Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pie Crust Recipe | How to Make Pie Dough By Hand

Pie crust can be intimidating. Am I right?!  Well today, you will master the art of pie crust making with my grandma's recipe. This is a double pie crust recipe, but you can stretch it to make 3 crusts if needed.

pie crust recipe


I grew up baking a lot, but somehow, I never did make pie crust until after I got married. I tried several recipes, but I always come back to Grandma's. It comes together quickly and the dough is easy to handle.

Visit my favorite pie recipes page for a list of the best pies.

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There are many schools of thought on the type of fat to use in pie crust. Some prefer butter, I am a fan of shortening. There is less fussiness about the temperature of the dough when you use shortening. It also makes the dough more pliable and easy to work with.

Vinegar is a somewhat unusual ingredient for pie crust. You can't taste it and it makes the dough more tender and flaky.
  • flour
  • shortening
  • salt
  • egg
  • water
  • vinegar


There are two tools that are essential when making pie crust. The pastry blender and the rolling pin. 

A pastry blender is a tool that makes making pie crust so much easier. It cuts the shortening up into little bits as it combines it with the flour. I use it for the first step of mixing the dough.

Of course we need a rolling pin to be able to roll out the dough. You could use a large cup in a pinch, but a rolling pin is so much easier.


It can be tempting to buy a pie crust. They take a lot less time and work well. I've used them and there's no judgement if you use them too.

BUT homemade pie crust costs just pennies to make and is so good. 

Let's get started:

collage of images depicting the steps to make pie crust

  1. Add flour, salt and shortening to a bowl
  2. Mix together with a pastry blender until the shortening is incorporated. The dough will be coarse and will not pull together at this point. There still should be chunks of shortening.
  3. Add egg, water and vinegar. (I use cold water for best results)
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon, just until combined. If the dough doesn't pull together, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until it does.


This recipe makes 3 crusts. You can use them for either 3 single pies. Or make a single pie and a pie with a double crust (one on top and bottom).

Let's walk through the single pie crust first.

Begin by separating the dough into 3 pieces. Then sprinkle flour all over your working surface. You don't want the dough to stick to the counter! I always keep flour nearby to add more as needed so the dough doesn't stick.

rolling out the pie crust

  1. Knead the dough on a floured surface 4-5 times.
  2. Roll out dough. Roll one direction a few times, then switch and roll the opposite direction a few times. Try to keep the dough as round as possible, but it doesn't have to be perfect. I like to lift up the dough and add more flour as needed.
  3. Once the dough is at least 2 inches bigger than the pie pan, fold it lightly in half, then in half again.
  4. Transfer the dough to a pie dish and unfold.
  5. Tuck the edges of the dough under itself inside the pan. Then crimp the edges.
Sometimes pies are baked before the filling is added. Sometimes they are baked with the filling inside. 
If baking a pie crust before adding the filling, use a fork and poke holes around the bottom and sides of the crust to allow air to escape and avoid bubbles. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes.

If adding the filling before baking, then bake as instructed in the pie directions.


Follow the instructions for the single pie crust until you get to the crimping stage. Before you crimp the edges you will want to add your filling. Then roll out your remaining dough for the top layer.

collage of steps depicting how to make a double pie crust
  1. Add the filling to the crust.
  2. Place the other pie crust on top. Tuck the edges under the bottom layer.
  3. Crimp the edges of the pie. There are many ways to do this. I usually place to finger on top and then one between them underneath.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for an extra yummy crust. If making a chicken pot pie, of course you would omit this.
  5. Cut slits in the pie to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake as directed in the pie instructions.


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collage of pie crust images with the text how to make pie crust from scratchcollage of pie crust images with the text the best pie crust


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Best Ever Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cheesy Corn Chowder
Pie Crust Recipe

Pie Crust Recipe

Servings: 24
Author: Rachel Nielsen
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 25 Min
Easy pie crust recipe from my Grandma's recipe box. You know it's gonna be good!


  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. shortening
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 T. vinegar


  1. Cut fat into sifted flour and salt with a pastry blender
  2. Combine egg, vinegar and water and add to flour mixture.  
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.
  4. Knead 4-5 times on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough into three pieces.
  6. Roll out each piece about 2 inches bigger than the pie pan.
  7. Add to pie pan and crimp edges. For double crust pies add filling before crimping edges.
  8. See notes for baking instructions.


Single Baked Pie Crust: Poke holes in crust with fork. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes. Single Pie Crust Baked with Filling: Follow the baking instructions for the specific pie you are making. Double Pie Crust: Follow baking instructions for the pie you are making. Use cold water for best results. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the crust for extra deliciousness!

Nutrition Facts



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Nutritional information is automatically generated and is not guaranteed to be correct.

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Desserts, Pie,


  1. @Connie

    Thanks! It does take some practice, but I know from experience that even if it doesn't look pretty, it still tastes yummy!

  2. I always like to make my own pie crusts, I'll be trying your version next time.
    Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

  3. Finally, someone who uses shortening (instead of butter) in their pie crusts. Your recipe sounds very similar to one I've been making forever... Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday.

  4. Your pie crust sure looks flaky - yum! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from This Autoimmune Life

  5. Your Pie Crust looks beautiful! I love family recipes, and I'm so glad you shared this one with the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I'll be featuring this post at the party this week. I'm just off to check out some more of your Grandma's recipes! Hope to 'see' you later at the party. Have a great week!

  6. Your Raspberry Pie looks amazing and perfect for the season! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen