7 Perfect Single Pie Crust 101

Are you pie crust challenged?  If so, this is the post for you!  I grew up watching my mom make pies and catching the scraps of pie dough that fell.  Any scraps of pie dough were quickly made into my  pie crust cookies, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

I love requests.  A reader recently requested a tutorial on how to make things round, like tortillas and pie crust.

My mom always made pie crusts with a fork.  I tried to encourage her to use a pastry blender, but she kept telling me, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

Now I make pie crusts using a food processor.   Much easier and faster!  You'll have a pie crust in no time...

Put 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour and 1/4 t. salt.  I love using Real Salt.
 Add 1/3 c. vegetable shortening.

Check my post for easy ways to measure shortening ~

 Pulse until most of the mixture resembles cornmeal.
 Pour 4-5 T. of ice water through the feed tube while the processor is running.  Pastry dough likes to be cold.

Stop the processor as soon as all the water is added.
The dough should quickly come to a ball.  If you have a large 6 c. processor, it may not form a ball.  Take a small clump of dough and squeeze it lightly in your fist, if it stays together, you are fine.  If it crumbles, add a little more water.

Notice that there are a few pieces of dough that remain on the bottom.

That's okay.

If you pulse it any more, you risk over-mixing the dough and creating a tough, dense pie dough.

 On a piece of plastic wrap, use your hands to flatten the dough into a disk about 6" across.

Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for an hour.

Remember, pastry dough likes to be cold.
 Take the dough out of the fridge and put it on a lightly floured surface.
 Lightly sprinkle some flour on top.
Using a rolling pin, start in the center of your dough and roll up and out toward the edge.

Start in the center again and roll down and out.

 This is what you should have...

a slightly oval piece of pie dough.
 Pick up the dough and give it a quarter turn.

If it sticks to the counter, move the dough across the flour that is already on the counter.
Repeat the rolling process; center....up/out.  Center, down/out.

Quarter turn.  Repeat.  Flour rolling pin if necessary.

You should now have a pie crust approximately 12" across.

Don't worry about the edges not being perfect.

We'll fix that later.

Loosely roll the pastry around the rolling pin...
and un-roll it over the pie plate*.

*Glass or dull metal pie plates are the best for a evenly browned bottom pie crust.  Shiny metal pans will make your crust soggy.
Lift up the edge of the pie crust with one hand and use the other to gently "tuck" it into the inside of the pie plate.  Doing this will help ease the dough into the plate without stretching or tearing it.
Trim the pastry 1/2" from the edge, using a table knife...

or kitchen scissors...Now why didn't I think of that earlier?

I'm trying to teach this old dog new tricks!

Trim all the way around.

Loosely roll the scraps, cover with plastic wrap and put back into the fridge.  Save for a smaller pie, cut-outs for the top of your pie, or make pie crust cookies.
Fold the excess pastry under, even with the plate's rim...

and push down gently to seal.

Continue all the way around.
 To create a fluted edge, place two fingers inside the pastry and press the dough in with a finger from your other hand, using a lifting up motion.
Continue all the way around.

Cover your crust with plastic wrap and set in the fridge until ready to be filled and baked.

This will be filled with fresh pumpkin pie filling.  Not from a can.  Stay tuned for the recipe/tutorial!

What is your favorite pie?
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Single Pie Crust 


1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. vegetable shortening
4-5 T. ice cold water
Stir together flour and salt.  Add shortening.  Use a fork, pastry blender, or food processor till pieces resemble cornmeal.
Sprinkle 1 T. of ice water over dough and gently mix with a fork.  Repeat moistening dough, 1 T. of water at a time.
If using food processor, pour ice water through feed tube while processor is on till the dough forms a ball. Turn off processor.
Flatten dough into a 6” disk and cover completely with plastic wrap.  Put into fridge to chill for one hour.
Shape and bake as directed in individual recipe.


  1. Mmm...classic apple, dutch apple, or pumpkin pie. Or lemon meringue. Gee, didn't think I was a big pie lover. Guess I am!

    Thanks for all of your suggestions and tips. I will give it a try!

  2. Thanks so much, Frieda! That was very helpful for me!

  3. You make it look so effortless and easy Frieda. I suppose I need to try ONE MORE TIME to see if I can do this.

  4. Great tutorial! I have to try to make pies again. My favorite pie is Lemon Meringue Pie.

  5. Your crust looks so beautiful! Hopefully mine will come at least close to looking like yours. :)

  6. Again I have learned from the master (psst - that's you). :) I'm making 2 quiches tomorrow morning and just made two pie crusts. If only mine turned out as lovely as yours!! I guess I'll have to start making more pies! :)

    1. I know your pies will turn out great! Now you've made me hungry for quiche!


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