No Fail Pie Crust from Grandma’s Kitchen

Making homemade pie crust from scratch is a labor of love, but it’s not particularly difficult. My Grandma’s no fail pie crust recipe results in a flaky and flavorful pie made with butter rather than Crisco. Here’s how to make pie crust using the recipe I grew up with.

Psst! This old fashioned peach cobbler is another great recipe to try for dessert!

hands crimping a pie crust.

My friend Vera at Ancestors in Aprons shared a homemade pie crust recipe, the perfect recipe, she calls it. No way, I thought. I have the best flaky pie crust recipe, straight from my Grandma’s recipe card file. When I read her recipe, though, I was surprised to see that hers—one passed down through the generations—is very similar to my recipe, which came from my grandma.

Grandma's pie recipe.

Grandma’s pie recipe

No Fail Pie Crust

Both of the “best pie crust recipe” contenders call for an unexpected ingredient: vinegar. I’ve always thought that was the secret to the wonderful flavor of this crust. I’ve modified Grandma’s pie crust recipe a bit—I use butter instead of Crisco shortening—but it’s still our go-to recipe for pie making.

These days, my youngest son is in charge of our holiday pies. Let me tell you, folks. If my teenage (now young adult!) son can tackle a pie crust made from scratch, you can too! (Those are his hands up there in that top photo, back when he was still a teen.)

No more Mrs. Smith’s frozen pies for you. Grandma’s no fail pie crust recipe will make a believer out of you!

Making Pie Crust from Scratch

Certainly, it’s easy to grab a ready-made pie out of the supermarket freezer. But a homemade pie crust offers so much more flavor, so much more heart. Plus, perfecting pie crust allows you to skip wonky ingredients that come with pre-packaged pie dough.

Learning how to make pie crust from scratch means you will always be able to make a dessert that wows people. Whether you’re using apples, peaches, blueberries, or making something savory like a chicken pot pie, mastering this recipe is the foundation of baking a pie. 

pie crust recipe in a glass pie pan


Butter  I’ve altered Grandma’s recipe to use butter rather than shortening. I prefer to avoid the ingredients in the Crisco shortening she used. (Soybean oil is likely derived from GMO soy and the use of palm oil is an ecological nightmare.) I tend to keep only salted butter on hand, so that’s what I use. Unsalted butter will work fine, too.

Flour   All-purpose flour is the only answer here. You could try to incorporate some whole wheat flour, but you’ll get the best results with good old all-purpose. That said, I do choose unbleached all-purpose flour to avoid the bleaching agents that come with sparkling white flours.

Egg — Fresh eggs, store bought, use what you have readily available.

Vinegar   I use apple cider vinegar in this recipe. You could also use a basic white vinegar.

Making the Pie Crusts

You’ll start by cutting the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until it becomes a fine crumble. This evenly distributes the butter throughout the crust.

Once the butter is incorporated, you’ll add the liquids, just until the ingredients come together in a shaggy ball.

When making homemade pie crust with butter, avoid over-working the dough. Blend the pie dough ingredients just until they come together. This isn’t like bread dough that requires kneading.

pastry cutter in a bowl of flour

If you have a food processor, you can use it to cut in the butter to save time. To be honest, I’ve made the entire recipe in a food processor once or twice and nothing bad happened. If you try it, just be sure to stop as soon as the ingredients come together; don’t over process it.

It’s not the traditional way Grandma made it, but in a pinch (and we’re all crunched for time, right?) you can certainly use this method.

Once the dough is done, you’ll divide it in two. This recipe makes two pie crusts. That is, enough to make one pie with a top and bottom crust or two single-crust pies. If you only need one of these, you can freeze the other for another pie another time.

Chilling the dough for an hour or so can make it easier to roll, but it’s not entirely necessary. You can also wrap the pie dough and refrigerate overnight if you’re not ready to bake right away. (I wrap mine in a damp towel, as I don’t keep plastic wrap on hand.) You’ll need to let the pie dough sit at room temperature for a bit when you’re ready to roll it out.

Rolling out the Dough

Divide the pie dough in two. Turn one half of the pie dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough. This prevents the dough from sticking to your hands or the rolling pin.

Use your hands to press the dough into a flat disc, 6-8″ across. Turn the dough over, dusting your work surface with flour again. Working from the center of the dough and outward, use a rolling pin to create a thin sheet of dough.

Hot tip: Cover your work surface with a flour sack towel sprinkled with flour, and roll the dough out on that. This works brilliantly to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling surface.

Once rolled out, transfer the dough to a pie dish or pie plate. To do this more easily, gently fold the dough in half then lift it over the pie pan with the fold at the center of the pan. Unfold, and gently work the pie dough into the bottom of the pan.

If you’re making a double-crusted pie, add your filling and top with the second crust. Ideally, your dough will hang over the side of the pie dish by an inch or two.

Trim any excess dough. Roll the overhanging crust under, so that it’s sitting on the edge of the pan, in kind of a loose roll.

pie dough in a pan

Crimping Pie Dough

Sometimes I feel like this is the step that prevents people from trying to make their own pie crust!

Certainly there are some highly skilled pie makers out there, but you don’t need to match those fancy pies when you’re just learning.

My mom does this crazy single handed crimp that I’ve — quite honestly — never mastered. For a basic crimp, a two-handed method is probably the easiest. To do this, hold two fingers against the outside edge of the pie pan in a “peace” sign and use the pointer finger of the opposite hand to push the dough into the peace sign.

Another easy way to crimp? With a fork. Just press the tines against the dough.

In reality the crimping a single-crust pie has less to do with making a tasty pie than making a pretty one.

The crimping on a double-crusted pie does help to hold in the bubbling filling as it cooks, so make sure that it’s well sealed, even if you’re still working on the beauty part!

Recipes to try with this homemade pie crust

pie with one piece removed.

★ Did you make this homemade crust recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

hands crimping a pie crust.

Grandma's Pie Crust Recipe

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rolling Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This no fail pie crust recipe comes straight from Grandma's recipe box. It's a butter pie crust, flaky and full of flavor.



Make the dough

  1. Measure flour and salt into large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into dry ingredients until you have a fine crumble.
  2. Crack egg into measuring cup; add vinegar and then enough water to make 7/8 of a cup, more or less. Use fork to whisk egg mixture together. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients almost all at once. (I usually hold out about a quarter of a cup.) Mix with the fork, gently gathering the dough from the outside of the bowl. Add the rest of the liquid if necessary. Do not over mix. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer or food processor - just be sure not to over mix.
  3. As soon as the dough comes together, turn it out onto a floured surface. Use your hands to carefully press the dough together---you're not kneading here, just binding the ingredients together in a solid ball.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. I wrap mine in a damp kitchen towel.

Roll the dough

  1. Divide dough evenly into two, then roll out on a liberally floured surface. The rolled pie crust should be big enough to extend past the edges of the pie plate by an inch or two.
  2. Fold the dough in half for easy lifting, then move into a pie pan. Carefully press the dough into the bottom of the pan.
  3. For a single crust pie like pumpkin or lemon merengue, tuck the dough edges under and then crimp all around.
  4. For a filled pie, add a generous amount of filling, and top with the second crust. Roll both dough edges under at the rim of the pie pan, and crimp them together.
  5. Bake as directed in your favorite recipe.


Crimping is an art! Perfect crimping takes years of practice.

This homemade pie crust recipe makes a double crust -- enough for a top and bottom. If you're making a single crust pie such as a pumpkin pie or lemon meringue, you'll be able to make two.

If you only need one of these, you can freeze the other for another pie another time. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

Share an image on Instagram and tag @attainablesustainable with #attainablesustainable!

This post was originally published in September, 2013. It has been updated.

homemade crust in pan, with cinnamon coated apples in a white bowl

Click to save or share!

About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

124 comments… add one
  • Karen Nov 26, 2023 @ 15:30

    Is this recipe for a 9” pie plate? I need it for a 10”. What do I need to change?

    • AttainableSustainable Nov 30, 2023 @ 6:17

      A 10″ pie plate should be fine with this recipe.

  • Judy Sep 28, 2023 @ 18:45

    I read the comment they are awesome.

    • AttainableSustainable Oct 5, 2023 @ 10:38

      I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Sharon Sivers Sep 12, 2023 @ 1:50

    Made this recipe with butter. Didn’t care for it. Crisco is much flakier.

    • AttainableSustainable Sep 14, 2023 @ 6:34

      Whatever floats your boat! Crisco is personally not my thing, for the reasons stated above.

  • Cynthia Dunn Sep 7, 2023 @ 10:15

    My mother taught me to roll out between 2 sheets of wax paper. Makes it super easy to place the rolled out disk into the pie pan. after the crust is the size you want it peal it back, then replace. Then flip over and release it from the other side, then remove one side and center it over the pie pan and tada! you have pie crust. My mom’s recipe is also with crisco. I will be brave and replace it with butter to see if it changes the perfect crust i grew up on.

    • AttainableSustainable Sep 14, 2023 @ 9:00

      Great tip, thank you! I hope you like the butter version. 🙂

  • Jen Kidwell Aug 4, 2023 @ 7:33

    If you have never tried lard in a pie crust, I urge you to try it. Half butter, half leaf lard ( beautiful snow white lard from an organic butcher). You will be A-mazed.

  • David Durham Nov 28, 2022 @ 15:55

    Tip I use with making biscuits: put butter in freezer night before. Then grate on grater, instead of using pastry cutter. Mix in with flour. I’ll have to try it with this recipe.

    • AttainableSustainable Dec 1, 2022 @ 6:58

      Good tip, give it a try and let us know how it works!

    • Maggie Dec 15, 2022 @ 4:44

      What is the reason for the vinegar?

  • Yvette Oct 18, 2022 @ 8:01

    Three cups of flour seemed like a lot. As I rolled it out, yep, I could have easily made 3 crusts from the dough ball. Next time I’ll have a one crust pie ready to go at the same time!

    • AttainableSustainable Oct 20, 2022 @ 5:49

      This pie crust recipe makes a double crust, enough for a top and bottom. If you’re making a single-crust pie, you can make two or freeze the other for later.

  • Lindy May 25, 2022 @ 12:33

    I’m pretty sure my grandma always used shortening in her pie crust (maybe even lard). Never butter! I know my mother always used shortening.

    • AttainableSustainable May 26, 2022 @ 6:08

      Try using butter, it’s so much better for you and makes an amazing crust! 🙂

  • Meridian Nov 28, 2020 @ 15:26

    I rarely leave comments ,but I had to for this one. I found it a few years back on pinterest, and have used nothing else since.

    It’s a great recipe, and simple too. I use my cuisinart to “mix” the dough, just pulse it a few times, using very cold butter.

    Thanks for sharing, it really is the best I’ve had.

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 29, 2020 @ 8:55

      This is so wonderful to read!

      • MALINI May 4, 2021 @ 11:30

        At what temperature do you bake the dough?

      • Arpine Shahdaryan Oct 28, 2023 @ 12:24

        Made this yesterday and the crust was fantastic. Flaky and easy to work with. Followed the recipe and had absolutely no issues. This is a keeper.

  • Kathy Larson Aug 8, 2020 @ 14:28

    I have used a similar recipe for many years. It’s delicious and I usually get 4 -5 single crusts from it. Flour can be a stinker when it comes to humidity. Sometimes it works great and other days not so much. May fold without cracking, or may not!! Just depends on the type of day it is. Thanks for all you good tips!

  • Andee Jun 21, 2020 @ 6:11

    He BEST EVER! So easy to make there is no excuse for using store bought! Thanks for sharing!

  • Wendy Apr 18, 2020 @ 9:11

    Thank you so much for sharing your Grand Mother’s recipe. It’s been fool proof for me. I’ve made pies, galettes, tarts, Cornish pasties and quiches all from this recipe and they‘ve all tasted great. Pie crusts always intimidated me but not anymore. Thanks again

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 18, 2020 @ 13:13

      Awesome news! Glad it works for you as well as it does me.

  • Clarissa Dec 27, 2019 @ 20:52

    So happy I found this recipe!! Love it’s light flakiness! I have passed it on to friends and family as well ❤️

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 29, 2019 @ 7:50

      I’m glad you love it! Grandma would be pleased.

  • Bessie Lommori Dec 15, 2019 @ 14:59

    I too have a similar recipe, egg, vinegar, etc. However, I make mine in food processor. Does it come out flaky? Absolutely. It is made with shortening.
    I did not inherit the recipe. I have had it for years, Suspect I found it in a magazine.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 17, 2019 @ 9:10

      I’ve also used the food processor!

  • Jane Nov 25, 2019 @ 10:07

    Normally I try to stay away from making pies – my hubby prefers fruit pies and frankly I just don’t care for them. For myself, I prefer cream pies, they just seem that much more special but my hubby won’t touch them – and with being nesters, well we just don’t need two pies in the house at one time lol. Today however I have been craving chicken pot pie and I kind of need pie pastry for it so I gave your recipe a try. Instead of cutting the butter in with a pastry blender I just used my box grater to grate the butter in – its equal and small size peices that way and it seems to be quicker. This came together quickly and it was easy to handle. I tend to be a bit heavy handed with things like this so I put it in the fridge for an hour to relax a bit first. I remember my mom always used an “acid’ of some kind when making pastry – but she was always worried about even the slightest taste of vinegar in her dessert pies. She used the vinegar in her savory pie crusts but when she was making fruit pies she used lemon juice instead.

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 30, 2019 @ 7:58

      Lemon juice! I’ll have to try that.

  • Sandra mauldin Sep 13, 2018 @ 15:06

    What is 7/8 of a Cup? Never heard of that…..

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 16, 2018 @ 9:42

      One half cup can also be expressed as 4/8. 7/8 is a mark halfway between 3/4 and a full cup.

    • Lisa Francis Sep 26, 2023 @ 12:14

      Me either. Thanks for asking.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018 @ 21:51

    Such a great recipe.

  • Mellie Mar 22, 2018 @ 12:04

    This may actually be the perfect pie crust! I have been testing pie crusts for years and this one turned out delicious and flaky. However, and there is always a “however” when testing someone else’s recipe, I did have to add more water…but no matter if it’s biscuits or pie crusts, recipes always seem to need way more liquid than the quantity given. I will print this one out and put it in my “permanent” file. Thank you!

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 24, 2018 @ 13:09

      I’m glad it turned out well for you! I imagine the humidity in the air can impact the amount of water, and I’m in a humid region. This IS the recipe grandma used even in a drier climate.

  • R Stump Nov 23, 2017 @ 16:10

    I did not like this recipe at all. The dough would not stay together long enough for me to get it into the pie dish. I ended up scraping the entire things and starting over with a new recipe.

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 24, 2017 @ 14:01

      Sorry to hear that. My son used this recipe just yesterday and had no trouble.

  • Linda Sep 19, 2017 @ 14:46

    I use a very similar recipe, never fail flaky crust. If you have never tried this, please do. I refrigerate my crust to firm it up before rolling.

  • Maureen gray Apr 16, 2017 @ 14:28

    Who would have thought of vinegar, cant wait to try it. I am a 8oyr old grandma. Thankyou

  • Sharon Peelow Apr 12, 2017 @ 16:44

    My mother’s and grandmothers secret was vinegar too. Their recipe is similar to yours. So glad to see it is being used. Thx

  • Laurie Reese Jan 26, 2017 @ 16:25

    The crust was very light and Flaky but bland no flavor what did I do wrong I followed the recipe to the letter but obviously I did something wrong

    • Kris Bordessa Feb 1, 2017 @ 7:55

      I find that the vinegar gives it just a bit of tang – did you use that? (Pie crust isn’t terribly flavorful, though.)

  • Dee Dec 19, 2016 @ 19:12

    perfect pie crust…

  • Saundra J Dec 19, 2016 @ 13:46

    This recipe is very similar to the one my Mother gave me many years ago. She always made the flakiest crusts of anyone I have ever know. She used a metal bowl that was put in the freezer along with the knives she use to cut the butter into the flour. And, she used ice water in the recipe and ice water in the glass rolling pin that was for pie crusts. She always told me that you needed to handle the crust as little as possible, so the butter would stay cold until it went into the oven.

  • jan pelmulder Dec 10, 2016 @ 16:54

    I’ve been baking pies for 70 years and never used an egg. When I was a kid we had and used lard for the fat, now crisco or butter. I I bake the crust before I put in the fillings. Especially if you brush the unbaked crust with some beaten egg white before baking, it will stay crisp. With cream fillings I brush the baked crust with melted chocolate, this keeps the crust from sogging Needless to say, my family likes crisp bottom crusts.

    • Cindy L Dec 31, 2017 @ 5:57

      Jan, thanks for the info on baking your pie crusts. What kind of chocolate do you use and I take it that it is a very thin coat AND does it change the flavor of the pie…which just a little hint of chocolate has improved a few of my recipes.

  • Jean | Dec 1, 2016 @ 13:54

    I often put apple cider vinegar in my pie crust. Grandma was right about that! But, like you, I use butter instead of shortening. I remember the delicious pies my mother-in-law made with her beloved Crisco, but I just can’t bring myself to eat anything with shortening in it now. I love that you have the handwritten recipe.

  • karmini parsan Sep 30, 2016 @ 1:00

    Lemon juice can be substituted for vinegar

  • Ashley Aug 6, 2016 @ 9:24

    Hi! I have salted butter. Should I still add additional salt? Or is that only if using unsalted butter?


    • Kris Bordessa Aug 20, 2016 @ 9:35

      Eek. Sorry; I missed this comment until now. I use salted butter and the salt, but you can certainly skip it.

  • helen cousins Jun 6, 2016 @ 5:05

    My pie crust is the recipe on the back of Tenderflake lard. I omit the salt and add 1/4 cup of sugar.

  • Sally Dec 29, 2015 @ 9:35

    Kris…..oleo was not a brand name. It was short for oleomargerine which margerine was originally called when it was white and we used to put a capsule of orange something in it to make it the color of butter..

    • Sue Jul 27, 2020 @ 7:41

      I’m so glad someone else remembers the white blob of margarine with the orange bubble! That was my job, to pinch the bubble and work it through!

  • Cindy @ Healing Acres Farm Dec 25, 2015 @ 13:13

    Thank you so much for sharing! I had a similar recipe years ago and have lost it. I’m looking forward to making some pie tonight. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • Ellen Bennett Dec 10, 2015 @ 6:32

    Enjoyed you recipes will haft to try

  • Angi @ SchneiderPeeps Nov 22, 2015 @ 11:57

    Can I just say I love reading “oleo” on old recipes? I have no idea what it is, but it’s in most of my granny’s recipes and makes me think of her. Thanks for sharing!

    • Connie Nov 27, 2015 @ 8:39

      Angi, Oleo is margarine. 😀

      • Kris Bordessa Nov 27, 2015 @ 9:35

        Yes, I believe it was a brand name?

        • pamela sams Mar 29, 2017 @ 6:51

          probably blue bonnet or mrs. filberts margarine is what were favorite in grannys time

      • Sue Martin Aug 27, 2017 @ 15:44

        There use to bea brand of margarine named OLEO. I think it was actually the first margarine so the name kinda stuck. Kinda like most people where I live refer to all sodas as coke.

  • coral Nov 9, 2015 @ 6:11

    This is a wonderful recipe. My hubby gave it a 9 out of 10. It is super easy to make and makes a great crust for pastires

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 9, 2015 @ 9:20


  • cindy Oct 10, 2015 @ 7:25

    I am guessing that because of the amount of butter in the recipe you don’t have to grease the pie plate? I am new to pie making.

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 10, 2015 @ 7:31

      Correct! No need to grease pan. Good luck!

    • Jane Ward Jul 31, 2023 @ 1:55

      It would be a pretty poor crust to need a greased pie plate. Someone (can’t remember who) told me that about 50 years ago, and I haven’t forgotten.

      Also, I use half butter and half lard for my crusts. The difference in melting temperature of the two different fats seems to make the crust even flakier!

  • TP Aug 4, 2015 @ 16:56

    This is the exact same recipe with crisco that my mother taught me years ago. I used to be able to make this without fail. I went a few years without baking. When I picked it up again, and made this crust it would not hold together (tears) after rolling it out. I do not understand what I am doing wrong. I used to just roll it out and wrap it around the rolling pin and put it in the plate. I have attempted it about 4 times. The last time I rolled it between wax paper and it helped, but still came apart when I transferred it. Looked like a two year old made it. I don’t understand what has happened. Have the ingredients that we buy now changed. I have also used the butter flavor Crisco. Would that make a difference. Any advice??

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 17, 2015 @ 6:25

      I use butter rather than Crisco, but I can’t imagine the butter flavor would make a difference. Different flour?

    • Annie Oct 20, 2016 @ 4:00

      The crisco now has too much oil in it to work on its own. Use half butter half crisco and freeze both , then use processor to mix the dry and the frozen , dump into a bowl and add the wet with the fork method. I’ve also used vodka with success the alcohol cooks off.

  • Kathy Jun 24, 2015 @ 13:18

    Making pies is the only way that I can preserve my very large apple crop – Ive got my husbands father making pies, my kids making pies and Im making pies.

  • Annette May 19, 2015 @ 9:14

    I have several pie recipes I use, but in all of them we’ve successfully replaced crisco with palm oil, and sometimes even coconut oil. They’ve all tasted wonderful!

  • Analida Nov 26, 2014 @ 4:42

    Yes, vinegar is key to keep down the gluten formation. Another option, and one I use at home… vodka! yup I heard about it on a food science show a couple of years ago. The scientists explained in great detail the chemical reaction that takes place during the baking process and why vodka works best, in their opinion.

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 26, 2014 @ 8:05

      I’ve heard about using vodka, too!

  • Lindy@kozynook Nov 26, 2014 @ 4:09

    I like to have pastry on hand in case of unexpected company. So, I combine 6 cups of unbleached flour, 1 Tbsp. of Kosher salt and a one lb. can of Crisco. This mixture makes enough for 5 or 6 pies and it will store on the pantry shelf for up to 6 months. When I need a quick crust, I simply add cold water with 1/4 tsp. of apple cider vinegar. Then while I’m making the filling, I place the rolled and formed crust in the freezer. As the saying goes, cold crust plus hot oven equals flaky crust.

  • Chris Sep 8, 2014 @ 18:21

    This is quite similiar to the one I use, too, but mine is 1 lb. of lard instead of butter and 5 1/2 cups of flour. I think I like your recipe better. I’d much rather use butter than lard — we’re trying to get away from the BHT and other chemicals in lard. I’ll try it when my apples are ripe. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Annir Oct 20, 2016 @ 3:54

      If you go to a local butcher shop and ask for lard it’s pure and has no chemical or preservative in it. I’ve used that plus butter and it’s great.

  • Marianne Nov 28, 2013 @ 2:54

    This is my go-to recipe also. It was given to me 30 years ago from an elderly neighbor.

  • manda Nov 28, 2013 @ 1:29

    can you use regular distilled vinegar? I need a good crust asap and don’t have the funds to go to the store………any suggestions?

  • lisa Nov 27, 2013 @ 18:59

    Thanks for the recipe.. I would imagine Lard would have been used before Crisco came into being. I have lots of pie crust recipes.. but will try this on with half butter called for & lard.
    If you want to save a single pie crust, bake it , cool & put in a large paper grocery bag.. mom always folded up the opening & put it on top the frig until she wanted to use it 🙂
    Mom passed May of this year.. so I am doing my best to make “mom’s” pies.

    blessings ,lisa

  • Will Nov 27, 2013 @ 12:10

    Do you bake the crust before putting the filling in, say if I was making a pecan pie?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 27, 2013 @ 12:14

      Can you believe I’ve never made a pecan pie? I’d do whatever the pecan pie recipe tells you to do. I’ll put pumpkin into the crust uncooked, but lemon goes into a pre-cooked crust.

      • Will Nov 27, 2013 @ 12:53

        I can believe it because I have never made a homemade pie….this will be my first attempt tonight, no pressure there are backup pies at Thanksgiving.

        • Deanna Nov 27, 2013 @ 14:07

          When I made pecan pie a week or so ago…you baked the pie crust after filling. It was all in the pie recipe…

  • Carol Le Strange Nov 27, 2013 @ 11:31

    Hi there, really have got to try this.
    Only one question, how long in the oven and at what temperature?
    Also, blind or open bake, if making a pie shell only?
    Many thanks for a great site.

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 27, 2013 @ 12:13

      About 425 for 20 minutes for blind baking, otherwise just follow the directions for your individual pie. Enjoy!

      • Lavena Jun 18, 2020 @ 16:06

        My crust always shrinks. What am I doing wrong?

        • Kris Bordessa Jun 21, 2020 @ 15:28

          Are you baking it *empty? Some people use weights to prevent this when “blind baking” a pie crust.

  • Mike S Sep 26, 2013 @ 16:01

    How do you measure your flour? Scoop and sweep or spoon into the cup?

  • Jane Boursaw Sep 2, 2013 @ 7:36

    Now I’ll have to search through my papers and see if my grandma’s pie crust recipe is similar to yours and Vera’s.

  • Lisa Sep 1, 2013 @ 6:07

    I can hardly wait to try it. My daughter and I make a lot of pies but all with purchased shells. I’ve been intimidated by pie shells because my great aunt was famous for hers–and all the other relatives left her to it because “pie crusts are so hard to get right.” But it’s worth a shot, right?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 1, 2013 @ 6:12

      Pies have this mystique about them, don’t they?! Sure, rolling your own dough takes a little longer, but I’m not sure where we all got the idea that they’re “hard” to make. (Plus there are always leftover bits to bake with cinnamon and sugar – treats for the chefs.) 😉

    • Linda Sep 19, 2017 @ 14:51

      You will never buy a crust again after trying this recipe, promise.

    • Koan lam Oct 10, 2018 @ 17:42

      The most discussing pie crust ever. Tasteless and tough like pizza dough. Do not make it. Pie crust should be flakey and buttery. This crust is like pizza dough. I should have questioned the egg. So if you want a horrible pie crust make this recipe. What a waste of my day. You ruined my pie. Get off Pinterest!!!

      • Kris Bordessa Oct 17, 2018 @ 9:45

        Thank you for sharing your experience!

      • Claudine McDowell Aug 4, 2019 @ 4:29

        You must have done something wrong. I have been making his crust for years, and it is absolutely the very best. Please try it again, and do it correctly this time.

      • Sheri Aug 16, 2019 @ 10:11

        As a professional baker, this is the same recipe I’ve been using since I started making pies 25+ years ago. It was my grammas too. Grammas know best. You need to take a step back, retry and don’t blame the recipe when clearly you’ve made a mistake. If you haven’t made a pastry before – hear this:
        -use only cold butter
        -don’t overmix your pastry dough
        -that last bit of liquid add slowly – depending on your location and humidity, you may not need to add it all.

        Now. Try again.

      • Annie Mae Nov 2, 2019 @ 13:04

        You did something terribly wrong. This really is a foolproof crust. Possibly over processed in pulse blender . A hard pronged pastry cutter cuts shortening in just right. Then just add water egg vinegar mix a few tablespoons at a time.I use butter flavored shortening. It is always tasty and flakey. Another tip for make ahead busy holidays. Mix up a large batch of just the crumbs and keep in refrigerator . Then add the liquid mix to a cup or two of crumbs for a freshly made crust. A FEW TABLESPOONS AT A TIME , so no gluey paste.

      • Teresa Nov 29, 2019 @ 4:38

        Wow…that is a pretty bold statement. Clearly a mistake in your execution. I have never made a good pie crust in my life and had given up until this recipe. It was delicious. Please try again and make sure your butter is cold and do not over mix it into the flour. I also made sure to let my finished dough rest in the refrigerator for about an hour again to make sure the butter was very cold after handling it. Came out very tender and flaky. You should give it another try.

  • Vera Marie Badertscher Aug 31, 2013 @ 13:32

    April: Glad to hear you have success with a food processor. I always seem to overdo it and get glue instead of pastry, even when I try to be very careful. Sometimes I just have to get my hands into my cooking to make it come out right!

    And thanks for the scientific foundation for why vinegar gives you a terrifically flaky crust. Erika.

    • April Sep 1, 2013 @ 6:55

      I only do the butter/flour in the food processor and finish by hand.

  • April Aug 31, 2013 @ 8:05

    Pie crust is one I’m still mastering. I’ll have to try this one. The part I hate is cutting the butter into the flour, so my best tip is use a food processor to do that! So fast and easy.

    • Peg Nov 28, 2013 @ 5:10

      There is a reason to cut the fat into the flour…its important not to overmix the crust. The small pebbles of fat melt in the oven creating flakey pockets. Over kneading or processing your crust will cause it to be tough.

      • Ramona Jun 3, 2019 @ 8:43

        Try grating the butter on a cheese grater first.

        • Kris Bordessa Jun 5, 2019 @ 17:03

          Yep, that’s a great hack.

          • Judith Kowalski Jul 27, 2019 @ 8:35

            I grate frozen butter for pie crusts, scones and biscuits. They always turn out super flakey. This works for lard or shortening also.

          • Kris Bordessa Jul 28, 2019 @ 7:54

            I know other people who do this as well. I’m sure it works well, but I always dread having to clean the grater afterwards!

  • Sonia (foodiesleuth) Aug 31, 2013 @ 7:28

    I wish I had my grandmother’s pie dough recipe…unfortunately, although my grandmother made lots of confections (peanut butter fudge, divinity, candied grapefruit peels and such) I don’t ever remember her making a pie!

    I will have to try both your version and Vera Marie’s (fridge) and see which I like best…

    Just in time to start practicing for holiday baking…

    Thanks, Kris!

  • Alexandra Aug 31, 2013 @ 7:23

    Interesting that you have egg in your grandma’s recipe. I’m really curious to know what the vinegar contributes …

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 31, 2013 @ 7:43

      Take note of Erika’s comment, Alexandra! I didn’t know this.

  • Erika in Portland, OR Aug 31, 2013 @ 7:17

    Forgot to say that my grandmother’s recipe is also very similar with the vinegar; and I always wondered why until this week (when I watched the aforementioned Good Eats)!

  • Erika in Portland, OR Aug 31, 2013 @ 7:15

    I just watched an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown where he makes the perfect apple pie. He talks about the vinegar aspect and it was something like this: A bit of acid (need not be vinegar, but cider vinegar is traditional for fruit pie pastry) helps relax the gluten formation that would otherwise toughen the pastry. He used applejack in the pastry for his pie instead of cider or vinegar. I have to link you to his recipe – because his pie looked SO delicious.
    Also, about applejack:

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 31, 2013 @ 7:44

      Interesting! I’d always wondered about the vinegar. It does give the dough a very slight tang, which I like, but interesting to know it serves a higher purpose!

    • Carol Nov 27, 2013 @ 12:22

      Wow, this looks so great, thanks.

  • Vera Marie Badertscher Aug 30, 2013 @ 12:29

    Isn’t it great that these recipes are so similar? You get 2 crusts out of yours, I get 5 total (2 double, one single, or 5 singles or whatever combo you wish). It looks like you may roll your pastry a little thicker than I do. I have a couple of old community cookbooks with various proportions for this recipe. But I have to admit, that I did NOT inherit this from my forebears. I found it on my own (where? I don’t remember).

    Like you, I generally use butter instead of Crisco, but made my sample with Crisco to be true to at least part of my grandmother’s recipe.

    My mother and grandmother were such good pie bakers that I always felt defeated by the propect of pastry until I found this fool proof recipe.

    I highly recommend the step of putting it in the frig to rest for a while before rolling it out. When you take it out of the refrigerator it will be very stiff, but quickly softens just enough to be very pliable.

    Thanks for taking up the pie challenge!

    • Betty Palmer Aug 31, 2013 @ 8:48

      Thank you for the recipe. The vinegar ABSOLUTELY work also when making home make noodles. The best!

    • Lisa Nov 25, 2015 @ 2:38

      Can you freeze this pie crust and how would you go about freezing it–as a formed pie crust or just in a ball?

      • Kris Bordessa Nov 25, 2015 @ 8:03

        I have frozen it as a ball, but I imagine you could do it as a prepped crust, too. A ball just takes up less space!

        • tallara Nov 22, 2016 @ 14:02

          i have frozen the pie crust in a pie dish, I used baking paper underneath the pastry until its frozen, then i fold it over the top, remove from the pie dish and stacked the frozen pie crust with others frozen. that way i can make 5-10 pie crusts and have them in a neat stack (put the stack into a plastic bag or similar).

          When i need a pie crust, i can pick up the top layer/baking paper and put straight into the pie dish, give it a few moments to defrost, pour in the topping and into the oven. not as ‘great’ as freshly made but less time consuming and very quick process from freezer to table

      • Julia Dec 23, 2020 @ 4:49

        Am I missing something? I don’t see a quantity for the vinegar ?

        • Kris Bordessa Jan 1, 2021 @ 15:49

          Ack, thank you. That disappeared somewhere along the line. Fixed now.

    • BJ Bjornson Jul 24, 2018 @ 14:24

      In Canada Tenderflake lard (not shortening) has the best pastry recipe on te uses 1ld lard, 5 cups flour. The egg, vinegar, pinch of salt and water is the same as your recipe. Good for 4-5 pies. You can’t beat Tenderflake.

    • Prisilla Nov 25, 2020 @ 12:17

      Hi Kris,
      Happy Thanksgiving Eve lol! Thank you for sharing your grandmas pie crust recipe. I had never attempted to make my own but with your simple and concise guide I add it. I’d love to share the before bake and after baked pumpkin pies. Take care and God bless!
      Kind Regards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to Recipe