Frozen Pie Shells


The convenience factor of store-bought, frozen pie shells cannot be overstated, but neither can the flaky deliciousness of an incredible homemade pie crust. Here, you get the best of both worlds thanks to a clever DIY dough recipe.

Frozen Pie Shells
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
2 pie shells

You'll make a double-batch of traditional crust, roll it out, and then fit it into aluminum tins. All this means you can pull out a ready-to-go shell, parbake, and proceed with any recipe that calls for pie dough, whether savory or sweet. Prep tip: If you can't find ready-to-use aluminum tins, you can freeze in a standard glass pie plate one shell at a time. Once the crust is frozen it'll keep its shape, so just pop out of the tin, wrap, and stack. When you're ready to bake, return to a pie plate and proceed as directed.


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-in. pieces


  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse 20 times. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse to combine. Continue, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons ice water at a time, until dough just comes together when squeezed in your palm (it should be pretty sandy).

  2. Divide dough into 2 piles. Transfer 1 pile to a large sheet of plastic wrap. Use edges of wrap to gather and compact dough toward center, using your knuckles to help press it into a compact disk. Wrap tightly with plastic and repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

  3. Roll out 1 disk at a time on a lightly floured surface to a 14-inch circle. Place in a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Fold under overhang so crust just covers the lip of the plate. Crimp edge as desired. Poke holes all over bottom with a fork. Transfer to freezer and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Line each pie shell with a piece of parchment paper and stack 1 shell on top of the other. Wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 1 month.

  5. To parbake the crust: Pre-heat oven to 350°F with rack in lowest position. Remove pie shell from plastic wrap (leave parchment paper in place) and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edge is golden, about 30 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights. Return crust to oven and bake until bottom is lightly golden and dry, 10 to 15 minutes. (Parbaking ensures a crisp crust.)

Chef's Notes

Basic Quiche

Whisk 4 large eggs with cup half-and-half, tsp. kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir in 2 cups cooked vegetables (such as wilted spinach, sautéed mushrooms and onions, or leftover roasted squash) and 8 oz. grated Cheddar or Gruyère. Pour into parbaked pie shell and bake at 375°F on bottom rack until just set, 35 to 40 minutes.

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