If you struggle with making flaky pie crusts, try this no-fail pie crust recipe from Doreen. It uses a slurry technique try this recipe using a slurry. It gradually combines the flour and water into the butter to avoid over mixing. The result is a crumbly and flaky crust that’s ideal for people like me who always overwork the dough.
Doreen generously shared her home and no-fail pie crust recipe with the cooking meetup group I used to run. Her recipe has a different approach from traditional pie-making instructions that typically guide you to add water after cutting butter into the flour.
Doreen’s slurry approach allows you to avoid over mixing the dough the slurry typically has fewer uneven clumps. Plus, the slurry allows you to knead the dough less to combine the water, flour, and butter than typical recipes.
Tips For Success
- If you plan on baking pies with single crusts, cut the dough in half equally. If you plan on baking a pie with a bottom and top crust, divide the ball of dough so that one half is larger than the other.
- It is especially important to divide the pie dough unevenly if you plan to have a top and bottom crust AND you have a deep pie plate.
- I prefer glass pie plates because I like to see how brown and crispy the bottom crust is. You might prefer a metal or ceramic pie pan. But since I’ve switched to glass, I’ve never looked back.
- If the dough starts to stick to your rolling pin and pastry board, add more flour to the board and to the rolling pin. Or cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap to avoid the dough sticking the rolling pin and board.
RELATED: For tips on how to bake a pie when your kitchen is hot due to summer weather or an unexpected heat wave during Thanksgiving and Christmas, check out the tutorial How to Bake Pies When Your Kitchen Is Hot.
Sweet and Savory Pie Fillings
This pie crust recipe works for both sweet and savory pie fillings. You can use this pie crust recipe for fruit pies, such as cherry, apple, and berry pies. You can use this pie crust recipe for custard pies, such as pumpkin pie and lemon tarts. You can even use this pie crust recipe for French-style galettes and savory pies.
Check out this savory pie made from this pie crust recipe. It is filled with chopped prosciutto, crumbled goat cheese, and a white wine mushroom sauce. I brushed the crust with a beaten egg and sprinkled salt flake on top. I served the pie with arugula which was a complementary contrast to the savory pie with the flaky crust and rich, creamy filling.
- 2 cups Flour (Sifted)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup Water (Use ice water by dissolving ice cubes in a glass of water for 5 minutes.)
- 3/4 cup Butter (You can substitute shortening. Use the same amount.)
Prepare Pie Crust
- Sift flour and salt together. If you choose not to sift the flour, use a tablespoon to heap the flour loosely into the measuring cup from the flour bag. Avoid compressing the flour to keep it aerated.
- Take out 1/3 cup of the flour-salt mixture and place it into a new mixing bowl.
- Add the water to the 1/3 cup of flour-salt mixture. Stir the water into the flour-salt mixture until smooth or the lumps are minimal. You should have a flour-salt-water slurry.
- Cut the butter (or shortening) into the remaining flour-salt mixture. Use two butter knives to cut or a pastry blender to avoid overheating the butter.
- Add the flour-salt-water slurry into the flour-butter mixture one spoonful at a time. Mix it with a fork until the dough can be shaped into a ball. Avoid packing the flour. Avoid touching the dough with your hands.
- Cut the ball of dough into half.
- Roll each crust into a circular shape. Push from the center outwards. Check the dough continues to move as you roll it out. If it starts to stick, add more flour underneath and to the rolling pin. Or cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap to avoid the dough sticking the rolling pin.
- Lay the pie crust on the pie pan. Cut away the excess crust. Save it for decorations like lattice, hearts, or leaves. Put the pie pan and crust into the fridge for at least 15 minutes to give the crust a chance to cool down and harden before filling and baking.
- Bake at 425º F for 12-15 minutes if baking blind. I suggest dried beans or raw rice to weigh down your crust if you don't have pie weights.
- Or follow your pie recipe's instructions for how to bake. For a single crust with a custard filling like lemon tart, prick the dough thoroughly with a fork before putting in the oven.
- Enjoy your delicious pie!