Flaky Butter Pie Crust

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This Homemade All Butter Pie Crust recipe is an easy flaky pie crust from scratch. It’s made with only 5 ingredients in 5 minutes in a food processor or by hand, and is the best pie crust recipe ever!

front view of a Butter Pie Crust in a lattice pattern baked


If you’ve never tried your hand at homemade pie crust, then today is your day. I adore the therapeutic process of making pie from scratch, and I can honestly say I have never used a store-bought crust.

That’s because making the best butter pie crust you’ve ever had takes just a few ingredients and only 5 minutes.

Plus, when you make your own pie crust, you skip all the preservatives, additives, and ingredients you cannot pronounce and make it with real, whole ingredients.

So come on this journey with me as we walk through how to make a butter pie crust – that’s perfect for fruit pies (like this fresh peach pie, blueberry pie, etc.) and even pumpkin pie – and you will become a pie-crust-making expert!

overhead view of a pie with a Butter Pie Crust and a slice cut out with ice cream on top

Butter Pie Crust: Ingredients and Substitutions

There are only 5 ingredients in this pie crust recipe, but here are a few notes on them along with possible substitutions.

  • All-purpose flour. Pastry flour works well in place of all-purpose flour in this pie crust recipe. Also, a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour can be used, however you may need to adjust the amount of water accordingly.
  • Salted butter: Unsalted butter can be used in place of salted butter. For a dairy-free, vegan pie crust you can substitute vegan butter (like Earth balance) (which is what was used to make this dairy-free pumpkin pie)!
  • Sugar. I love the slightly sweet and salty taste of this Flaky Homemade Butter Pie Crust, so I do not recommend omitting the sugar or replacing it if you are making this for a sweet recipe. Even for pot pies I enjoy this flavor, but if you want it to be savory you can omit the sugar.
  • Sea Salt. I always recommend baking with pure sea salt. If you have iodized table salt, you may need to decrease the amount of salt.
  • Egg Wash. this is totally optional! Heavy cream can also be used in place of eggs, or a 1:1 mixture of the two.

Use very cold ingredients to make a flaky pie crust 

Cut the butter into chunks (as pictured below) and put them in the freezer for 20-60 minutes. It’s also helpful to measure out a little less than 1/2 cup of water and put a few ice cubes in it so that it gets nice and cold!

Why do we care that the ingredients are cold? Because the discernible chunks of butter in the crust make it deliciously flaky. Using cold ingredients makes it harder to mix the butter into the flour & sugar, which is exactly what you want to achieve the flakiest pie crust crust possible!

front view of a piece of pie with a double crust Butter Pie Crust

How to make a butter pie crust

Lets walk through the process of making a pie crust step-by-step, and don’t forget to watch the video.

Process Dry Ingredients

First, place all the dry ingredients in the container of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse to combine (about 5-10 seconds)

There are two ways to mix a pie crust. I will discuss both below.

Use a food processor.

This is (obviously) the method I choose to use for a few reasons.

  1. It’s easier
  2. It’s faster and
  3. 3) I have always done it this way because I don’t own a pastry cutter! 😉

The only word of warning I have about using a food processor to make this Flaky Homemade All Butter Pie Crust is that it is fairly easy to over-mix the dough.

So you need to be sure to pulse to combine the ingredients until the mixture looks slightly sandy. You will know when it’s done when you can pinch it with your fingers and it holds together (like in the picture below).

two overhead photos showing How to Make Pie Crust in a food processor

With a pastry cutter, fork or your hands. 

The biggest hiccup you have to be careful to avoid when you’re mixing by hand is to not take too long so the ingredients get warm. However, it is easier to not over-mix the dough when doing it by hand so you ensure you preserve chunks of butter in the dough.

Both methods work well, and the benefit of both is that homemade pie crust is worlds tastier than anything you can buy in a store!

overhead photo showing How to Make Pie Crust with a pastry cutter

Form dough into a ball

It’s important to note that the dough may not look like it could be shaped into a ball, when in reality it can be.

The photo below shows how easily the pie crust dough mixture can be pinched together, even when it has a sandy texture.

Turn the Flaky Homemade Butter Pie Crust dough out onto a well-floured surface or into a large bowl and form it into a ball. Remember it’s important not to overwork the pie crust dough, so be careful!

The pie crust dough should be firm and not crumbly once it is worked together, as pictured below.

two overhead photos showing How to Make Pie Crust - left in the food processor right on a surface gathering mixture into a ball

Form the dough into two circles (for a double crusted pie)

After you have one large ball of pie crust dough, break it in half and form it into two circles that are the same size.

If your’e not great at eyeballing things (hello, I’m looking at myself), a food scale comes in handy here! Just weigh all the dough together, cut that number in half and make sure each portion of dough weighs that amount!

Make two 1″ thick discs of dough. When making this double pie crust recipe it’s important to shape the dough into two discs about 1″ thick. This will make rolling it out much easier!

overhead photo showing How to Make Pie Crust - forming dough into two discs

Chill the dough

Once you have two dough discs, individually wrap them in plastic wrap (tightly) and put them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

If you are chilling the dough overnight or for a long period of time (more than 2 hours), I recommend putting the wrapped Butter Pie Crust dough into a plastic bag or another airtight container to ensure that it does not dry out.

two discs of How to butter Pie Crust wrapped in plastic wrap to chill

Roll the dough

Once you’re ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven and roll out the dough. You will need to remove the circles from the fridge, place them on a well-floured surface and let them sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes so they’re soft enough to roll (shorter if it’s a hot day)!

Here are a few tips to make rolling easier:

Use a heavy rolling pin to roll out the crust!

I have had this marble rolling pin for 11 years and couldn’t live without it. It applies the perfect amount of pressure to the chilled crust to make it roll easily.

two overhead photos showing how to roll out a butter pie crust

Measure the crust with the pie plate

As you see in the second photo below, after I roll the crust out I like to be sure it will fit in my pie plate. So I recommend holding the pie plate over the crust circle just to be sure that it will fit. There needs to be a little extra dough overhang so that you can make a nice crust edge.

photo showing how to measure the butter pie crust dough with the pie plate

Use a pastry cloth!

I usually roll my pie crusts out on a pastry cloth. It makes transferring it from the counter to the pie dish SO much easier! You can also use wax or parchment paper to roll out the crust if you do not have a pastry cloth!

If you prefer to just have a solid piece of crust on the top (no fancy shapes), simply roll both of the crust circles in this way. Just be sure to cut an “X” in top to vent the steam!

overhead photo of a butter pie crust rolled out onto a pastry cloth

Form the bottom crust to the pie dish, chill again.

Once you have transferred the crust from the rolling surface to the pie dish, it’s time to shape the crust into the pan.

Pinch the edges. Start by folding the crust and making a nice edge around the pie dish. Then, use your thumb and pointer finger to pinch the edges of the crust and make a nice design.

Chill again. Next, it’s time to make the top crust. Return the bottom crust to the refrigerator while you make the top crust and the pie filling!

a butter pie crust in a pie plate before baking

Make the top pie crust: shapes & designs. 

If you want to make a lattice crust, check out this tutorial from Simply Recipes .

Use Pie Crust Cutters or Fondant Cutters! 

I have a few sets of pie crust cutters from Williams Sonoma and love them! I also use fondant cut & press sets. Both work well to make pretty pie crust shapes to top your pies with!

butter pie crust rolled out and being cut to make a lattice top

If you want a solid pie crust top: 

If you don’t care to make any design on top (like in this apple pie recipe), simply roll the top crust out into a circle, place it on top of the pie filling and pinch the edges to close the pie.

Be sure to cut an “X” on the top middle of the pie so steam can vent out as it bakes.

Chill the crust again: After you have formed the bottom crust in the pie dish and made the shapes you want for the top, put the crust back in the refrigerator to chill while you make the pie filling. You want it to stay cold so that butter stays nice and chunky.

overhead photo of a Butter Pie Crust in a lattice pattern before baking

Putting it all together 

Once the pie filling of your choice is made, it’s time to complete this Flaky Homemade All Butter Pie Crust recipe!

Simply pour the filling into the bottom pie crust and  have fun making the decoration on the top (or not, totally your call)! Work quickly to avoid the crust becoming too warm!

Using an Egg wash

I love using an egg wash on my pie crusts because it give it a rich, deep brown color. It’s not necessary but it is highly recommended! Simply beat 1 egg and use a pastry brush to brush the crust gently with the egg before baking.

overhead photo of a Butter Pie Crust in a lattice pattern before baking with an egg wash and raw sugar

Bake the pie. 

Most butter pie crusts with filling are baked at a higher temperature in the beginning, and then after 20 minutes the temperature is decreased and baking continues. This helps bake the crust without it becoming soggy.

overhead view of a baked Butter Pie Crust with a slice cut out and ice cream on top

FAQs about making Homemade Pie Crust 

Here are a few frequently asked questions about making homemade butter pie crust!

How do you blind bake a pie crust (without filling) to add a no-bake filling?

We use the same method to bake this butter pie crust if you are using it for a no-bake filling. Start by baking at a high temperature with pie weights inside, and after a while remove the weights and finish baking at a lower temperature. (See full instructions in the recipe card).

How do you protect Pie Crust from Burning?

Use a pie crust shield to protect the outer crust from burning. If you don’t have a pie crust, you can make one yourself by cutting a circle out of aluminum foil that covers the crust and fits the outer edge of the pie dish.
If you find that the center crust is browning too fast, create a loose-fitting “tent” out of aluminum foil and place it over the entire pie. This way the filling will continue baking and the browning of the crust will be slowed!

Can you make a pie crust with salted butter? 

YES! I do, all the time. Unsalted butter works too, however I prefer it to be saltier tasting because it compliments sweet pie filling so well!

How do you mix a pie crust? 

front view of a peach pie with a double Butter Pie Crust with a slice cut out and ice cream on top

Pie-crust making tools

There are a few tools that I consider essential in the pie crust-making process!

  1. Marble Rolling Pin: You will need to roll out the dough to achieve the perfect shape and thickness!
  2. Pastry Cloth: Using a pastry cloth is the best, fool-proof way to roll out a pie crust! Just flour the cloth, place the dough on it and roll away! Then you can use the cloth to lift the crust and transfer it to the pie dish, which prevents any tearing during the move!
  3. Pie Crust Shield: In order to prevent the crust {ahem, the best part} from burning I always use a shield! It’s way easier than cutting foil to fit your pan!
  4. Food Processor. I mentioned above why I love making pie crusts in a food processor! If you don’t have one and don’t care to own one, a pastry cutter or fork works well to incorporate the ingredients!
  5. Pie weights. If you will be baking this pie crust by itself (without filling) then using pie weights is essential to keep it from shrinking!

Obviously you can make a crust without these things (well except for a rolling pin)…but if you anticipate there will be lots of pie-making in your future, I highly recommend checking these out!

overhead view of an unbaked pie with a pie crust shield protecting the outer Pie Crust

Recipes using All Butter Pie Crust:

Here are some of my favorite pie recipes that use this easy pie crust recipe!

piece of peach pie with ice cream on top

If you make and love our recipes, it would mean so much to me if you would leave a comment and rating! And don’t forget to follow along with us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube – be sure to tag @joyfoodsunshine and use the hashtag #joyfoodsunshine so we can your creations!

Homemade Butter Pie Crust (Double Crusted Pie)

Laura
This Homemade All Butter Pie Crust recipe is an easy flaky pie crust from scratch. It's made with only 5 ingredients in 5 minutes in a food processor or by hand, and is the best pie crust recipe ever!
4.97 from 29 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 238
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chilling Time1 hour
Total Time2 hours

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

Chill the Butter:

  • Cut 1 cup of butter into 1/2”-1” cubes. Place on a nonstick surface and put in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

Chill the water.

  • Measure out ½ cup cold water and add 2-3 ice cubes, set aside.

Make the Crust in a Food Processor:

  • Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade and pulse to combine.
  • Add the butter and cold water and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, begins to stick together, and holds together when pinched.
  • Remove dough from processor (will be crumbly) and form into two discs about 1” thick.
  • Wrap both dough circles in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Make the Crust by hand:

  • Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the chilled butter and cut it in with a pastry cutter, fork or your hands.
  • Add cold water and mix until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, begins to stick together, and holds together when pinched.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface (it will be crumbly) and form into two discs about 1” thick.
  • Wrap both dough circles in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Roll and shape the bottom crust:

  • After the crust has chilled and you are ready to bake the pie, remove the pie crust dough from the refrigerator and roll one disc into a circle, about ¼ to ½ inches thick. (if it has been refrigerated overnight you will need to let it sit on the counter at room temperature until it is pliable).
  • Gently place the crust into pie plate and form it to look how you would like!
  • Place the crust in the pie dish in the refrigerator while you shape the top.

Roll and shape the top crust:

  • Repeat the procedure with the top crust. If you would like the top crust to be a simple circle, add it to the top of your pie after putting the filling in the bottom crust and bake according to the recipe instructions.
  • If you would like to make the top shape into a design, use pie crust cutters, braid the dough for the edges, or make a lattice crust. Then place the crust on top of the pie and bake according to the instructions in your recipe.

To blind bake a pie crust without filling) to add a no-bake filling:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • After you have shaped the bottom crust (half of the recipe) into the pie dish, line the pie crust with foil and fill it with dried beans or pie weights.
  • Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven; remove the foil and the beans or weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
  • Bake 5 to 7 additional minutes, until the crust looks just barely browned. Let cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

To bake pie crust dough shapes alone.

  • I still like to decorate some pie recipes with pie crust cutouts, like pumpkin pie, that do not typically call for a double pie crust. In this case I make a double pie crust and use the second disc to make the desired shapes – whether that be a braided edge, fun cutouts, etc.
  • To bake pie crust shapes alone, simply place them on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake them in the oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Then you can place them on top of the pie in any pattern you choose!

Video

Notes

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • All-purpose flour. Pastry flour works well in place of all-purpose flour in this pie crust recipe. Also, a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour can be used, however you may need to adjust the amount of water accordingly.
  • Salted butter: Unsalted butter can be used in place of salted butter. For a dairy-free, vegan pie crust you can substitute vegan butter (like Earth balance) 
  • Sugar. I love the slightly sweet and salty taste of this Flaky Homemade Butter Pie Crust, so I do not recommend omitting the sugar or replacing it if you are making this for a sweet recipe. Even for pot pies I enjoy this flavor, but if you want it to be savory you can omit the sugar.
  • Sea Salt. I always recommend baking with pure sea salt. If you have iodized table salt, you may need to decrease the amount of salt.
  • Egg Wash. this is totally optional! Heavy cream can also be used in place of eggs, or a 1:1 mixture of the two.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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32 Comments

  1. I am making this today but don’t have a food processor so I’m using a pastry cutter😀😀 wish me good luck! First time doing an all butter crust😜

  2. Never mind my question. I guess I didn’t read it correctly. Some of my friends do use vinegar- I must have assumed. I will try this recipe next time I bake a pie.

  3. I haven’t tried this YET. I am curious about the white vinegar? It was listed in ingredients but never used? Why do some people use it? What is its purpose in a crust?

  4. 5 stars
    I have used this recipe a zillion times, BUT today was the first time I made it with a food processor. Game. Changer. Me over here making pie crust for the neighborhood because it’s that easy….and delicious

  5. 5 stars
    Quick question if I’m just making one pie and I only have table salt how much would I need to decrease great recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Hey Laura! I’m 14 and obsessed with baking and I love your website. Do you think I could make this recipe in a Vitamix rather than a food processer?

  7. 5 stars
    I have tried a lot of different crust recipes. I have tried easy ones and very involved ones. I don’t even really love pie crust BUT I have changed my opinion on crust now. This recipe was simple and came together quickly. Most of all it was DELICIOUS, flaky, buttery and held together when rolling out!! I made a fresh peach pie with the crust and the bottom crust was not soggy. It held together beautifully. This is now my go to pie crust!! Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    I made the pie crust in my food processor and it is easy and delicious. I filled it with pumpkin and was very pleased with the results. Thank you. Is it ok to freeze the other half of the dough for another pie later?