No Fail Pie Crust Recipe with Butter

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Step by step guide for a no fail pie crust with butter and 3 simple ingredients. Perfect homemade crust for both sweet and savory recipes.

Pie crust recipe cards probably make up a good portion of many a grandmother's recipe box. While I used to wonder at the variety of pie crusts in my own grandma's recipe box, I think I understand now why she had so many.

no fail pie crust in glass pie plate on country blue striped white kitchen towel with rolling pin and green mixing bowl

There are so many different ways you can make a pie crust.

You can make it with oil, shortening, lard, or butter. Make it flaky, or you can make it crumbly.

You can make a no roll pie crust, or you can roll it out. You can even make a pie crust with pecans.

I think I understand now why Grandma had so many pie crust recipes. Maybe like me, it took her awhile to find or come up with just the right recipe. Or maybe it was the thrill of the hunt for an even more delicious recipe. Of course, it may've just had a little something to do with her love for trying new recipes.

For far too long, I've let pie crust intimidate me to the point that I hardly ever made pie. And if I did, I didn't roll it out; instead I opted for pressing it into the pie plate.

So I want to take you along on my journey and help you, as well. Let's kick intimidation to the curb and make a really delicious pie crust recipe with butter that you will want to use again and again for your favorite pie recipes.

Now keep in mind, my pie crust may not look perfect, but it sure is tasty; and really, that's all that matters.

slice of sweet potato pie with homemade pie crust and whipped cream on white plate with fork

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my baking tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the pie crust recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

MORE CRUST RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY:

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED FOR A NO FAIL PIE CRUST:

  • All-purpose flour – I've also made this a gluten-free pie crust with gluten-free flour.
  • Salt
  • Salted butter – You can use unsalted butter over salted because you're more able to control the amount of salt that goes into your pie crust. However, we like the flavor that salted butter gives to our pie crust.
  • Milk

Remember, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

homemade pie crust in glass pie plate on white marble countertop

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Glass Pie Plates – The pie plate I'm using for this recipe is my old faithful pie plate. I've had it forever, probably since we got married. Mine actually has the fluted edge sorta built in too, so we can press it in and get somewhat of a decorative edge without a lot of handiwork on our part.

Medium-Sized Mixing Bowl

Pastry Blender – Great for mixing together the flour mixture and butter. I use mine for making biscuits too.

Rolling Pin – A rolling pin is, to a baker, what a saw is to a carpenter.

Adjustable Pie Shield – Protects your pie crust from burning.

Kitchen Shears – Handy for trimming dough.

Leaf Cutters, Leaves and Acorn Cutters, Assorted Shapes Cutters, etc. – Give your pies a more decorative look.

HOW TO MAKE A PIE CRUST FROM SCRATCH

Making a good crust is actually a pretty simple process. While you can use shortening, or even part shortening part butter, I prefer to use butter both for the flavor and for the texture it gives the crust.

  1. First you want to mix together the flour and the salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Then slice the butter into the flour mixture.
  3. Next you need to cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs… Or you can use a food processor. I just keep things simple with a pastry blender.
  4. Then add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms together well, but isn't so wet that it's sticky. You don't want a crust that's too crumbly and hard to manage. So make sure you add enough liquid.
how to make a pie crust in a green bowl with flour, salt, butter, and milk, using a pastry blender or pastry cutter

Once you've got it mixed up, wrap your pie dough in plastic wrap at this time, and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

HOW TO ROLL OUT HOMEMADE PIE CRUST

Now you're ready to get out the rolling pin, and sprinkle a clean surface with a little bit of extra flour, so the dough won't stick to the surface.

  1. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin, equally rolling in all directions, 'til the dough is about 2 to 3 inches bigger around than your pie plate.
  2. If your pie plate is ready to go, fold the crust in quarters.
  3. Carefully place the dough in the pie plate, unfolding it to cover the entire plate.
  4. Smooth it out inside the pie plate, and then trim off any overhanging edges with kitchen shears or a knife. Be careful here: Leave enough dough (about 1/2 inch overlapping) so you can flute the edges of your crust.
how to roll out pie crust using rolling pin, then place it in glass pie plate and trim off the edges with kitchen shears

HOW TO FLUTE PIE CRUST

If you want a fluted edge, use your thumb and index finger, along with the tip of your opposite index finger, to flute or pinch the edge of the dough all around the pie plate.

how to flute pie crust or flute edges of pie, in glass pie plate, with fingers

Alternatively, you can press the dough to the rim of the pie plate, or you can add decorative pieces of crust you've cut out with a cookie cutter or other tool (like a leaf cutter for fall and Thanksgiving).

WAYS TO KEEP PIE CRUST FROM SHRINKING

Pie crust can tend to shrink, but there are ways you can keep this from happening.

  • Using cold ingredients helps a lot, the colder the better. So your butter and your milk should both be as ice cold as possible.
  • Chilling the pie dough makes a difference. You can chill it before rolling it out, which will also help to give it more of a flaky texture.
  • I also recommend chilling the dough before baking or adding any kind of filling to bake. Chilling helps reduce and/or eliminate shrinkage.

LET'S TALK ABOUT PIE WEIGHTS

If this is a single crust and you're blind baking it without filling, use a fork to prick holes all around the inside of the crust.

A lot of people mention using pie weights for this step, but you really don't need them. My mom taught me this little trick with the fork to keep the crust from bubbling up during baking.

It works just as well as pie weights, and you don't have to spend any money.

HOW TO BAKE YOUR CRUST

You'll need to bake the crust at 400° F for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the crust begins to turn golden. You'll likely bake for less time if making a gluten-free crust.

If you're baking the crust with filling, be sure to follow the exact instructions for that particular recipe.

perfect pie crust with sweet potato pie filling and whipped cream on white plate with fork

A FEW MORE TIPS…

  • If you want a double crust, you'll need to double the recipe. And you'll flute the edges after you add the top crust over your filling. You'll also need to vent the top crust by cutting slits in it. Then you'll bake it according to the instructions for the specific pie recipe you're making.
  • To protect your pie crust from burning while baking, you can use a pie shield to protect those raised edges of the crust that are more likely to burn before the rest of the pie is done.
  • You can chill your pie dough in the fridge for about 3 days before it'll start to go bad. So yes, you can make your crust ahead of time or the day before.
  • To make this a dairy-free pie crust, substitute shortening for the butter, and substitute ice water for the milk.
  • To make it a gluten-free pie crust, substitute a good gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour. And always check any other ingredients before adding. I recommend Authentic Foods Classical Blend for a roll-out pie crust (it's not always available thru Amazon, so I order directly from the company). If you want a press-in pie crust, their Multi-Blend Flour or Cup4Cup work just fine, but you may not be able to roll it out; I haven't tried making a pie crust with the multi-blend flour yet.
Butter pie crust in glass pie plate on blue striped white kitchen towel with wooden rolling pin and green mixing bowl

PIES YOU CAN MAKE WITH THIS CRUST:

If you’d love more holiday recipe inspiration, you may enjoy my list of Christmas Recipes for Your Holiday Celebrations.

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

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no fail pie crust recipe with butter

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Yield: 8

No Fail Pie Crust Recipe with Butter

No Fail Pie Crust Recipe with Butter

Step by step guide for a no fail pie crust with butter and 3 more ingredients. Perfect homemade crust for both sweet and savory recipes.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. First you want to mix together the flour and the salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Then slice the butter into the flour mixture.
  3. Next you need to cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs… Or you can use a food processor. I just keep things simple with a pastry blender.
  4. Then add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture forms together well, but isn't so wet that it's sticky. You don't want a crust that's too crumbly and hard to manage either. So make sure you add enough liquid.
  5. Once you've got it mixed up, wrap your pie dough in plastic wrap at this time, and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Once it's chilled, you're ready to get out the rolling pin, and sprinkle a clean surface with a little bit of extra flour, so the dough won't stick to the surface.
  7. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin, equally rolling in all directions, 'til the dough is about 2 to 3 inches bigger around than your pie plate.
  8. If your pie plate is ready to go, fold the crust in quarters.
  9. Carefully place the dough in the pie plate, unfolding it to cover the entire plate.
  10. Smooth it out inside the pie plate, and then trim off any overhanging edges with kitchen shears or a knife. Be careful here: Leave enough dough (about 1/2 inch overlapping) so you can flute the edges of your crust.
  11. If this is a single crust and you're blind baking it without filling, use a fork to prick holes all around the inside of the crust.
  12. If you want a fluted edge, use your thumb and index finger, along with the tip of your opposite index finger, to flute or pinch the edge of the dough all around the pie plate. Alternatively, you can press the dough to the rim of the pie plate, or you can add decorative pieces of crust you've cut out with a cookie cutter or other tool (like a leaf cutter for fall and Thanksgiving).
  13. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  14. Once it's chilled, pre-heat the oven to 400° F.
  15. Remove the crust from the fridge, uncover, and bake it at 400° F for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the crust begins to turn golden. You'll likely bake for less time if making a gluten-free crust. If you're baking the crust with filling, be sure to follow the exact instructions for that particular recipe.

Notes

*To make it a gluten-free pie crust, substitute a good gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour. And always check any other ingredients before adding. I recommend Authentic Foods Classical Blend for a roll-out pie crust (it's not always available thru Amazon, so I order directly from the company). If you want a press-in pie crust, their Multi-Blend Flour or Cup4Cup work just fine, but you may not be able to roll it out; I haven't tried making a pie crust with the multi-blend flour yet.

*You can use either salted or unsalted butter; we've used both. Using unsalted butter will give you more ability to control the amount of salt that goes into your pie crust, but we like the flavor that salted butter gives to our pie crust, so it's usually what we use.

*To make this a dairy-free pie crust, substitute shortening for the butter. And substitute ice water for the milk.

WAYS TO KEEP PIE CRUST FROM SHRINKING

Pie crust can tend to shrink, but there are ways you can keep this from happening.

  • Using cold ingredients helps a lot, the colder the better. So your butter and your milk should both be as ice cold as possible.
  • Chilling the pie dough makes a difference. You can chill it before rolling it out, which will also help to give it more of a flaky texture. I also recommend chilling the dough before baking or adding any kind of filling to bake. Chilling helps reduce and/or eliminate shrinkage.

LET'S TALK ABOUT PIE WEIGHTS

A lot of people mention using pie weights for this step, but you really don't need them. My mom taught me the little trick with the fork to keep the crust from bubbling up during baking.

It works just as well as pie weights, and you don't have to spend any money.

A FEW MORE TIPS…

  • If you want a double crust, you'll need to double the recipe. And you'll flute the edges after you add the top crust over your filling. You'll also need to vent the top crust by cutting slits in it. Then you'll bake it according to the instructions for the specific pie recipe you're making.
  • To protect your pie crust from burning while baking, you can use a pie shield to protect those raised edges of the crust that are more likely to burn before the rest of the pie is done.
  • You can chill your pie dough in the fridge for about 3 days before it'll start to go bad. So yes, you can make your crust ahead of time or the day before.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

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