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How to Make a Pie Crust – So Easy; No Recipe Needed!

Updated on December 21, 2009

Pie Crust Ready for Trimming and Pie Crumbs

Pie crust ready for trimming
Pie crust ready for trimming
Pie dough crumbs after adding fat
Pie dough crumbs after adding fat

Just Mix it Until it Comes Together

Ready for resting in the fridge
Ready for resting in the fridge

This is called the 3-2-1 pie crust, and as long as you can remember 3-2-1 you’ll never need to pull out a cookbook again when making a pie crust, and since making a pie crust is really a pretty easy thing to do, this may get you into the kitchen delighting your family with homemade pie more often.

The ratio as follows is a pretty standard professional baking ratio for pie crusts, but although I like pie a whole lot, I am no professional baker. I got this ratio and recipe information from Michael Ruhlman’s great book, entitled Ratio’s, which is a book well worth picking up if you like the liberty of cooking freed from cookbooks and recipes.

A Very Good Basic Pie Crust Is:

  • 3 parts flour (12 ounces)
  • 2 Parts fat (8 ounces)
  • 1 part ice cold water (4 ounces)
  • A pinch of salt

3-2-1, so easy to remember – All purpose flour works great here for pie crusts and good choices for fats include butter or vegetable shortening (or lard).


  1. Weigh out 12 ounces of flour and add it to a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut 8 ounces of cold butter or shortening into chunks and add them to the flour. (8 ounces of butter= 2 sticks)
  3. Use your finger tips to rub together the fat and the flour until the fat has been incorporated into the flour and the flour mixture looks like little balls, crumb sized.
  4. Drizzle half your water over the flour/fat mixture and stir it together with your hands just until it has combined into a dough, adding more water if necessary (less water is better, use just enough to make a dough). The less you handle it here, the better – do not knead it or mix excessively)
  5. Cover this with plastic warp and let it rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325
  7. Take it out of the fridge and divide it in half. Roll each half into a round large enough to just overfill a 9 inch pie pan. Drape the rolled crust inside the pan and trim any crust that hangs over the side.
  8. Cover the crust with aluminum foil and then weigh it the foil down with some uncooked beans (pie weights)
  9. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, take out the foil and the beans and continue cooking for another 15, or until golden brown.

Fill with whatever looks good and bake again – and you’ve got a great, easy homemade pie!

Video Demo on Making Pie Crust


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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Very cool stuff here!