to 3 times per summer. It was a lesson in moderation, and perhaps made the pie even better in our minds. And of course there was my grandma’s pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. But the most important step to a special pie: homemade pie crust.
It’s surprising how quickly this pie crust recipe comes together, and a great activity to do with friends, loved ones, or even kids. Yes, it might take a little longer than picking up the store-bought version. But as Alex and I drank our coffee together on a Saturday morning and rolled out the dough, we sensed there was something special in a quiet morning seeped in this age-old tradition. So here it is: my mom’s homemade pie crust recipe.
Variation: Eat plant based? Try our Vegan Pie Crust.
Tools you need!
Now, it’s helpful to have a few things on hand to make homemade pie crust. Here’s what we recommend:
- 2 9-inch pie plates (this recipe is for 2 doughs, so you can freeze one in the pan)
- Pastry cloth and rolling pin cover (recommended)
- Pizza cutter or pastry wheel
- Pastry cutter
Why use a pastry cloth? The pastry cloth helps to keep the dough from sticking, and provides those helpful lines for cutting out the circle of dough. A rolling pin cover also helps to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. These tools are fairly inexpensive and are very helpful to make the most perfect pie crust. This is the way my mom has done it for years!
How to make homemade pie crust
Ready to get started? Here’s a step by step on exactly how to make homemade pie crust:
Step 1: Mix the dough (and rest it).
Mix together the dough of flour, salt and baking powder. Slice the butter into pieces, then cut it into the mixture using a pastry cutter or a fork. Keep working in the butter until a coarse meal texture is reached. Add the cold water tablespoon by tablespoon, mixing with a fork until the dough comes together. Form the dough into two balls and chill for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Roll the dough into a thin circle.
Set up your pastry cloth and frame if you have it, then dust it with flour. Add the rolling pin cover, and dust that with flour too. Take 1 ball of dough and roll it out into a circle that’s 1/8-inch thick. Work to have a very even, rough circle.
Step 3: Cut the dough into a circle.
Using the circles marked on the pastry cloth, use a pizza cutter or pastry wheel to cut the dough into a 12-inch circle.
Step 4: Place in the pan and crimp the edges.
Gently roll about half of the dough circle onto the rolling pin, then use the pin to transfer the dough the pie pan. Gently center and push the pastry towards the bottom of the pan. Fold the 1-inch of overhanging dough backwards and seal it to form a rim. Using your index finger and thumb from one hand and a knuckle from your other hand, crimp the edges of the crust. (I loved watching my mom doing this growing up!)
Step 5: Repeat on the next dough.
That’s it! You’re done with homemade pie crust number 1. For the second dough ball, repeat Step 2-4. Then wrap it in plastic wrap or foil, and use it for your next pie! And it it’s your first time making pie crust from scratch, make sure to read our homemade pie crust recipe carefully and don’t expect perfection. We’ve found from experience that it comes with time!
Tip: The best part: dough scraps! You can put cinnamon sugar on them and bake them along with the pie, or just eat them raw, which is our preference — any other dough fiends out there?
Other ways to form pie crust edges
As you can see in these photos, my mom is the queen of homemade pie crust. I’m pretty sure she can crimp pie edges in her sleep! Luckily, she’s passed down this skill to me. But if you are unable or unsure how to crimp a pie crust, here are some easier ways to style the edges:
- Use a fork — Fold some of the excess pie dough over the edge of the pie plate towards the center of the pie and then use the back of a fork to press the pie crust down. The fork gives the pie a rustic-looking edge.
- Use a spoon — Use the edge of a spoon to form a scalloped edge along the pie crust. You’ll need to first cut away the excess pie dough before making the scalloped edges, though.
Tips for the best pie crust
Learning how to make pie crust from scratch will take some practice, so don’t give up if your first batch is less than perfect (it’ll still taste delicious, no matter what it looks like!). A few things to keep in mind when making homemade pie crust are:
- Use all-purpose flour — Now isn’t the time to experiment with whole wheat flour or flour alternatives. All-purpose flour is a must for this pie crust recipe, and we haven’t found a good substitution for it.
- Don’t over work the dough — It’s important that you mix the pie dough just until it sticks together, but no longer. If you over work the pie crust, it’ll toughen up and it won’t be flaky once baked.
- Add a little water at a time — In a similar vein, you need to be careful when adding the water to the flour mixture. Depending on the time of year and the weather conditions, you may need more or less water than what the recipe calls for. Add in a little at a time until you’re satisfied with the consistency of the pie dough.
How to freeze pie crust
Do you love the idea of making homemade pie crust, but dread the thought of having to make it from scratch every single time? As noted above, this recipe makes enough for 2 pie crusts. This makes homemade pie prep so much faster, while still letting you enjoy a completely from-scratch pie.
To freeze this homemade pie crust, the best way is to roll it out, place it in the pie pan, and crimp the edges. Then cover the entire crust in plastic wrap or securely with aluminum foil. It’s important to make sure that it’s tightly wrapped so that it stays fresh. When you go to make the pie with the frozen pie crust, take it out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to make the pie. Make sure that it’s at room temperature before you fill the pie.
This homemade pie crust recipe is…
Vegetarian. For vegan, go to Vegan Pie Crust.Print
Here’s how to make homemade pie crust! It results in a tender, flaky pastry that’s perfect for any pie recipe, from apple to peach. Vegan variation: See Vegan Pie Crust.
- In a medium bowl, mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon baking powder. Slice the butter into pieces, then cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender until a coarse meal texture is obtained.
- Sprinkle about 5 tablespoons cool water over the flour, mixing gradually with fork until the dough sticks together. Add additional water by the tablespoon until the dough comes together but is not sticky (we added an additional 2 tablespoons – if you add too much water, add another bit of flour). Form the dough into two balls. If desired, chill the dough for about 15 minutes.
- If you have a pastry cloth, set it up and dust it with flour; otherwise, flour a clean work surface. Put on a rolling pin cover (optional), and coat the pin in extra flour. Place one ball of dough on the cloth and roll it evenly from the center to the edge, until the dough is about ⅛-inch thick. Trim the dough to an even 12-inch circle with a pizza cutter (which corresponds to the 9-inch circle on the pastry cloth).
- Using a rolling pin, transfer the dough to 9-inch pie pan. Gently center and push the pastry towards the bottom of the pan. Fold the 1-inch of overhanging dough backwards and seal it to form a rim. Using your index finger and thumb from one hand and a knuckle from your other hand, crimp the edges of the crust.
- Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the second dough ball in a second pie pan. Cover this shell in plastic wrap or foil and freeze it for later use, which shortcuts the time to your next pie.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Dough
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: Pie Crust, Homemade Pie Crust, How to Make Pie Crust, Crust, Dessert, Butter, Flour,
Looking for more dessert recipes?
How to make pie crust is an excellent dessert making skill. Outside of this homemade pie crust recipe, here are some of our favorite dessert recipes on A Couple Cooks:
- Chocolate Cherry Galette
- Favorite Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
- Bliss Bites (Healthy No Bake Cookies)
- Skillet Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies
- Apple Galette Recipe with Pomegranate
- Upside Down Orange & Fennel Cake
- Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
Looking for more pie recipes?
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.