Making the best homemade pie crust at home is a lot easier than you might think. This post will not only give you the perfect pie crust recipe but teach you all the tips and tricks for turning out the best flakiest pie crust!
”Just want to let you know you’re sittin’ in my chair.” ”Is that a fact?” ”Yeah, it’s a fact.” Tombstone 1993 film
To me, the crust is the most important part of a pie. If someone tells me they don’t like pie, I tell them they have never had a good pie. And usually, a pie is only bad if the crust is bad.
A perfect pie has a homemade crust, a crust that is flaky, made with butter, it’s not too thin, not too thick. The crust has to be just as good as the filling, better even. A perfect pie has to have a perfect crust, that is a fact.
Now I understand making pie crust can often seem like a daunting task and it’s one of those things that is going to take some patience and a bit of practice.
But never fear, anyone can make a perfect pie crust and I am going to teach you exactly how to make one yourself.
I’ve been making pie crust since about five years of age, and my mum can turn out a perfectly flaky, buttery pie crust any time she wants. So needless to say I’ve had a bit of practice and learned from an expert. And I can honestly say that making the perfect homemade pie crust, well it may take a few times to get it down is a lot easier than people might think.
But first, you’ll need the right recipe.
How To Make The Best Flakiest Homemade Pie Crust
make 2 pie crusts
2 cups flour
1 tsp. sea salt
10 tbsp, cold butter, cut into pieces
5-8 tbsp. room temperature water
In a bowl combine the flour and salt, and mix.
Cut in the butter, and using your hands gently work the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs.
Add the water, a little at a time, mixing with a fork until comes together in the center of the bowl. You want the dough to come together, but loosely. Pie crust isn’t meant to smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to your desired thickness. This crust can be used for all your favorite fruit or custard pies!
Tips and Tricks for getting the best flakiest homemade pie crust
One biggest thing to remember when making a crust. If not the biggest thing, is to remember what kind of crust belongs to which kind of pie.
A crust that calls for vinegar and eggs is great for savory pies. But it doesn’t belong anywhere near a fruit pie. Custard pies belong in a traditional pie crust. And cream pies belong in a cookie or cracker crust.
The butter should be cold. I think pie crust with butter is great for many reasons, butter is always better, it makes a flakey crust, I really like butter, etc. But the important thing to remember is that the butter should be cold, and cut into pieces.
Not to say I haven’t used super soft butter before because I’m a rather impatient person, and the crust was still pretty good. But if you want a really good crust, a really flaky crust, you’ll want to play it safe and use cold butter.
Add Water The Carefully. The funny thing about pie crust is that even if 9 out of 10 times you use the same amount of water. But there will always be a few times when that amount ends up being too much, way? I don’t really know. But this is why it is so important to go slowly with the water, always start with a little and work your way up, mixing as you go. It might seem a little ridiculous to do this every time, but it’s not a step you want to skip.
Don’t Over-Mix The Crust. To make a perfect pie crust, the best pie crust, you are going to make to get your hand dirty, literally. Mixing butter into the flour with your hands is a must. It’s the best and easiest way to get the perfect texture and unsure the perfect crust.
Using a fork might seem like an odd way to mix water into a pie crust, but it works like a charm.
Pie Crust Isn’t Meant To Be Smooth. I understand it’s hard to resist the urge to add more water to pie crust. You want to see it come together, to be smooth and pretty, but a good crust isn’t that way. Especially for a flaky crust, you are going to want come crumbs in the bottom of the bowl.
Pie crust to be only loosely mixed together, You want it to together into a ball, but only loosely. To be perfectly honest if it looks a bit crumbly, or like it is about to fall part, it’s just about perfect.
Roll The Crust Carefully. Sometimes rolling out a crust is a struggle, trust me I’m an expert in this area. Especially if you want a flaky crust rolling it out can quickly become a challenge. Needless to say, something that will be flaky in the end is a bit crumbly while rolling.
Another thing about pie crust, as anyone who’s ever made one can tell you, it’s not really meant to worked or played with. In other words, you have one shot to roll it out. This is why you want to work carefully and remember, that you can always make it thinner, but you can’t make it thicker. You can always make the crust bigger but you can’t make it smaller.
So just take your time, and work slowly. And don’t worry! You’ll be turning out perfect pie crusts in no time!
And lastly, I promise it’s worth the wait. I get it, maybe it doesn’t seem worth the time or effort to learn how to make pie crust from scratch. Or maybe I overexplained things a little bit(sorry). But the good news is that learning to make pie crust is like learning to ride a bike, once you learn you never forget. And you’ll be turning out the perfect pie crust in your sleep before you know it! Just ask my mum.
One last thing to remember is that nothing is set in stone. Well, there are some rules that are set in stone when it comes to pie crust(like having crumbs, and using cold butter). Pie crust like every other recipe in the world is something that will over time be shifted to your needs and liking. Everyone makes pie crust a little different even if the end result is the same.
For example, my Mum only ever uses 5 tbsp. of water in her crust. My one sister uses 12 tbsp. For me, 8 is the magic number. Everyone also seems to have their own little secrets. I’ve made tons of pies in my life, I’ve followed my Mum’s instructions to a T, and I’ve made crust right along with her. But to this day I’ve never been able to turn about a crust as perfectly golden and flaky as hers.
I have no idea how my sister manages to put so much water in her crust, I would have soup. In some way or another, we’ve all managed to change things ever so slightly that we all seem to have our own secret perfect pie crust. And one day you will two!
Here are some common pie crust problems and how to fix them.
My crust isn’t flaky. There is probably too much water in the crust, simply add less water next time. It might take a few more times but eventually, you will figure out what the perfect amount of water for you is. And then you’ll be able to make a perfectly flaky pie crust every time!
The bottom keeps breaking apart from the edge. Personally, I’ve never had this problem. But from my understanding, this is usually caused by the crust being too thin, or too cold. (I don’t chill my crust but if you do, this is something to keep in mind.) I think this could also happen if the crust is too soft/wet.
My pie isn’t golden on top. This is something that I struggle with a lot, as it turns out I am not only impatient but forgetful too! If your crust isn’t golden brown on top, you’ll want to brush an egg wash over the top of the crust before baking. Also, don’t forget to sprinkle some sugar on top as well, it does make a difference.
I also found this really great post that breaks down the different methods for getting a perfect golden finish!
I can’t get my crust into the pan without it breaking. This can be tricky, but the best way to get a pie crust into the pan is to place your rolling pin on top, and carefully roll the crust up over the rolling pin. Gently lift it over the pie dish, and carefully unroll the crust over the dish.
Another thing to remember is to bring the dish to the crust, not the other way around. You should only be lifting the crust a few inches, not trying to move it across the table or the room!
My crust is too soft/sticky. This could be due to one of two problems. The first being there is again too much water in the crust. And second is that the butter you used was too soft. While the butter doesn’t have to be ice cold in order to make a good crust, however butter that is way too soft, or almost melty is going to leave you with a crust that is way too soft/sticky.
If you think the crust is too soft/wet you can wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 15-30min. before rolling.
Things to make with The Best Homemade Pie Crust
The Best Homemade Pie Crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp cold butter cut into pieces
- 5-8 tbsp water
- In a bowl combine the flour and salt, and mix.
- Cut in the butter, and using your hands gently work the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs.
- Add the water, a little at a time, mixing with a fork until comes together in the center of the bowl. You want the dough to come together, but loosely. Pie crust isn't meant to smooth.
- Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to your desired thickness. This crust can be used for all your favorite fruit or custard pies!