Easy Homemade Pie Crust – Learn to make a pie crust that’s as easy as…pie! Even if you’re a pie crust novice, this is the perfect crust to start with and only takes 15 minutes to make!
For years and years I leaned on store-bought crusts to get me through holiday pie-baking season. The thought of making a homemade crust just seemed too intimidating, even though my mom always insisted it’s not that big a deal.
I finally caved this year and let her teach me how to make the easiest homemade pie crust ever! I don’t know why I didn’t listen to her sooner. It really doesn’t take any more time to make from scratch than it does to wait for a frozen pie crust to thaw! Whaddya say? Ready to make a pie crust from scratch today?
Why this Recipe Works
Simple ingredients — Nothing fancy needed for homemade pie crust! I promise, just flour, sugar, salt, butter, water, and apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar — Okay so this ingredient might be a little different than some other recipes you’ve read, but my mom swears this is the trick to a soft, flaky crust.
Freezing — You’ll want that butter you incorporated into the pie crust to melt slowly in the pie crust to create those air pockets that make the crust flaky. Freezing it helps with that process.
Ice cold water — For the same reason you freeze the crust, using ice cold water helps the fat (butter) to not melt while you’re pulsing together the crust.
Here’s How you Make it
- In a food processor, combine together the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse several times.
- Then, add the cubes of butter and pulse until the flour mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a liquid measuring cup combine together the water, vinegar, and enough ice cubes to reach 1 cup.
- Add the cold liquid to the flour mixture, straining the ice as you pour so that it stays in the measuring cup, 2 tablespoons at a time, and pulsing after each addition. You can stop pulsing after it mixture resembles streusel (it will not come together like a dough, it will be somewhat dry but should stick together when you smoosh some of it between your fingers).
- Shape the dough into a ball with your hands, then divide in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap, patting each half into a 1/2-inch-thick disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place both discs in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- When you’re ready to bake, unwrap one pie crust and roll into a 12-inch circle (it will be hard to roll at first, but will quickly start to soften up as you keep rolling).
- Gently press the crust into the bottom of your pie dish. Fill with all that yummy pie filling, and cover with a second crust if instructed or if you just feel like it needs another crust. (See note for freezing the second crust or using the second crust for pie decoration.)
Why Do you Put Vinegar in a Pie Crust?
I learned that you should always add just a little bit of vinegar to your pie dough. Two teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (because we prefer the taste better) is enough to help soften gluten in the flour so it doesn’t get too tough and chewy. A little goes a long way, I promise two teaspoons is enough for two crusts.
How Do you Keep the Bottom Crust of a Pie from Getting Soggy?
It’s a super bummer when you go through the trouble to make a pie crust from scratch and the bottom gets all soggy. This has to do with the filling you fill the pie with of course. The wetter the filling, the more likely your bottom crust is to be soggy.
One way to fix this problem is to blind bake the bottom pie crust. So what you do is pre-bake the crust (weigh it down with pie weights or dried beans if you are worried about it bubbling in the middle), and this way it will crisp up a bit before adding the filling.
This recipe will make two shortbread pie crusts, which is what you want when you’re making a double-crusted pie (like this apple pie), right? But maybe you’re only making a one-crust pie, like this pumpkin pie. In that case, you can freeze one of the crusts for later. Just keep it in the freezer all wrapped up and roll it out when you’re ready to use. You can also simply halve this recipe if you don’t need another pie crust for later use.
If you do want to use both pie crusts and you want to make the top one all fancy and fun, then roll it and cut shapes out from it with cookie cutters or try it free-hand. Put those shapes on a baking sheet and brush them with egg wash and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, cool, then decorate the baked pie with your shapes.
Delicious Pie to Make with this Crust
Did you make this pie crust recipe?? WONDERFUL – please rate the recipe below!
Easy Homemade Pie Crust
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter - cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- ⅔ cup cold water
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- handful of ice cubes
- In a food processor combine flour, sugar, and salt and pulse several times.
- Add butter cubes and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a liquid measuring cup combine water, vinegar, and enough ice cubes to reach 1 cup.
- Add liquid to the flour mixture (strain the ice so that it stays in the measuring cup) 2 tablespoons at a time, pulsing after each addition, until mixture resembles streusel (it will not come together like a dough, it will be somewhat dry but should stick together when you smoosh some of it between your fingers).
- Shape dough into a ball with your hands. Divide in half and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. Pat into a 1/2-inch thick disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Unwrap one pie crusts and roll into a 12-inch circle.
- Gently press crust into the bottom of your pie dish. Fill as desired and cover with second crust if called for. See note for freezing second crust or using second crust for pie decoration.