Butter Pie Crust
Making your own Butter Pie Crust at home that’s flaky, buttery, and tender is so easy! My delicious recipe will have you baking a light, strong but perfectly delicious pie crust that you can use for both savory and sweet pies.
In this recipe, I’ll walk you through all the steps in a simple and easy to understand masterclass. Things like how to make the dough, roll it, shape it, blind bake it. Once you try making your own butter pie crust and realise how delicious it is, you’ll never buy store bought again!
Use this recipe to make large pies, with or without those fancy lattice lids or to make mini pies!
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Why you should make Butter Pie Crust at home
There are so many things to love about this Butter Pie Crust recipe. I think the biggest thing is the flavor!
- Flavor – It’s buttery like puff pastry. And that’s because one of the main ingredients is butter. It adds flavor but also helps make this an incredibly light, flaky and delicious pie crust that elevates any filling you decide to put inside it!
- Versatility – this recipe can be used in so many ways. It yields two 22cm / 9-inch pie bases or one pie base with a lid. It can also be used to make mini pies!
The two baking stages
There are two baking stages in this recipe and each do two very different yet equally important things. Let’s break it down.
Bake #1: Bind Baking
This is the first time you bake your pie. Blind baking your pie involves placing a sheet of baking paper in your pie followed by a sheet of aluminum foil which you then fill with baking beads or dried beans. This helps weight down your pie dough so that it doesn’t puff up in odd bubble shapes as you bake it. Once baked, you carefully take out the baking beads by lifting from the baking paper and foil. At this stage your pie is ready for wet fillings, or fillings that need additional baking.
Bake #2: Fully Baked
Baking your pie a second time until it’s fully baked is ideal for filling that don’t need additional baking. At this stage, I would recommend wrapping the rim of your pie with foil to stop it from burning as it bakes. You’ll be left with a perfectly golden pie crust.
Ingredients You Need To Make Butter Pie Crust
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.Jump to Recipe
This recipe has just 5 ingredients!
- All-purpose flour – also known as plain flour.
- Sugar – I used caster sugar, also known as superfine sugar. But you can use granulated sugar instead. The sugar in this recipe is completely optional. If you’re making something like a savory quiche, you can leave the sugar out if you wish.
- Salt – I used fine salt
- Butter – I used unsalted butter. If using salted butter, leave the salt in the recipe out. Make sure your salt is cold! Straight out of the fridge. Cut it into cubes and place it in the fridge before using.
- Iced water – make sure your water is iced. How much water you end up using in this recipe depends on the texture. The pie crust will look crumbly, but will form a rollable dough texture after resting in the fridge. Before it rests in the fridge, squeeze some in your hands and if comes together without crumbling it’s good to go. If it’s really crumbly add another 1 – 2 tbsp of iced water.
How to make Butter Pie Crust!
Making by hand
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
- Add butter
- Rub into the dough
- Until you reach flaky butter pieces
- Add water and mix
- If it comes together in your hands and forms a dough it’s done.
- Bunch together and form two discs – this recipe makes two pie bases.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 2 hours.
Making with machine
- Add dry ingredients to bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add half the butter
- Pulse until you reach fine crumbs
- Add remaining butter and pulse until you have pea sized pieces of butter.
- Add water and pulse a couple times
- Bunch together on workbench. Form two discs, wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Rolling out the dough
- Dust workbench with flour. Roll out dough
- Pinch together any cracks that form
- Roll out to a disc shap
- Roll around rolling pin
- Unroll over 9-inch pie dish
- Lift to get to bottom of dish – DO NOT STRETCH!
- Cut away excess dough
- Fold under itself at the top
- Pinch decoration using three finger method
- Freeze 10-15 minutes.
BAKE #1 – Blind Baking
- Line frozen pie with baking paper
- And aluminum foil
- Fill with baking beads or dried legumes.
- Bake for 15 minutes on 170C / 325F.
- Take beads out
- Bake for further 5 minutes until golden. Allow to cool before filling.
BAKE #2 – Fully baking your pie
- Brush with egg wash
- Prick with fork
- Cover top rim with foil
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and use for no-bake pie recipes.
All My Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
Ok, I have loads of tips and tricks for making the perfect Butter Pie Crust. Have a read through and keep them in mind when making your own pie!
Use a scale to measure out the ingredients!
This is something I recommend for all of my baking recipes on the blog, but for some recipes it is especially important to achieve the very best results because weight measurements are way more accurate and yield consistent results than using cup measurements.
Keep your butter and water ice cold!
Using cold butter is important because it let’s your butter stay in larger chunks and not completely disintegrate into the flour. Larger chunks of butter in your dough means they will melt away as the pir crust bakes leaving your pockets of air which means light and flaky pie crust! The cold water helps keep the butter cold.
Don’t overwork your dough.
This can cause so many problems, mainly the dough shrinking as it bakes making your pie look really messy. It will also result in a tough crust.. The best way to avoid this is to have a no-knead rule. Instead bunch your crumbly and freshly made dough together to form two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and let the resting period work its magic!
Give your pie crust enough time to rest!
Once you’ve made your pie dough, it’s going to be really crumbly. Impossible to roll right? Well giving it enough time to roll does a couple things. It helps the wet and dry ingredients get to know each other as they chill, making your dough easier to roll out. It also cools the dough down again, making it easier to roll out and keep the butter in it’s chunk state rather than mushing and mixing in with the dough. Those butter flakes are important to getting flaky pie crust!
Chill your Pie in the pan before baking or filling your pie.
This will insure that the butter melts slowly as the pie bakes, giving you little pockets of air = flaky pie crust
Make sure your rolling surface is well floured
This will stop your pie dough from sticking to your work bench. While you’re at it, flour your rolling pin!
Use a pie shield to prevent your pie from burning.
If you’re fully baking your pie, I would highly recommend using a long piece of foil to gently wrap around the top rim of your pie crust. This will help prevent your pie crust from burning when adding wet fillings that need a long time to bake in your pie crust.
Frequently Asked Questions about making Pie Crust
What does it taste like?
This pie crust is buttery, light and delicious! Think puff pastry!
How do I store this?
- Pie dough – wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to two weeks!
- Pre-baked pie – cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking.
- Baked pie – can be covered in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I use this for small pies?
Yes! Roll out to the same size and use a round cookie cutter to cut out slightly larger pie discs than your baking dish or muffin tray. You blind bake and fully bake the same time as if you were baking a large pie.
Can I halve this recipe?
Yep, but making this full recipe and storing the second dough discs in the freezer is such a time saver. Especially during the holiday period when pie baking is a high priority!
Can I use vegetable shortening?
Yep, you can replace the butter with the same amount of shortening, but I would highly recommend using butter instead of shortening as it tastes better.
Why don’t you use vodka in your pie crust?
I did originally, and it does serve a purpose. But to me, and this is my personal opinion, it doesn’t make a huge difference to the end result of how flaky your pie crust is when baked.
Can I make this a chocolate pie crust?
Yep! Simple add two tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder in with the dry ingredients. I would also recommend adding an extra tbsp. of sugar.
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Butter Pie Crust
- 2 1/4 cups (380 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar optional
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (250 g) unsalted butter chilled and cubed
- 1/3 cup (4-6 tbsp) iced water see notes
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp milk
Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]
A quick note on this recipe
- Although this recipe looks long and complex, it’s quite simple to make. There’s a lot of info in here on getting the best results, which after making this once, you’ll already be aware of and will make this recipe even easier to make! Let’s begin!
Making pie crust by hand
- Add flour, sugar (optional) and salt into a medium sized bowl and mix together using a whisk.
- Add the chilled butter. Use your hands to rub into the flour until the mixture has different sized flat pieces of flour coated butter. The key here is to work quickly and not overwork the dough. This will overwork the gluten causing the crust to shrink when you bake it.
- Add 4 tbsp of the iced water mixture into the flour mixture and work it into the dough. If you can squeeze some of the dough mixture in your hand and it comes together without crumbling, it’s ready to go in the fridge. If it’s still too crumbly, add another tablespoon of iced water until it forms a dough when squeezed.
Chilling your dough
- Pour the crumbly mixture onto your work bench. Bunch the dough together to form a disc. Don’t knead it. It looks crumbly right now but it will come together as it rests in the fridge. Cut into 2 pieces and form into discs again. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
Making pie crust using a food processor
- Add the flour, sugar (optional) and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Then add half of the cold butter and pulse (about 19 - 20 times) until the butter is the size of lentils. Add the remaining butter and pulse 2-3 times until the butter resembles blueberry sized pieces. Add 4 tbsp of iced water mixture while pulsing the mixer. Same deal here, if you can squeeze some of the dough mixture in your hand and it comes together without crumbling, it’s ready to go in the fridge. If it’s still too crumbly, add another tablespoon of iced water until it forms a dough when squeezed.
Rolling out your dough
- For this recipe you can either use a 9-inch, deep glass or metal pie plate or a 9-inch, deep tart tin with removable bottom. If you’re using a tart tin with removable bottom, you’ll need to place it on a baking tray when baking.
- Once your dough has chilled take it out of the fridge and unwrap it. Allow it to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour on your work bench and use a rolling pin to slowly roll out the dough. If cracks form around the edges, pinch them together. Continue flipping the dough over and around as you roll it to ensure it’s all one even thickness. This will also help it roll out round. You want to roll it to about a 1/2 cm / 1/4-inch thickness. If you start to notice your dough is rolling to an odd shape, carefully tear off the odd bits and pinch onto a part that needs dough to form a more round disc shape.
- Sprinkle your rolling pin with a little flour and carefully drape the pastry dough over it to help you transfer it over your pie or tart tin.
- Carefully lift the edges and allow them to naturally fall into the edge and bottom of your tin. Do not stretch the dough to the bottom. It will cause your pie crust to shrink as it bakes. Cut off or fold the excess pie dough at the top leaving just a little bit of excess to go above the height of your pie tin. Press a fork around the top edges to crinkle the dough or use your thumb and fingers to form waves for a classic look. If using a tart tin, simply use a sharp knife to cut away excess pie dough.
Freezing Your Pie Before Baking
- Place your pie in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. This will allow it to bake even flakier!
BAKE 1 - Blind baking your pie
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 170C / 325F.
- Once frozen solid, take out of the freezer. To prevent your pie crust from bubbling up and causing an uneven bottom while baking you need to blind bake your pie crust first. This involves adding weights in the pie crust and baking it for a little bit before baking it without.
- Place some baking paper on the inside of your frozen pie crust. Add another layer of foil wrap on the inside and place it tightly around the inside of the baking paper. Fill it with baking beads or dried beans like red beans or chickpeas. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden.
- Once baked, take out of the oven, carefully lift out baking paper from the corners and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before filling.
BAKE 2 - Fully Baking Your Pie Crust
- Take the pie crust out of the oven and carefully lift the pie crust. Let your beads or beans cool completely before storing them in a container or zip lock back to use again. Brush the bottom and sides of the pie crust with egg wash. Egg wash can be made by whisking an egg and milk together. This will help seal up your pie crust to prevent wet fillings from leaking through the pie crust making it soggy. It will also give your pie a golden, glossy look once baked. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom of your pie crust. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden.