Easy Butter Pie Crust
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 1 9 inch Pie Crust
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 45 min
- 1 ¼ Cup AP Flour
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons Sugar
- 1 Stick Butter, very cold
- 6-8 Tablespoons Ice Water
- Additional AP Flour for Dusting
Note: This recipe yields one pie crust. If you need a top crust you should double this recipe.
- Measure your flour and add it to a large mixing bowl. Then add the salt and sugar, whisk to combine.
- Take your cold butter and grate it on a box grater or finely dice it.
- Work the butter into the flour with your hands until the butter/flour bits are roughly the size of peas, a few big chunks are ok. The goal is to work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm.
- Add half the ice water and mix with a fork, the dough will be shaggy.
- Use your hands to smush the dough together, adding water as needed.
- If your dough becomes too sticky, add a bit of flour, if it’s too dry, add a bit of water.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- To roll out the dough, lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin. Lightly flour the dough as needed. Place your rolling pin in the middle of the dough and use even pressure to roll away from yourself. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat this until it’s about a ¼ inch thick.
- To blind bake, place the pie dough in a pan, cover with parchment or foil, and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or loose change. Place the pie on a parchment-lined sheet tray to catch any dripping butter and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
- Remove the parchment and weights, prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and bake again until the bottom is no longer translucent looking, approx 15-20 more minutes. Allow to cool and fill as desired. You may cover the edges of the crust with foil to avoid them burning if you need to bake your pie filling.
Did You Make It? Tag Us!
- Vegetarian: Yes! This dish is naturally vegetarian.
- Vegan: Swap out the butter for ¼ cup vegan butter and ¼ cup vegetable shortening. You will likely need to increase the flour amount by up to ¼ cup.
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
- Complete this recipe through step 7.
- The dough will keep in the fridge for 36 hours, though it may turn slightly off-colored on the outside from oxidation. You may also put the wrapped dough in a freezer bag and freeze the dough for up to three weeks.
- Alternatively, you may complete this recipe through step 8, wrap well in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you’re ready to use the pie crust.
Why does my pie dough spring back when I try to roll it out?
You'd spring back too if you were about to be tossed in the oven!
When you mix your pie dough you’re developing gluten strands. You need to let your pie dough rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax, then you can roll it out! If it starts springing back on you halfway through rolling, put it back in the fridge to rest.
I never seem to have enough dough to cover the pie plate.
Have you thought about making extra?
Some pie dough recipes are really scanty. This recipe is just enough. If this is normally a problem go ahead and make a 1 ½ times recipe so you have extra dough to work with.
My pie dough always tears on me when I work with it.
Easy there killer!
You’re likely not rolling it out very symmetrically. Try following step 8 of this recipe and really focus on even pressure and keeping the dough symmetrical. Also, stop before you can see through the dough, if you get a tear, pinch off a piece from the edge and patch it.
The crimped edges don’t hold very well when baking.
Sometimes all you can do is try...
You’re right, it’s a curse of the butter pie crust. You can try freezing the rolled out/crimped dough for an hour or more before baking but to hold a crimped edge you usually need a different fat.
My pie dough is always undercooked on the bottom!
You skipped a step didn't you?
Blind-bake my friends! It’s a real life-saver.
What kind of pie plate should I use?
Choose wisely, your pan selection actually matters!
Glass conducts heat evenly but can cause pie dough to slide down the sides. Ceramic is great. Dark pans create a dark crust.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
The holidays are laced with a sense of desperation, undercooked turkeys, cold mashed potatoes, and gluey stuffing. Somehow you’re supposed to brine a 20 lb bird in your limited fridge space that you must buy on time and must not forget to thaw. Then your job as host is to dress it, stuff it with something herby, and there are some really complicated youtube videos on how to “truss” a turkey (psst, just tie its legs together, it doesn’t care how it looks). The big juice dispenser that you use exactly once a year for basting has disappeared in the dark recesses of your house and your relatives are arriving and want to know where the appetizers are.
God, aren’t the holidays a gas? If this is your situation this year might I suggest having your local pie shop bake the pies? Underpromise, overdeliver my friends. But maybe you’re heading to the stressed-out host’s house and your job is dessert. Why not make a pie? What are the holidays for if not grandiose ideas that come crashing down around our heads and leave us solemnly swearing to bite off less next year?
Pie dough is needlessly intimidating. It can be tricky to work with if you don’t work with dough very often but truly, I believe overthinking a pie dough is really the biggest crutch. We’re not dealing with yeast, there’s no rise time, there’s not even any baking powder in there! This is SO hard to mess up. And even if it looks kind of ugly, you’re basically going to use it as a vessel to transport the filling to your mouth so the main thing is that it tastes good, let’s start there.
BUTTER… you cannot go wrong with butter unless you are lactose intolerant in which case, this holiday is not for you, enjoy the cranberry sauce. I’m a huge fan of butter pie crust. They won’t hold a crimp as well as some other fat-based pie crusts but it is impossible to beat that flavor. Keep your butter cold, your cocktails flowing, and enjoy this holiday season, my friends.