Homemade Pie Crust Recipe (How to Make Pie Crust)

This Homemade Pie Crust Recipe is so much easier than you’d think! Making pies from scratch adds an extra special touch, but the crust is usually the hardest part. Not anymore! I’m showing you how to make pie crust so you can make the perfect pie every time!

homemade pie crust recipe

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Pie Crust Recipe

This pie crust recipe is easy enough for anyone to make…even me! Learn how to make pie crust so you can make all your pies from scratch!

I love pies. I love them for any occasion, all year round. I love pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate pie, absolutely any kind of pie. I’m not picky here! It’s just one of the best desserts!

Making pies is something that always intimidated me, mostly because of the crust. I could throw together some kind of filling, but I’d always use a pre-made crust instead of making my own. How are you supposed to make a homemade pie crust?!

It seems complicated, but I’m lucky enough to have a family that knows how to bake! And they’ve shared this pie crust recipe with me, along with lots of tips to make sure I get it right. Now I can pass it on to you! I’m going to be making ALL the Thanksgiving pies now that I can make a pie crust from scratch. I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Learn how to make pie crust with this EASY homemade pie crust recipe. It’s the best way to start those holiday pies!

Homemade Pie Crust Ingredients

We keep it really simple with this pie crust recipe. You don’t need much to make a good crust! All you need is:

  • Flour
  • Shortening (I prefer Crisco)
  • Salt
  • Cold Water (it’s important to use COLD water)

Kitchen tools you’ll need for this recipe:

step by step photos of how to make pie crust

How to Make Pie Crust

Here’s the step-by-step process with some pictures thrown in to help illustrate. 

  • Mix flour and salt together.
  • Mix in the shortening. *it is important to mix the flour and shortening together really well, or the dough will be hard to roll out.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water (make sure it is ice-cold and not warm) onto the flour mixture and gently toss with a fork. Repeat until the whole flour mixture is moist. (It usually takes me 7-8 tablespoons of ice-cold water for a double crust pie recipe).
  • Now is the fun part: Get your hands in there and form the dough into a ball.
  • If you are making a double pie crust, set aside 1/3 of the dough.
  • Sprinkle some flour on your counter. I put a small amount of flour on top of the dough and also on my rolling pin.
  • Roll out the dough, starting from the center and working your way out to the edges.

mixing dough to make a pie crust

homemade pie crust...if i can do it, you can do it. DELICIOUS.

  • Once the dough is about half the size of your pie, fold the dough over slightly and flip it to the other side. Then continue to roll from the center outward until it is large enough to fit into pie plate. *I flip it so that is isn’t stuck to the counter when you are trying to pick it up and place into plate.
  • Then, in order to pick up the dough and place it into the pie plate, I fold it over a few times (like a burrito) and then unfold it once you have centered it over the plate.
  • Press dough slightly in the corners of the plate, and cut off extra dough from the edges with a knife.

step by step photos, placing pie dough in a pie plate

  • For aesthetics and texture, I press my two thumbs together around the edges to make little ridges.

using thumbs to crimp a homemade pie crust

Double Pie Crust Recipe

If you are making a double pie crust, set aside 1/3 of the dough before making the initial pie crust above. This is the dough that will be placed on top of your pie filling.
  • Roll up the 1/3 remainder of the dough, and repeat the steps of rolling out the dough starting with putting flour on the counter.
  • Placed the rolled out dough on top of the filling, then press down the two crust edges together and make ridges using your thumbs.
  • Dip a fork into milk and dab it on the top layer of crust a few times (you could also use a brush to apply it).
  • Sprinkle sugar or cinnamon-sugar on top of the milk. (This will give it a brown look once it is baked and make it look very warm.
  • You could also use an egg wash (eggs and a splash of water) instead of the milk.
  • Cut in a few vent holes and your pie ready to bake!

apple pie and pumpkin pie on a table

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe – Top Tips

Here are a few quick tips to help you make the best homemade pie crust! Just a few things I’ve learned along the way, and a few things that have been passed down from those who know better than I do.

  • Don’t skimp when it comes to mixing in the shortening, or else it will be harder to roll out the dough. I use a handheld dough blender to really get in there and mix well. The shortening should be in very tiny pieces by the time you’re done mixing.
  • You MUST use cold/ice cold water for this recipe. NO warm water. Warm water might melt the fat (shortening), which will leave you with a not-so-flaky crust. We want FLAKY pie crust!
  • Place flour on a clean counter to create a dough-friendly work space when rolling out the dough. I also put a bit of flour on my rolling pin, and a bit on top of the dough.
  • Start rolling at the center, and work your way out to the edges.
  • When the dough reaches about half the size you want, flip it over and then continue rolling. I do this to make sure it doesn’t get stuck to the counter by the time I’m done.
  • I just press my thumbs around the edges of the pie crust as an easy way to “crimp” it. You could also use a fork to press into the dough, or pinch the dough.
  • I use milk and cinnamon sugar to coat the top of my double pie crust. It gives it a nice browned look. You could also use an egg wash (egg + water).

Should I prebake the pie crust?

One of the common questions I get about pie crusts is, Should I bake the pie crust before or after I add the pie filling?

The answer depends on what kind of pie you’re making! My rule of thumb is this:

  • If your pie filling is not cooked, don’t prebake the crust. Just fill it and bake the entire pie according to the recipe (whichever pie recipe you’re using).
  • If your pie filling doesn’t need much cooking time, then you should prebake the crust. In that case, bake the pie crust for 10 minutes at 450°F, and then fill it and continue with baking according to the recipe.

Basically, if your pie isn’t going to be in the oven long, you’ll need to bake the crust first so it is fully cooked. But if your pie recipe calls for a long baking time, don’t bother with prebaking!

homemade pie with slices taken out

Once you master this homemade pie crust recipe, you’ll be making pies left and right! You’ll use any excuse to bake a fresh pie, because it’s so easy now. I’ll admit that I still get nervous about baking stuff like this, but it’s something anyone can do. I promise!

See the recipe card for the full pie crust recipe. Enjoy!

Here are some of our favorite pie recipes! You can use this homemade pie crust as a base:

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