Buttery Pie & Tart Crust

Pies and tarts are wonderful ways to use local, seasonal produce. This basic one-crust recipe makes a flaky yet buttery crust that works with either sweet or savory tarts and pies. For a double-crusted pie, simply double the recipe.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (for sweet pies and tarts only)
  • 1/8 tsp.salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz.) butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. ice water or ice-cold vodka

Preparation the Buttery Pie & Tart Crust:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar (if using), and salt. Drop the butter pieces into bowl.
  2. Use your fingers, a fork, a pastry cutter, or two knives to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal with stray pea-size pieces of butter in it.
  3. Pour 2 Tbsp. of ice water or chilled vodka (see why vodka makes flaky crusts) over the mixture and stir until it comes together (add another Tbsp. of water or vodka if it remains too dry to pull into a dough).
  4. Turn the mixture onto a well-floured work surface. Knead it once or twice to create a ball of dough. Pat the dough into a disk shape, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
  5. Place the disk of dough on a well-floured surface and roll into an 11- to 12-inch circle, turning the dough 90° between each pass of the rolling pin to make sure it doesn’t stick (lift the dough and re-flour surface if the dough starts to stick at all).
  6. Fold the dough in half over the rolling pin. Use the pin to lift the dough half-way over a pie plate or tart pan. Let the dough drop into pan (if you push or force it into place it will only shrink back to its original shape when baked). Cover and chill until ready to use.