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My basic pie crust that I have been using for years. Flavorful and flaky – just like a pie crust should be!

Basic Pie Crust Recipe | Taste and Tell

I have been trying to decide for quite some time if I would even blog this recipe. Share it with you. Because let’s face it – it’s just a pie crust. And in this world of blogs and online recipes, it’s probably the 1,657,008 pie crust recipe to hit the net. But after thinking about it, I decided it was a must.

When I first started blogging (what feels like eons ago,) my blog was very different. I was an Allrecipes addict, and loved the fact that you could go onto a recipe and tell everyone what you thought of that recipe. Changes you made, changes you might make in the future… it was all there. And when I happened across a food blog one day, the addiction was immediate. It was like allrecipes, but a lot more information. And these beautiful photos accompanied the blog posts that I would read.

When I first started my blog, it was more like my own online allrecipes – my online journal of the recipes I had tried. I shared it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. I shared pretty much every recipe that came out of my kitchen.

Today, it’s different. I love, love, love blogging and the blogging community, but sometimes it seems to be more about the new, best thing. There is almost this underlying, unspoken rule that if it’s been done before, you’d better not do it again. And while I’m all for coming up with new and inventive recipes, this draw to be “different” sometimes takes me away from the basics. But let’s face it – without the basics, we are lost. I also sometimes forget that 98% of you reading aren’t food bloggers. And that you aren’t necessarily looking for some grand interpretation of a recipe. You want something real. Something that you can produce in your own kitchen. Something that your family and friends will love.

This recipe is exactly that. I have tried so many different pie crust recipes, it’s ridiculous. But every single time, I come back to this recipe. It’s basically a family recipe, a version used by my grandma, then my mom, and now me. I have changed it up a little bit after finding what works best for me (half butter instead of all shortening, par-baking the crust with weights).

Since we are knee-deep in holiday planning (I’m looking at you, uber organized Facebook fans), I figured this would be the perfect time to share my pie crust recipe with you. Because let’s face it – the pie is more important than the turkey. At least I think it is! πŸ™‚

Basic Pie Crust
Prep time
Cook time
My basic pie crust that I have been using for years. Flavorful and flaky - just like a pie crust should be!
Serves: 2 pie crusts
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. With a pastry cutter, cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea sized pieces of butter.
  2. Lightly beat the egg, then add it to the water and vinegar. Add the water to the dry ingredients and mix just until the dough comes together. Divide in half, then form into 2 discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes.
  3. Once chilled, remove one disc at a time and roll out into a 12-inch circle. (I like to do this between 2 sheets of waxed paper so that I don't have to flour the work surface.) Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish. Trim the edges and crimp. Poke the bottom of the pie crust with a fork several times.
  4. For a fully baked crust: Preheat oven to 350F. Line the pie crust with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans, about half to ⅔ full. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the paper and weights. Return the crust to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
*This recipe makes 2 crusts, but is hard to half since it only calls for one egg. If not using both crusts, you can freeze the second crust until needed.

Pie recipes to use that pie crust with!

Sour Cream Apple Pie | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Sour Cream Apple Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie | Taste and Tell

Lemon Meringue Pie

Sweet Potato Coconut Pie with Marshmallow Meringue | Taste and Tell

Sweet Potato Coconut Pie with Marshmallow Meringue

Around the Web:
Dutch Apple Pie from A Spicy Perspective
Old Fashioned Raspberry Pie from Sweet Basil
Classic Pecan Pie from Barbara Bakes

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36 Responses to Basic Pie Crust

  1. Everyone needs a trusted, go-to pie crust recipe! And yours looks pretty awesome, if you ask me!

  2. Kerry says:

    As much as I love to bake and add my own things, the tried and true is always where I start. A go-to crust is so important!

  3. I love how soft vegetable shortening makes pie crusts. Even if there are a million basic pie crust recipes out there that should never deter you form posting your best basic pie crust recipe. πŸ™‚

  4. Such a pretty crust. I love using both butter and shortening in my crusts too.

  5. Mel says:

    We must be on the same wavelength, Deborah – because I’m talking pie crust today, too. I agree with you, sometimes I love getting back to the basics!

  6. Chels R. says:

    I’m so glad you wrote about that. I feel like I am just now, starting to come into my own as a blogger. I’m getting braver with trying out new recipes and I love it. I wish I could just master it (taste, appearance, presentation, and photography) all at once. LOL! But I love that you put down your family’s recipe. My mom always used the Better Homes and Garden recipe. My mother-in-laws crust which a lot of people like, I think lacks in flavor. I’ve been using P.W.’s for about a year now, because I love that it makes 3 crusts and I can freeze it. But I love reading everyone’s recipes and comparing the differences.

    • Deborah says:

      There really are so many versions out there, aren’t there!?! I’m going to have to look up PW’s recipe now. πŸ™‚

  7. Joanne says:

    I always love hearing about other bloggers’ favorite, basic recipes…because I’ve made a lot of pie crusts and some have worked really well and some have been a major pain! Definitely going to try yours for my next pie!

  8. Emily says:

    Someday I’ll get a pie crust right!

    • Deborah says:

      I’m finally confident in my abilities to make pie, but making pretty pie is a whole ‘nother story! But this one definitely tastes great!

  9. Love this! You are so right, as food bloggers we sometimes try to come up with something new and different. Nowadays you can think you have a new idea, only to Google it and find a ton of recipes for it. So much for new. I like going back to basics. I think many people like to see different ways a recipe can be made. I know for myself, I love trying new ways to make things. It keeps things fresh and different in my kitchen. There are some things I’ll cook the same way over and over again, but many things I like to trying different adaptations of. And like you said, not everyone that reads our blogs are food bloggers. Just because a recipe has been done a millon times, if its new on your blog, its new content. Sorry to babble on and on. I have plenty of pies to make this holiday and I’m always up for trying new ways to make pie crust, so I’m adding this to my list. πŸ™‚

    • Deborah says:

      Doesn’t blogging make you look at recipes completely differently? πŸ™‚ I think I just need to find a balance between the new and the old. Because I love them all!

  10. You are so right! I think about it often, but in the end usually say who cares. I figure I might have 10 followers that don’t follow any other blogs and come to me for the basics and not things you only want to eat once. For some reason pie crust is one of those things that I never get just right. It’s edible but not perfect. I try to use all butter but maybe that’s why it’s not as good. Need to keep practicing!

    • Deborah says:

      I love the flavor of an all butter crust, but I love how flaky the shortening makes it. Plus, I think it’s a lot easier to work with when I use shortening. I’m confident in making a crust that tastes good, but I need help to make them look pretty!! It’s always a work in progress, isn’t it!?!

  11. Debi says:

    This is the first time I have gotten on your website. Has anyone tried this recipe and does anyone post comments on how it turned out. I’m not a cook though I love to cook and bake. So if there is any additional info that I should know or tricks of the trade please let me know. I’m going to try it and will let you know how it goes.

  12. Debi says:

    What is a dash of sugar and why do you use vinegar? Doesn’t it make it sour ?

    • Deborah says:

      Debi – you’ll just add a touch of sugar, maybe 1/8 teaspoon. The vinegar helps to make the crust light and flaky. You can’t taste it at all in the finished product.

  13. Nina says:

    I just love how easy this recipe is! I hope you don’t know mind, but I am going to tweak this recipe just a tad—-rather than using vegetable shortening (extra fat that I really do not need) I am replacing the aforementioned with sour cream. I hope it will turn out as delicious as the original recipe. Wish me luck! Thank you for sharing this recipe, Deborah.

    • Deborah says:

      Tweak away! I had never heard of using sour cream in a pie crust until earlier this week, and I am dying to try it. I hope you love this recipe!

  14. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Thanks for this recipe πŸ™‚ definitely keeping this on hand!

  15. Rebecca says:

    I love your down-to-earth basic recipe and the kind of how you write about it πŸ™‚ Highly appreciate, thanks!!

  16. My grandma gave me this same recipe many years ago and it is the only pie crust recipe I use that always turns out just right. I agree, it’s the best.

  17. Farah.F says:

    love this post. Thank you so much. Will be trying this pie crust soon.

  18. Kindra says:

    Yes, yes, YES! I completely agree with your post 100%. As a reader of cooking blogs for 7 or 8 years now, I agree that they used to be quite different. It used to be about sharing and chatting about things you had made and I really REALLY loved that about your blog. Over the years, cooking blogs have really strayed from their humble roots and become more commercialized almost like magazines, but honestly I think it makes the content quite stale. I don’t necessarily care about what’s new and crazy and different. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you post something! I just want real true content of stuff you literally make all the time with real stories of where it came from. I love that you posted a “basic” recipe, one that your family has always made. I’ve had this recipe pinned forever and I’m excited to try out it today. Thanks for sharing with us!

  19. Phyllis says:

    I use one almost exact, slightly different measurements. 3cups flour, 1 1/4 cups shortening. 5 tbs ice water . . .the only thing I add is 1/4tsp almond extract. The best crust ever!

  20. Penny says:

    Thank God for you for the lemon meringue Pie. I’ve been looking for areal great recipe like yours

  21. cricket says:

    This was the wettest pie dough recipe I’ve ever worked with. I had to add at least an extra cup of flour to work with it. Even still, it stuck to the parchment paper (had to scrap that suggestion) and the rolling pin. If someone is using this for their first attempt at a homemade crust – beware. I’ve made countless pie crusts in my life but want any newbies to be wary of this recipe. I found it making your chocolate dream pie — absolutely delicious, btw, and will definitely become a go-to in my house– but I can’t imagine I’ll use this crust recipe again. Sorry πŸ™

    • cricket says:

      I should add – after adding enough extra flour to dry it out/ensure it would be flaky – the crust was really, really tasty.

    • Deborah says:

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you! It is a little wetter than most pie crusts, but I haven’t had a big problem with it sticking. I’m guessing we must measure the flour differently. I’ll have to weigh the flour next time I make this to make it more clear. Thanks for your feedback, and I’m glad you liked the pie!

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