Perfect Pie Crust

Perfect Pie Crust

The secret to a perfect pie is a perfect pie crust and last month in the Smucker’s test kitchen I learned the secret.

Actually I already knew the secret, but I wasn’t following through with the entire process. I tried it the “Smucker’s” way and ended up with a delicious flaky pie crust that rolled out easily and baked perfectly.

The secret….


To make a perfect pie crust you’ll want all your ingredients to be cold. Most pie crusts are made up of a fat (butter, shortening or lard), flour, salt, and water.

You’ll want your fat, flour and water to be as cold as possible. This means chilling your shortening or lard and not softening your butter!

And, use a pastry blender (they look like this) to mix together your salt, flour and fat.

Perfect Pie Crust

This recipe is for a double pie crust.


  • 3 cups cold flour
  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening or 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons of ice cold water


  1. Chill your shortening or lard and do not soften your butter.
  2. Once your fat is cold, cut it into pieces and add to your cold flour.
  3. Use a pastry blender to mix together your salt, flour and fat.
  4. You don’t want to overmix your pie crust. You just want to blend the flour with the fat until you have small and medium size “pebbles.”
  5. Then slowly add your ice cold water and mix together with a fork, you might not use all of your water, it just depends on the type of flour you are using.
  6. If your pie crust looks like this you’ve added too much water and mixed too long.
  7. You want to be able to see the chunks of butter or shortening in your mixture when you refrigerate it.
  8. Do not mix it completely.
  9. When the dough can be formed into a ball by pressing it together make a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
  10. Let it sit in the fridge for at least three hours. This gives fat a chance to bond with the flour, making a delicious crust when you are finished.
  11. After you have chilled the dough, roll it out and bake per the directions on your pie recipe.



Some of my favorite Pie Recipes:

See all of The Happy Housewife’s Kitchen Tips & Recipes here!


  1. Ok, you’ve convinced me to try it. I’ve tried amazing crusts and then I’ve had crusts that taste like flour and water mixed together LOL.

  2. I am always on the hunt for the perfect pie crest I will be trying this one soon!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. my mom made a hot water pie crust and that is the one I like. The only problem is I don’t have the recipe : (

  4. My mom also had a hot water recipe, but I like the cold one better. It’s THE way. 😉 Pamela, I don’t know if it’s the same one your mom had, but here’s the one mine did:

    1 1/2 cups butter or shortening
    1/2 cup boiling water
    2 Tablespoons milk
    4 cups flour
    2 teaspoons salt

    Stir shortening, water & milk together until it looks like whipped cream. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time, mixing well. When all blended, divide into 3-4 pieces, roll out between wax paper sheets, bake pie.

    Blessings to you Happy, love your site!

  5. I agree–keeping everything Cold is essential to the Perfect Crust! I use my grandmother’s recipe {hers has an ingredient in it that I NEVER would have thought!} that originally called for Shortening. I substituted in butter–and it’s oh so good! Store bought doesn’t even compare. Now–if I could just get all the fancy edges down! 🙂

  6. Is this recipe for a double pie crust?

  7. My Nana told me to always add 1 tsp – 1 tbsp vinegar to a pie crust…not sure the purpose of that lol, but it always makes a tasty flaky pie crust! Her recipe is very similar to the one you posted, but she used an egg also.

  8. Too funny…it’s the never-ending debate: hot vs. cold? My mom taught me how her mom taught her, and that’s using nothing chilled and boiling water! I’ve never had problems with my pie crust, and in fact the time or two that I had to refrigerate my dough to save for later, it doesn’t roll out smoothly and ends up crumbling apart…can we say ‘nightmare’?!? To each her own! 🙂

    I’m not sure if I’ve commented here before, but just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your posts!

  9. Can you make this crust and let it chill overnight in the fridge and then roll it out, etc.? Trying to save time on my already packed tomorrow!! Thanks!

  10. i use a box pie crust and it is pretty good but wanted to try a home made crust. first one i made up i thought i had enough water but when i went to roll out it crumbled, so i rolled it out as best i could and buttered it and added sugar and cin. was pretty good. the second one was ok for rolling i chilled the dough for about 3 hrs. i was making single crust pie it said bake for 10 minutes it wasn’t real brown but i thought it was ok but it tasted like flour and didn’t think it had enough salt just wasn’t good i have read all the other post and it seems most of what they are saying i did any other suggestions

  11. I want a healthy version, can i use whole wheat, canola oil in place of butter

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