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Perfect Pie Crust

Updated on July 16, 2018
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The Struggle Was Real

When it came to creating a perfect pie crust recipe, the struggle was real. I love to bake but could never get a decent pie crust.

Oil or butter-based pie crusts always failed because they never had the texture or elasticity that I was looking for. There was a long stretch of time that I passed off my "homemade" pies with a store-bought crust.

I think about the pounds and pounds of flour I've wasted over the years in the quest for the perfect pie crust but now the struggle is over.

Have you tried this recipe? Rate it!

5 stars from 1 rating of Pie Crust
Lattice top on an apple pie
Lattice top on an apple pie | Source

Perfect for Fruit or Pot Pies

Guess what? It doesn't matter if you're making a fruit pie or a pot pie, this recipe is tasty enough and hearty enough to handle any kind of pie you want to make.

This recipe makes enough dough for one covered pie (example: apple or blueberry) or two open pies (example: pumpkin or sweet potato)

I guess the question is: How many pies do you want to make?

Here are some of the tools you'll need.

  • 1 or 2 pie tins
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • Slotted spoon
  • Rolling Pin
  • Saran wrap or plastic bags (sandwich or freezer bags are fine)
  • Sharp knife (if you're doing a lattice top)


  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, (unbleached is okay too)
  • 1 tsp. Iodized Salt, (table salt)
  • 2 TBSP Sugar
  • 12 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks) Butter, (salted or unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup Shortening, (Crisco is recommended)
  • 1/4 cup Vodka
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • Extra Flour, for your rolling surface

For Best Results

Do the following:

  • Combine water & vodka and put in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Make sure your Shortening is well chilled

Instructions - Part 1

Did you read For Best Results?

  1. If you haven't done it already, combine the water & vodka into the small bowl and put in the fridge or freezer.
  2. Put the Crisco in the fridge (do not freeze!)
  3. Cut cold butter into small slices put aside
  4. Once that's done combine the flour, salt & sugar in the large bowl.
  5. With slotted spoon mix the dry ingredients until well combined.
  6. Add butter slices and cold Criso (shortening) to your dry mix
  7. Combine all ingredients except for the vodka and water mix.

Keep kneading!  It may seem dry but it will work into beautiful dough with some effort.
Keep kneading! It may seem dry but it will work into beautiful dough with some effort.

How am I doing?

You're at step 7 mixing the dough

It is going to appear dry and you're going to start doubting this recipe. Don't!

Keep working it!

Knead, mix, crush, squeeze, break up the butter, keep kneading.

The dry mix will eventually start looking like dough crumble.

All the butter will be well combined into the mix.

Keep Kneading!

It will eventually look like dough.

Instructions - Part II

8. Take your water & vodka mix and pour about 1/3 into your dough batter

9. Knead until well combined.

10. Add another 1/3

11. Knead until well combined.

12. Add the last of the water & vodka mix

13. Keep kneading.

How am I doing?

At around step 10 you are probably thinking that you don't need any more water & vodka mix.

Don't give up!

Keep going.

It's going to seem really wet but the more you knead the more it combines and reacts to the other ingredients.

Follow the directions. You are doing great!

Holiday Baking Galore!

Holiday pies!  Clockwise from the lattice top apple pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, apple crisp, and a banana nut bread for good measure.
Holiday pies! Clockwise from the lattice top apple pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, apple crisp, and a banana nut bread for good measure. | Source

Instructions - Part III

Once you are satisfied that your dough is well-kneaded divide it into two even balls and wrap in saran wrap or plastic bag.

Flatten the ball into fat disks and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Once cooled the dough is ready to be worked with.

On floured surface knead it slightly to get flexibility back. Sprinkle flour on surface and on dough if it feels tacky and flatten if with your palm - flipping it occasionally.

With rolling pin roll the dough, again, flipping it occasionally until you get the right thickness.

Did you know?

  • The wrapped dough is best kept overnight before being handled but most of us don't plan that far ahead.
  • The wrapped dough will last in the refrigerator for up to three days before it starts to get compromised.
  • If you want to freeze the dough I highly recommend rolling and shaping it out in disposable pie tins, wrap then freeze. You will notice the dough is darker when you thaw it for use.

Final Comments

I've spent several years looking for the perfect pie crust and now I look no further. The elasticity to work this dough is perfect; it's delicious and versatile enough to use with your pot pies or fruit pies. Look no further. This is the last pie crust recipe you will ever need.

Like any baking project, take your time and enjoy the process because the absolute best ingredient isn't on the list because that one is love -- and that's the most important ingredient of all.

How to make a lattice top for your pie

Video Notes

The video is a great guide but I'll be honest, I've never used a ruler to measure out my lattice pieces.

Personally, I think the inconsistencies of doing it freehand give your pie a truly home made look.

Some extra tips:

My general rule to roll out the perfect thickness:

As you lift the dough to flip it does your hand break through or does it break easily? Then it's too thin. Do over.

If you're flipping it and you can handle it like pizza dough then roll it out a little more.

It takes practice so don't give up! If you find you've been messing with the same dough ball for a while, punch it back into a ball and put it in the fridge for another 20 minutes, then try again.

© 2014 Meredith Loughran


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