How to Make Pie Crust from Scratch

The easy way to make pie crust from scratch

I've never enjoyed using a pastry cutter. I guess I just don't have the patience to work butter or other fat into flour. Add using a rolling pin to that and you'll know why it took years for me to make my own pie crusts. It was just so easy to buy one from the freezer case at the store, all ready to fill and bake.

Nowadays I think it's worth the work to make a flaky, much tastier crust with healthier ingredients than a frozen crust from the store.

I've found a few tricks along the way:
Tip #1 - the most important tip - is to read the directions and actually follow them.
Tip #2 is to keep the butter really cold (or lard if you use it instead).
Tip #3 is to use ice water - water that you've chilled with ice cubes, not just cold water out of the faucet. You might even need to refrigerate the dough for while before rolling it, so patience is Tip #4.
Tip #5 is don't overwork the dough. Do as little as possible to it; overworking will make it tough.

But my best tip for you today is to use your food processor. It's so much easier than using a pastry cutter, or two knives, or a fork to mix the fat into the flour.

You can use your favorite pie crust recipe; the recipe I use for a one-crust pie calls for:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and sliced into pieces
4-5 Tbsp ice water

Pie crust-making tips

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse it a few times to mix the two well.

Take the butter out of the refrigerator and add it to the food processor. Mix until it forms coarse crumbs.

Pie crust-making tips: use your food processor!

Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until a smooth ball of dough forms. You might need just 4 tablespoons; you might need a little more.

At this point, I put the dough into a bowl and refrigerate it while I make another crust or two so it can chill while I'm working. For Thanksgiving I made a cherry pie and two pumpkin pies, plus the crust for a turkey pie to be made with the Thanksgiving leftovers, for a total of five crusts (the cherry pie uses two crusts). If my food processor could handle it, I'd double the recipe to make two crusts at a time, but that's not an option for me.

Then use the coldest ball of dough, roll it out and move it into the pie pan. Back into the refrigerator they go while I make the filling. And you know what to do from there, right?

The easy way to make pie crust from scratch.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. I like the idea of using food processor!! Great tips

  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:55 AM

    I hope you give it a try, Sandra. It makes mixing so much easier.

  3. Hi Kathi. Super great tips for making pie crust. I use a food processor too and agree it's super easy! Stopping by from Freedom Fridays.


  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead7:49 PM

    Hi Heather. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Have a merry Christmas.

  5. This pie looks so so good and the recipe for the crust looks amazing too. Have a blessed Christmas holiday.

  6. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:48 PM

    Hi, Lilly's Mom. Yes, the cherry pie was delicious; it's my favorite kind of pie. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have a merry Christmas.

  7. Thanks for this great recipe and hints. I use a pie crust recipe from an Amish recipe book but it doesn't roll out you just push it in the tins. Might give this one a go, looks great. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings to you and your family this Christmas.

  8. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:14 PM

    I'm curious as to how the Amish recipe is different from the "usual". Some people find rolling pie crust a difficult task.

  9. This looks easy so I'm trying it. I think life is too short to make one crust at a time when you make up to 5 like you do. My suggestion is pick out a food processor that will do two at a time and either buy it or hint, hint, hint that it's your next birthday or Christmas present. Then find a sweet little girl in your church who needs one and gift your old one to her with the recipe.

    1. I really like that idea, thank you! Love the idea of passing the old one on too. Thank you for visiting, I hope these tips help you out.

  10. I'm definite going to try the food processor for making dough! Also, my husband has been after me to make a lard crust! Our grandmothers always used lard for their crust. No matter how I try, I'll never be able to duplicate my grandmother's pie crust. I've NEVER had anything that even came close to it. Sorry I never thought to ask for her recipe. But then again, I did try and ask her for a recipe a few times. When I'd ask how much flour, the answer was ALWAYS "As much as will fit!" HHHHmmmmmmm!

    1. I made all my crusts yesterday with the food processor and it was so fast and easy. Of course the rolling is still tricky, but at least the mixing is simple! Had to laugh at your grandmother's amounts. Mine would say a cup of sugar but her "cup" was a coffee mug, not a measuring cup!

    2. My Mom would always say "it has to feel like this". She never measured the ingredients and she made the best pie in the world!

  11. very nice, that is perfect crust, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. pinning.

  12. I actually enjoy using a pastry cutter, but it is much simpler using a food processor. I love that step 1 is to read and follow directions. It's an easy step to forget! Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Hop!

  13. I have been looking for a good pie crust recipe forever, thanks for sharing! :)

  14. Anonymous11:52 AM

    I'm doing tomatoes right now so this came in handy - thanks! Got your site link from Preparedness Mama - also a terrific site.

  15. Wonderful and simple!! This is how I make my pie crusts, too, in my food processor. It’s faster, so everything stays colder. I don’t usually process my dough until it forms a ball, I just go until I have a crumbles, then press it together and refrigerate. Another good tip is to not overwork the dough!! Overworking can make your dough tough. Thank you for this recipe, I’ll be saving it for turkey pot pies!!

    1. How did I forget to include that one?? Don't overwork the dough!

    2. Great recipe! I hate making pies and the crust is the main reason. Like the idea of using the processor. Thanks!!


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