FYI, this pie crust recipe is flaky, fuss-free, and filled with butter.

By Betty Gold
Updated September 30, 2020
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Easy enough for first-timers, this surprisingly simple tutorial will make even the most reluctant bakers into believers. This recipe makes one 9-inch pie crust with just 10 minutes of hands-on time (total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes). Whether you're making apple pie, pumpkin pie, or any other pie dessert that calls for traditional pie crust, this will do the trick.

For a basic crust that makes two single-crust pies or one double-crust pie, find our easy recipe for pie crust here.

What You'll Need for Our Simple Single Pie Crust Recipe

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for rolling the dough
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

How to Make Pie Crust

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients

In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, sugar, and salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size clumps of butter remaining.

Add water

Add 2 tablespoons of the water. Pulse until the mixture holds together when squeezed but is still crumbly (add more water, a little at a time, as necessary). Avoid overprocessing, which will make the dough tough.

Refrigerator full of produce and groceries
Credit: Getty Images

Chill the dough

Place the still crumbly mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape it into a 1-inch-thick disk, using the plastic wrap to help. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. (The dough can be frozen at this point for up to 2 months.)

Soften the edges of the dough

Place the disk of dough on a floured piece of parchment or wax paper. Using your knuckles, make indentations around the perimeter of the dough (this will help prevent cracking when you roll the dough out).

Roll out the dough

With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 12-inch circle (work from the center outward, and use the parchment to rotate the dough). Flour the rolling pin, parchment, and dough as necessary to prevent sticking.

Fit the dough into a pie plate

Loosen the dough from the parchment and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Fit the dough into the plate (avoid stretching). Trim the dough to a 1-inch overhang and tuck it under itself to create a thick rim.

Basic Flaky Piecrust
Credit: John Kernick

Crimp the rim

With the index finger of one hand, press the dough against the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand; continue around the perimeter of the crust. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days before using.

How to Parbake and Prebake a Pie Crust

Line the chilled crust with a piece of foil, leaving an overhang all around. Fill with pie weights and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. For a par-baked (partially baked) crust, bake until dry and set, 5 to 8 minutes more. For a pre-baked crust, bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes more. Let the crust cool completely before filling.

The Best Pie Weights Substitute

It's a no brainer: if you're trying to parbake, prebake, or blind-bake a pie crust and don't have pie weights on hand, use dried beans. Simply set a sheet of foil or parchment paper on top of the dough, then fill it up with dried beans. If you're out of those, feel free to use dried rice or popcorn kernels instead using the same method.