Flaky Pie Dough Recipe


This recipe makes enough dough for one 23 cm (9 inch) covered pie. If your pie only requires a bottom crust, use half this recipe. Note: for best results, make the full recipe. If only a single crust is required, make the full recipe and freeze half for later.

In contrast to bread, pie crust and other pastries should be made in a way that minimizes the development of gluten. Once the water has been added, the dough should be worked as little as possible, to minimize toughness in the finished crust.

Ingredientsflaky pie crust

  • 310 grams (2 1/2 cups) flour
  • 6 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) sugar (optional)
  • 225 grams (1 cup cold) butter
  • 95 ml (1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon) cold water


  1. Whisk flour, salt and sugar together in a deep bowl.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture.
  3. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces.
  4. Add cold water; cut the water into the flour-butter mixture with the edge of a rubber spatula until it is evenly moistened and will hold together when pressed.
  5. Form the dough into a ball with your hands, kneading in any loose flour. This should be done as quickly as possible to avoid melting the butter in the dough.
  6. Chill the dough for 10-20 minutes.
  7. Cut the dough evenly in half.
  8. On a lightly floured board, roll each half out until it will cover a 20 cm (9 inch) pie dish, with about 2 cm (3/4″ inch) overhang.


See the video

Pie doughs using all butter are delicious, but they often have a crumbly texture. To make a flakier crust, we’ve added a little shortening and lemon juice. Try it with your next apple pie.

What to buy: For some pie recipes, you’ll need pie weights to line the crust so that it doesn’t puff up while pre-baking. If you don’t have pie weights or forgot to get them, just use some dried beans.

Game plan: The dough can be made, tightly wrapped, and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.

If you need enough dough for both a bottom and upper crust, just double the recipe.

Making your pie dough from scratch is worth the extra effort. 

Flaky Pie Dough Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening, frozen and cut into small pieces
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the shortening and butter and toss with your fingers until well coated in the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients until reduced to pea-size pieces, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the ice water and the lemon juice and mix just until the dough comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if the dough is too dry, but don’t overwork the dough or it’ll become tough.)
  3. Form the dough into a flat disk. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling it out.

ound using a small amount of ice water, rolled out, then shaped and placed to create the top or bottom of a flan or pie. Ideally, equal amounts of butter and lard are used to make the pastry, ensuring that the ratio of the two fat products is half that of the flour. The butter is employed to give the pastry a rich flavor, whilst the lard ensures optimum texture.


In both sweetcrust and shortcrust pastry, care must be taken to ensure that fat and flour are blended thoroughly before liquid is added. This ensures that the flour granules are adequately coated with fat and are less likely to develop gluten and may be achieved with the use of a specialized kitchen utensil called a pastry blender, or through various alternatives, like a pair of table knives held in one hand.

Overworking the dough is also a hazard. Overworking elongates the gluten strands, creating a product that is tough, rather than light and crumbly or flaky.