Homemade pie crust tastes so much better than the store-bought kind! It’s also easier to make than you might think, especially when you follow this simple recipe.
I have nothing against store-bought pie crusts and I use them often! But sometimes when you’re baking for a special occasion, you want to go all out and make a homemade pie crust. The flavor is buttery, the texture is perfectly flaky, and instead of playing second fiddle to the pie filling, a good homemade pie crust is just as delicious as what’s inside! This is the pie crust recipe I use for my classic pumpkin pie, but it can be used to make Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie, apple pie, cherry pie, peach pie—any kind of pie, really!
Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
Making your own pie crust is all about the technique. The ingredients are simple (you probably have them all on hand already!), but how you put them together is what matters most. To get those irresistible flaky layers, you need to be working with cold butter. If you overwork the dough, the butter warms up and gets fully incorporated into the crust, which makes it hard.
This recipe uses ice water to keep the butter from warming up, and instead of using a pastry blender or bare hands to mix the dough, you’ll use a food processor, which is faster—another way to keep the butter from getting warm. This makes my homemade pie crust recipe ideal for beginners.
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Ice cold water
How to Make Homemade Pie Crust
1. Mix the Dry Ingredients
Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt a few times in a food processor.
2. Add the Butter
Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. The mixture should be powdery and dry.
3. Add the Water
Add the water and pulse a few more times, or until the dough sticks together between your fingers. You can add more water a tablespoon at a time if needed.
4. Divide the Dough
Transfer the dough to a work surface and form 2 equal-size pieces of dough. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour until you’re ready to use them.
Hint: If you only need a bottom crust for a recipe, you can freeze the extra portion of dough; thaw it in the refrigerator before using it to make a pie.
- Gluten-Free Pie Crust – Substitute a gluten-free all-purpose baking flour blend for the all-purpose flour.
- Vegan Pie Crust – Use plant-based butter instead of dairy butter.
What if the dough is too hard?
Let the dough sit on the countertop at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it’s workable and can be rolled out with a rolling pin.
Can you make homemade pie crust dough in advance?
Yes, you can make the dough and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 2 months. Frozen dough will need to be thawed in the refrigerator before using.
How do you make homemade pie crust dough without a food processor?
Use a pastry cutter or two butter knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture. After you add the water, use a wooden spoon to stir until the dough comes together.
How can you easily transfer a pie crust to the pan?
Lightly flour your work surface to prevent the crust from sticking. Roll out the dough, then roll the crust onto your rolling pin and unroll it over the pie pan.
You can make sure the butter is super cold by popping it in the freezer for 30 minutes before you’re ready to start making the pie crust.
More Ideas for Using This Homemade Pie Crust Recipe
Homemade Pie Crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more to dust
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 oz cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 4 tbsp ice cold water
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt a few times to combine.
- Add the cold diced butter and pulse the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal (pea-size pieces with bigger pieces of butter it’s ok). The mixture should be powdery and dry.
- Add the ice-cold water and pulse a few more times. The dough should stick together in between your fingers, if not add a tablespoon of water until it does.
- Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and form 2 equal size pieces of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour until you are ready to use.