Desserts | November 13, 2019

Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust

Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust is absolutely the most simple pie crust recipe ever! I have been making pie crust for over 35 years. I’ve made hundreds of pies, and this recipe is hands down the best AND easiest pie crust on the planet. With a few ingredients, you will become a pie crust master. Also included in this recipe is my tried and true method for making no-shrink blind baked pie crust!
This post has been updated from the original post published in 2008. I’ve included directions and alterations to the original recipe for successful blind baking pie crust.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
Pie crust should be a simple thing. This recipe for best Flaky Pie Crust is just four ingredients and a few short minutes to make. All purpose flour, shortening, salt and water. That’s it! No vinegar, egg, or sugar in this recipe. I think you’ll find, as I did many years ago, this is the last pie crust recipe you will ever need.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust

Follow the steps…

Pie crust is easy if you follow a few simple steps

-I suggest always gathering ingredients before you start. No one wants to make pie filling, heat up the oven and then find out they have zero flour in the house! Gather first, then bake.

-Use Crisco for baking, I like half regular flavor and half butter flavor (not butter, just Butter Flavor Crisco) for the flakiest crust ever. If you want your crust to taste like Grandma’s- use shortening!

-Follow the recipe directions exactly.

-If you are blind baking, preheat the oven at least 15 ( I strongly suggest 30) minutes before placing the pie into the oven. Make the pie pastry, turn on the oven, and then place the formed pie crust into the refrigerator 45 minutes, or freezer for 30 minutes.
-Always place the oven rack on the lowest setting in the oven! Bottom shelf is best. If you are blind baking (single crust, no filling bake on center shelf).
Follow along for step by step instructions:
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
Four simple ingredients: Flour, shortening, salt, water.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
Place flour, salt and shortening in a bowl.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
Cut the shortening into the flour see recipe notes for instructions…
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
The shortening should be the size of small pebbles when done. This takes about 20-30 seconds!

Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust

Add cold water all at once.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
Fold water into ingredients in bowl. Do not over mix.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
 Split the dough into two pieces, Roll out half to 1/8 inch thickness.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
Place the pie plate on top of the dough, the edge of the dough should extend about 2-2 1/2 inches beyond the edge of the pie plate.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
 Fold the dough in half…
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
 Lift the dough and place onto the pie plate.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
 Gently press the edges of the dough into the pie plate.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
Shape the edges of the crust as desired, make sure to prick the dough with a fork if blind baking the crust to prevent bubbling of the pastry! That’s it! See how simple it is to make a single blind baked crust? Make sure to follow recipe instructions for refrigeration, heating up oven and reducing the amount of shortening if you blind bake and don’t fill the crust before baking!
A couple more tips and suggestions before you start!

Practice time

Pie crust is best when it is not overhanded. Resist the urge to pat down, reshape, touch excessively. It’s okay if your crust looks a little “rustic”! A tender and flaky rustic crust  is better than a tough picture perfect crust! If you are nervous about shaping and handling crust, make a 1/2 batch to test and practice… make it, shape it, roll out and place in a pan to practice forming edges of crust. It won’t cost much to make a practice batch, and you’ll have a chance to shape and re-shape when you’re making Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust. Kids love working with dough, make a batch and work along side them as you learn!
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust

Tools of the trade

Here are a few of my favorite tools for making pie crust and pies:
The most amazing and affordable  apple peeler, corer, slicer  will make your life so much easier when you have to make an apple pie!  I’ve had mine for years. Won’t make apple pie without it!
Pastry mat– not necessary, but so convenient to roll up, shake out in garbage and then wash. The mat pictured below is no longer available.
Rolling pin, this one is my favorite. Great control, easy to handle and store. It’s wood, so always wash by hand!
Pastry cutter– So easy to use. So easy to throw in dishwasher when done.
Favorite glass pie plates, I like these for single crust pies (custard, fresh fruit etc), and these for deep dish pies, such as our favorite Cranberry Apple Pie.
Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust
4.53 from 17 votes
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Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust

Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword crust, pie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
preheat oven 15-30 minutes 30 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 8
Author abountifulkitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour all purpose
  • 1 teaspoon salt I like sea salt 
  • 1 cup shortening less for single blind baked crust, see recipe notes**
  • ½ cup very cold water more may be needed*

Instructions

  1. Mix flour and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or knives using a cutting motion, no stirring, only a short cutting motion to form small pebble like pieces with flour, shortening and salt. 
  3. Add 1/2 cup water all at once. 
  4. Fold ingredients with fork until flour is absorbed and dough comes together. If needed, add more cold water, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough resembles something similar to biscuit dough. It should be damp, but not sticky. Do not add too much water.
  5. Divide dough in half for two pie crusts. The dough should be soft and not sticky. If sticky, roll in a bit of flour. 
  6. Flour surface and rolling pin well. I use about 1/4 or more cups of flour on surface and spread in circle. Keep the rolling pin floured. 
  7. Flatten dough with hand to make round disc shape.
  8. Roll out from center to about 1/8” thickness. Place the pie plate on top of the dough. The dough should be rolled out approximately 2 1/2  inches past the edge of the pie plate, to allow for the dough to sink into the corner of the pie plate, and also extend over the edge of the plate so an outer crust is easily formed. 
  9. Fold dough in half, lift onto pie plate.
  10. Open and shape to pan, make sure to gently press the pastry into the corner of the pie plate. 
  11. Cut off excess dough if making a single pie crust. If making a pie to be baked with filling, fill the pie shell, top with crust if desired (if making apple or other fruit pies). Follow pie recipe directions. 

If baking for single crust pie, follow directions below for Single Blind Baked Crust.

To bake a single crust:

  1. Alter the recipe above to use 5-6 tablespoons of Crisco, instead of 8 tablespoons. This will help your crust to stay in place and not shrink! The crust will still be flaky and easy to handle, but your shrinkage will be less. 

  2. It is important when baking a single crust to form the edges of the pie to the very edge of the pie plate. Do not skimp on dough on the edge of the crust. You want to have a thick layer of crust in order to prevent shrinkage. I sometimes use about 3/4 of the crust recipe for a single pie crust if I want to make a crust with a pronounced edge. 
  3. Poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust to prevent bubbles from forming in crust. 
  4. Turn oven to 500 degrees. Yes, 500! The oven should be very hot when you place the crust into the oven. Preheat for at least 15 minutes. (I like to preheat for 30 minutes). 
  5. Place the formed pie shell into your refrigerator (or better yet freezer) for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  6. After the crust has been refrigerated or placed in freezer,  bake for 7-10 minutes in preheated oven on CENTER rack. I bake on center rack for a single crust.

  7. Keep an eye on your crust through the window in your oven( if you have one) after about the 5-6 minute mark. The crust is done in about 8 minutes in my oven if I am baking two single crusts at once. Baking time will vary depending on the oven. YOu may need a little more or less baking time.

  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely after baking. This crust will stay fresh for 2 days on the countertop in a dry climate.

Recipe Notes

-Dough will be easier to handle if chilled for an hour or so if you are a beginner baker. Not necessary, but it may help in handling of dough.

-Try rolling the dough around the rolling pin and then unrolling right onto the plate.

-I always use  ½ regular and ½ Butter Flavor Crisco. Note this is not butter, Butter Flavor Crisco. 

-Some people like to “cut” the flour in with their fingers.

-Don’t cut the flour and shortening too much, the pieces of shortening are what make the crust flaky.

-If your pie is getting too brown on the edges, take a piece of foil, fold in half to make a square then cut a half circle out of the middle. Unfold and put over your pie.

-Brush beaten egg or egg white over your pie dough before filling with pumpkin to avoid soggy crust.

-Preheating the oven is essential when blind baking. The oven is ready for baking when the oven is heated to 500 degrees for over 15 minutes after reaching temperature. 

-The amount of water will vary in they recipe depending on many factors: the brand of flour used, the type of shortening, the temperature of your kitchen, the bowl used for mixing, the water temperature and how you mix in the water after the shortening has been cut into the four. You may need additional water. Add a little at a time, making sure to never stir, use a folding motion when adding water. 

-This recipe freezes well. You may roll out the dough onto pie plate and freeze immediately. Wrap with a piece of parchment paper on top of pie crust, then use Saran Wrap or slip pie plate into a large ziplock bag. When ready to use, do not thaw, just fill and bake or blind bake. You may also bake the pie crust, let cool completely and freeze. When ready to fill, let thaw and fill. 

-You may freeze crust after wrapping into single crust portions. When I make a batch of dough, I split in half and make a disc shape, then wrap in Saran Wrap tightly. When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator or on counter top for about an hour. Roll out and bake as directed. 

-I highly recommend glass Pyrex pans for baking, especially for beginner bakers. The glass makes it easy to see when the bottom crust is browned. The exception to this is if you are freezing a pie completely, and then baking. I highly recommend using a good quality metal pie plate when freezing pies. 

61 thoughts on “Best Basic Flaky Pie Crust and No-Shrink Blind Bake Pie Crust

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  1. I tried this and it worked pretty well. I made a quiche with it. My custard mixture leaked through to the bottom of the pie plate . . . any thoughts on how to prevent that?

    1. Beth,
      Make sure you don’t roll the pastry too thin. I haven’t had that issue with quiche! Also make sure there are no tears or holes in the crust before filling!
      xo
      Si

  2. Another question about the temp of the oven, sorry! So once my oven reaches 500 do I leave it at 500 while the pie is baking? Or do I turn the oven off once it reaches 500 then put the pie in?

  3. Hi Si,

    I adore all of your pies! I’m anxious to make my first one for Thanksgiving. Your Apple pie recipe has me smitten! Would this work for your Apple pie recipe (with the big lattice crust top) xoxo

  4. Hey Kacie- I believe what you are seeing is the butter flavored Crisco – she used half regular flavor and half butter flavored Crisco.

  5. 5 stars
    Great pie crust, and I like using the half butter flavored and half regular Crisco. I’m using this recipe for your apple cranberry pie tomorrow!

  6. Your recipe says 1 cup shortening and you later reference 6-8 tablespoons depending on the pie you’re making. I’m confused because there are 16 T in one Crisco stick and one stick is one cup. So which is it? 1 cup or 6 T?

    1. Jenny,
      The recipe posted will make two crusts. I use 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) each of butter flavored Crisco and regular Crisco for the recipe.
      If you would like to make a single crust, the ingredients would be halved- except for the Crisco. I reduce the Crisco to 6 Tbsp and not 8 Tbsp.
      I love how easy this crust is to work with. Give it a try!
      XO,
      Si

    1. Rebecca,
      yes, you can make ahead and either roll out into the pie plates and freeze or simply put the dough into disc shapes and wrap tightly and freeze. When ready to use, thaw and bake.
      thanks for reading ABK!
      xo
      Si

    1. Hi Emrey, you can refrigerate the dough 24 hours in advance. That won’t effect the crust at all. Thanks for asking!
      xo
      Si

  7. 5 stars
    I am no pro at making pie crust but all of your tips make it pretty darn easy! I love the texture and flavor that the crisco gives the crust!

  8. She is the queen of pie crusts! Still need to practice to make mine look as beautiful as hers, but I don’t think anyone will complain having more pie around! Thanks for sharing your talent

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve been using the same Betty Crocker pie crust recipe since I was a teenager- until two Thanksgivings ago when I tried yours! I trusted it because I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried from your site. This pie crust was just as flaky but way easier to work with, and held it’s shape much better, so it looked prettier. Another incredible ABK recipe for the books!

  10. 5 stars
    I was so nervous to make my first pie, but this made it incredibly easy. I even cheated a bit by using a food processor and it turned out great!

  11. 5 stars
    Sometime in the 80’s, one of the local Salt Lake stations did a segment on making pie crusts and this was the exact recipe they used. It was my go-to recipe ever after until they changed the formula on Crisco and the Butter flavor was too strong (I used all Butter flavor originally). Using half regular and half butter is genius. I can use this recipe again! Love your website. Very well done!

  12. Your tip to use 3/4 of the recipe for single crust converted my from a pie crust buyer to a ie crust maker….finally!!! Thank you!

  13. I’m wondering about putting a glass pie plate that has been chilling in the fridge or freezer into a 500 degree oven…how do you avoid having the glass shatter/break?

    1. Hi Dani, if you have a Pyrex pie plate or oven safe one, you shouldn’t have to worry about the glass breaking. Thanks for asking!
      xo
      Si

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I do have Pyrex, but always thought you couldn’t put any cold glass dish in a hot oven. Good to know!

        1. Dani,
          I want to clarify this. If you are freezing for a long period of time, you should use a metal pan instead of a glass pie plate. When I place a crust into the freezer to just firm up the crust, for 30-60 minutes, I don’t worry about the pie plate shattering. If you are freezing for a few hours, it is best to use a metal pan!

  14. 5 stars
    I know it will be a great pie crust because I use the same recipe w/o the salt & have been since 1972, when I was given this recipe when I was up in AK. So… here’s the deal, when I use a glass pie plate the crust slides down the sides BEFORE I can put in the filling… think of satin sliding off the ironing board or the sewing machine table… forget the “shrinking” stuff… that is not my issue. Not an issue w/metal plates but since the metal quality being used today seems to be questionable (discoloration & etc.), I want to go to glass or ceramic. Am I the only person this is happening to?? Has no one else had this problem or do they know the “trick to make it stick”? I am so frustrated!! Please, can you help?

  15. 5 stars
    I have tried soooo many pie crust recipes, but have never found one that holds its shape during a blind bake. This is the first one that is truly failproof! It was very easy, tasted delicious, and looked as perfect coming out of the oven as it did going in. Thank you for sharing!

  16. 5 stars
    Making pie crust always intimidated me until I found this recipe. Only 3 ingredients and with the step by step pictures with tips, it made the process easy and yummy. I usually make this crust when I’m making apple pie but I’ve also made it when making a cream pie. Just be sure to follow the tips because the first time I made single blind bake crust I made it the same way I made the filled pie crust and my crust shrunk some. After following the tips, I haven’t had anymore problems.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Rachael! And the tips are what really make this pie crust turn out really well. Thanks for sharing,
      xo
      Si

  17. 5 stars
    I finally made a successful pie crust! Thank you so much for this recipe—I had almost given up on making homemade pie crust. The dough was so easy to work with and tasted so good with the butter flavored Crisco.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that, Sara! Pie crusts can be difficult but my goal was to make this method easy and fool-proof. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,
      xo
      Si

  18. 5 stars
    This recipe is so yummy! The crust is easy to make! It rolls out nicely and makes the most moist, flakey crust! We used to use a food processor which I believe makes it more tough compared to the way this one is done! It’s truly so good if you make sure not to work the dough too much and follow the recipe!

    1. I agree, Noel, one of the biggest mistakes I see is over-working the dough, especially if you use a food processor. Thanks so much for sharing!
      xo
      Si

  19. 5 stars
    I used this recipe using my food processor and it turned out perfect! Best pie crust I’ve ever made. Super easy and the dough was easy to work with. It’ll be my go to recipe from now on!!

  20. 5 stars
    I have to say I have worked with MANY different pie crust recipes over the years and this is officially my go to crust!! It was so beautiful to put together, soft and felt lighter than most. The trick is to just be gentle don’t be in a hurry, I used this for my pumpkin pie that I make during the holidays and I added maple syrup to my egg wash and it added something extra that was amazing to it! I highly recommend this!

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