Easy as Pie Crust

Yield: two 9-inch pie crusts

If you plan on only using one crust, simply wrap the second half in plastic wrap and freeze it until you are ready to use it.


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 5 tablespoons cold water


In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, salt, and chilled butter. Pulse to combine, leaving small pea-size chunks of butter in the mix. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water. Turn the processor on. Gradually add the 4th and 5th tablespoons of water, processing the dough until it hugs the sides of the bowl and rolls into a ball. Remove the dough from the processor to a well-floured surface. Divide the dough in half and proceed to roll it out for pie.

One key to a good pie crust is keeping the ingredients cold (in this case, butter and water). The small bits of butter in the dough melt in the heat of the oven, creating pockets of steam that turn into flaky layers. The other key to a good pie crust is to not over-work the dough, so once it comes together into a ball, stop the processor immediately. This recipe works well for both sweet and savory pies and tarts, and quiches too. Enjoy!

4 Responses to Easy as Pie Crust

  1. janice Curtin November 11, 2020 at 3:50 am #

    Do you ever find that you need to use a low protein flour for a flaky crust. I was finding my piecrust resembling bread dough, kind of chewy and gluteny, rather than flaky, until I changed the flour. I was doing everything else the same. I now check the protein levels in flour and sometimes use part pastry flour which is lower in protein and seems to help.
    just wondering what you know about that. Has flour changed?
    Also, i always use unbleached organic flour to avoid Roundup now sprayed on wheat. I wonder if it has more gluten.
    I would love to know your thoughts on the science.
    i am enjoying your recipes.

  2. Kristen Desmond November 11, 2020 at 8:28 am #

    Hi Janice! How nice to see you here 😉 I am a loyalist and have used King Arthur All Purpose Flour (about 11% protein) for years. When I stray, it’s with Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (9-11%), which I like because it’s whole wheat, but performs a lot like ap flour. Yes, I think some flours have changed over the years. I think some have gone towards using enzymes instead of malted barley in their flour-making process and I also think some added bromate. I have not personally noticed a change because I have not switched brands and King Arthur has been very reliable. Have you worked with either of these brands? Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Mary Crabbs November 11, 2020 at 10:28 am #

    I am a baker of breads and cookies on a regular basis. Used gold medal I bleached for years and switched to King Arthur about 3 years ago. Not going back.
    Enjoy your newsletter. Welcome back.
    Mary Crabbs. Mother to Kathleen

  4. Kristen Desmond November 13, 2020 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi Mary! Thanks for checking in. It’s nice to “see” you here 😉

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