How to Make a Basic Pie Crust

Take this crash course before you start your holiday baking.

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved


(Makes 2 crusts)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces

6 tablespoons ice water

Step 1

Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the shortening and process until it disappears into the flour, 30 seconds.

Photography by Andrew Purcell

Step 2

Add the butter to the food processor.

Step 3

Pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal with bean-size bits of butter, about 12 times.

Step 4

Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough starts coming together, but stop before it gathers into a ball. The dough should hold together when pinched.

Step 5

Divide between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pat each into a disk, using the plastic to help you. Wrap and chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Step 6

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round, rolling from the middle outward and turning the dough often to prevent sticking.

Step 7

Roll the dough back around the rolling pin and lift to transfer to the pie plate.

Step 8

Unroll the dough into a 9-inch pie plate; gently press into the pan.

How to Blind Bake

To prevent the crust of a pumpkin or other custard pie from getting soggy, you need to prebake, or blind bake, it before filling: Line the crust with foil, then fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 350 degrees F until the edge is lightly golden, 20 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake until dry and lightly golden all over, 15 more minutes. Let cool before filling.