Pie Crust Basics with Step-by-step photo instructions that will have you making homemade pie dough from scratch in minutes! This recipe has been updated since it first appeared in 2013 with new photos and a new printable recipe card that includes nutritional information. I hope you enjoy the updates as much as I enjoyed working on them!
Pie Crust Basics
Today, we’re going to discuss the essential Pie Crust Basics to help you learn how easy it is to make homemade pie dough for your favorite pie recipes. I’m also including step-by-step photo instructions so you can see how really easy making homemade pie crust is.
For some people making homemade pie crust is a scary process. It was for me also until a few years ago when I decided I was going to conquer my fears and learn to make my own pie crust.
I found a great video online and actually set up my computer on the kitchen counter and worked right alongside the video and my pie crust came out terrific…the very first time.
As I mentioned at the top of this post, I updated the photos to bring them up to date. Just for fun, here’s what the photos looked like back in 2013.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
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- Pastry Dough Blender
- Stainless Steel Metal Bowls – these really help keep the flour and shortening cool while you’re mixing.
- Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons and Cups
- Pastry Mat – to help you roll out the dough to the proper size for the delicious pies you’re going to make!
How to Make Homemade Pie Crust Dough
Make sure you print out the recipe below and save it for later!
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup shortening
- Ice cold water about three to four tablespoons
Let’s Start Baking!
Add the shortening to the flour and salt and then using a pastry cutter work the shortening into the flour until it resembles cornmeal.
How to Add the Ice Water
- Beginning with one tablespoon slowly start to incorporate the water into the flour and shortening mixture.
- Keep adding the water one tablespoon at a time until it begins to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn’t, you need to add more water.
- Do not dump everything on the counter and try to knead the dough into a shape.
- This was where I always made my mistake. The dough needs to come to a ball in the bowl for perfect pie crust!
How to Chill the Pie Crust
- Once you have a ball of pie dough, flatten out the ball into a disc shape.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
- You can also freeze the pie crust at this point.
How to Roll Out the Pie Crust
- Place the chilled dough in the center of your counter that has been dusted with flour.
- Dust the rolling pin with flour also.
- Place the rolling pin in the center of the disc of pie dough and begin rolling the dough away from you.
- Turn the disc a little and continue rolling it out.
- Continue turning and rolling until the dough is a little bigger than the pie plate you want it to fit into.
- Roll the dough up around the rolling pin to make it easier for you to transfer the dough to the pie plate.
- Gently fit the dough into the pie plate pressing the dough in place.
- Trim any excess dough with a paring knife making sure to leave enough overhang so you can crimp the edge of the dough.
- Your pie dough is now ready to bake and be used in your favorite recipe.
How to Freeze Pie Dough
One of the most often asked questions is “Can I freeze pie dough?” The answer is YES! My mother does this every year for Thanksgiving. She always bakes the pies for Thanksgiving but she likes to prep ahead as much as she can. A few weeks before Thanksgiving, she’ll make all her pie dough and then freeze them to bake her pies fresh the morning of Thanksgiving.
Here are a few easy tips on freezing pie dough:
- Put together the above recipe for your pie crust.
- Form the dough into a flatten disc.
- Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and then place it inside a freezer-safe plastic bag.
- Store the pie dough in the freezer for up to three months.
- Remove the pie dough from the freezer to defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
- Roll out the dough as directed above.
Easy Pie Recipes to Bake
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- Apple Pie Recipes for Thanksgiving
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Apple Crumb Pie
- Now that you know HOW to make homemade pie dough, let’s learn how to make it pretty with Pie Crust Basics Part Two.
I like to have a bowl of water with ice cubes in the refrigerator ready to use once the shortening and flour is combined completely. That way I know the water is as cold as it can be. You want very cold water for a flaky pie crust. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.
How to Roll Out the Pie Dough:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
I like to have a bowl of water with ice cubes in the refrigerator ready to use once the shortening and flour is combined completely. That way I know the water is as cold as it can be. You want very cold water for a flaky pie crust.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The nutrition information is calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you, please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator.
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