We all love making savory and sweet pies, so this quick and easy pie crust recipe will help you. You will learn how to make a pie crust from scratch and how to blind bake it.
You will need just 3 ingredients to make this pie crust without mixer or food processor! And yes, this is a pie crust without eggs. This type of crusts are also known as shortcrust pastry.
Moreover, it is so easy that you don’t need to buy a frozen pie crust again, if you have this recipe!
This super easy recipe will help you make a 2 crust pie for holidays or family gatherings. By the way, I use this recipe to make a tart shells, too.
You will love to make homemade pies with this flaky and crispy pie crust recipe, using all the tips and tricks from this post. I will prove that it is worth making your own pie crust!
Save this recipe for the holiday season!
How to make a pie crust from scratch
Ingredients for the short crust pastry
Prepare all ingredients for the pie crust. You will need just 3 ingredients: all-purpose flour, cold water and cold butter cubes. You can soften butter just a little so it is easy to work with.
However, to make delicious and flaky pie crust, always use cold ingredients!
You don’t need eggs for the pie crust like this. I will explain later in this post, why I use eggs for some types of short crust pastry.
Fat for the pie crust
To make a good pie, you need to add fat. The easiest and most delicious option for me is butter, but you can use other ingredients.
To make a vegan pie crust, use shortening instead of butter. You can try using coconut or other oil instead of butter, but it will make it too crumbly.
Another option is using lard instead of butter. To my mind, it is harder to find and works better with savory pies. Have you tried using lard to make a pie crust? Leave your thoughts below, I would love to know how it worked for you.
How to make the best pie crust
Start making the pie crust by adding the flour to the large bowl. Then add butter cubes in two batches, squeezing flour and butter with your fingers to incorporate.
Gradually add water and continue working with your hands until the dough comes together.
If you don’t want to do it with your hands, you can pulse in a food processor until it sticks together. Then carefully transfer to the clean surface and knead until it comes together.
For the 2 crust pie, divide the dough into 2 discs, making one a little bigger than another. Wrap each of the disc in plastic and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
Roll the dough and make a pie
Prepare the surface for rolling the dough. Use a silicone mat or clean surface. Sprinkle the rolling pin and surface lightly with flour to prevent it from sticking.
Roll the bigger disc for the bottom crust, and the smaller for the top crust. Use your rolling pin, dusted with flour to carefully transfer the crust to the pie pan.
Gently press it with your fingers to the bottom and the edges of the pan.
Add desired filling, seal the edges, score the top of the crust and bake your perfect pie!
How to bake the pie crust
The baking temperature can vary from 350 F / 180 C to 425 F / 220 C depending on the filling of the pie.
If you need to pre-bake the crust, choose lower temperatures and bake about 40-50 minutes until golden if it requires further baking with filling. If it doesn’t require further baking, cook about an hour.
Use higher temperatures to bake a 2 crust pie.
Don’t forget to cool it completely before adding the filling!
How to store a pie crust
You can store the dough wrapped in plastic up to 5 days in the fridge. That’s how you can refrigerate the dough overnight, to make delicious pie the other day.
You can also store the pie pan with a bottom crust for couple days in the fridge. Don’t store the unbaked crust with filling. Also, it is better to wrap the pie pan in plastic wrap.
If you want to freeze them, put the wrapped discs in an extra freezer-safe bags and store up to 4 months in freezer. If you have plenty of space in the freezer, you can wrap the pie pan with the crust in plastic. Store in the freezer up to 4 months.
What to make with a pie crust
You can also use this crust recipe for the base of tarts to make a Strawberry tart or French apple tart. However, for the tart shells most of the time egg is used instead of water. They enrich the dough with extra fat and provide a sturdy texture for the tart shells.
This is a simple recipe to make easy desserts to pair with tea or coffee, such as Blackberry pie bars.
Although we love our Crust-less Spinach quiches, you can use this recipe to make a Quiché, too.
How to use shortcrust pastry for savory or sweet pies
If you are using it for sweet recipe, you can add about 2 tea spoons of sugar to the flour, before mixing with butter. I love experimenting with flavors like adding chai spices to the crust like in this French apple tartlets recipe.
If you are using it for the savory pie, you can add 1 tea spoon of salt to the flour. Don’t add the salt, if you are using salted butter.
Tips to make the best pie
How to make a pie crust brown
- Brush the pie crust with an egg wash before baking. Egg wash is one small beaten egg or just an egg yolk.
- If you don’t have an egg or allergy to this product, you can brush the crust with strongly brewed black tea.
- Use good quality butter to make this pie crust. Butter allows the crust to brown more in comparison with other fats.
How to make pie crust less soggy
- To make the pie crust less soggy, you need to blind bake it for 10 minutes. This way you will bake the bottom crust before adding the filling.
- To prevent the bottom crust of the pie from getting soggy, brush the unbaked crust with beaten egg. The protein will help create another layer between the pie crust and wet filling.
- Otherwise, if you are making a sweet pie, you can pre-bake the crust and brush it with melted chocolate.
- Don’t store the unbaked pie crust together with the filling. While it is waiting for the time to bake, the filling can make the crust more soggy.
- Cut the vent on the top crust to help the moisture escape, while baking.
- Don’t use a wet filling. Cook the filling before adding to the crust. If you are using berries, cook them with sugar until syrupy consistency. Otherwise, toss the berries with sugar before adding to pies.
- Preheat the oven to 420 F/ 220 C well together with baking sheet or rack before placing the pie on it. The rack or baking sheet will get the extra heat to your pie dish. If you need to bake the pie longer and afraid of burning the pie, you can turn down the heat after 15 minutes. Also, you can wrap it in foil.
How to prevent the pie crust from shrinking
- If you blind bake the crust, I recommend overlapping the pie crust over the edges of the pie dish. Make it slightly larger than your pan. You can cut the edges with a sharp knife before adding the filling.
- If you blind bake the bottom crust, use lower temperatures such as 350 F / 180 C to not stress the dough. Higher temperatures can make the gluten tight.
- Chill the bottom pie crust in the pan for at least 20 minutes in the fridge, before adding the filling or blind baking.
- Use the baking paper with baking weights or dry beans to blind bake the crust. This will help the crust to stay in place after baking and don’t slip down.
- Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the pie crust. This will prevent the bottom of the crust to bubble up.
- Give the pie dough time to rest in the fridge at least 30 minutes and also about 5 minutes after rolling out.
- Use ceramic or metal pie pans instead of slippery glass pans.
- If you are using a 2 crust pie recipe with a filling that is not watery, I wouldn’t pre-bake the crust. Just make sure you seal the edges of crusts well.
- Roll the dough a little extra larger than your pan. It is better to cut the leftovers than stretch it to fit the pan. Stretched parts can shrink back, while baking.
- You can add vinegar or vodka to reduce shrinking, replacing one table spoon of water. However, it will make the dough harder to roll and it will become more sticky, so I don’t think it is worth doing so.
- Using shortening instead of butter help the dough to hold its shape. However, it may lack the flavor that a good butter adds to the pie crust.
You will love this easy pie crust and never buy one again! Hope these tips and tricks will help you to make more delicious flaky pies in your kitchen. If you have more suggestions on how to make a pie crust, share it in the comments!
How to make a pie crust
- 2,5 cup all-purpose flour 320 g
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes 170 g
- 4-5 tbsp water, cold
- Prepare all ingredients. Put flour in the large bowl.
- Add butter to flour and mix with your hands.
- Gradually add water to the mixed butter.
- Knead the dough with hands until well incorporated.
- Knead the dough into disc.
- Divide the dough in two discs. Make one a little bigger than another.
- Wrap each disc into plastic wrap and leave in the fridge at least 30 minutes.
- Place the larger disc on prepared flat surface. Sprinkle the surface and dough lightly with flour.
- With a rolling pin, dusted with flour, roll the dough larger than your pan.
- Dust the rolling pin with flour. Carefully roll the dough on the rolling pin.
- Place the bottom crust in the 11 inch / 28 cm round pie pan. Let them overlap a little. Flatten and tap it with your fingers. Don't stretch it.
- Using the fork, poke the holes in the bottom crust. Place the pan in the fridge for 10 minutes, if you need to blind bake it, before adding the filling.
- Add cooled filling, roll another disc and put on top and press the edges together. Cut the excess edges, if needed. Press the edges with fingers.
- The baking temperature can vary from 350 F / 180 C to 425 F / 220 C depending on the filling of the pie.
Freezing instructions: put the wrapped discs in an extra freezer-safe bags and store up to 4 months in freezer. Or wrap the pie pan with the crust in plastic and store in the freezer up to 4 months. Brush the top crust with whisked egg to make it brown. Add 0,5-1 tsp of sugar in flour, when baking a sweet pie. Add 0,5 tsp salt in flour, when baking a savory pie.