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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.
4.64 from 11 votes
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Course: Desserts, Pies & Pastries
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Calories: 163kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk


  • Whisk together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Slice the cold butter into the flour mixture.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • 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 milk.
  • Wrap the pie dough in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle a clean surface with a bit of flour, so the dough won't stick to the surface. 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.
  • Fold the crust in quarters; then carefully place the dough in the pie plate, unfolding it to cover the entire plate.
  • Smooth it out inside the pie plate, and then trim off any overhanging edges with kitchen shears or a knife; leave enough dough (about 1/2 inch overlapping) so you can flute the edges of the crust.
  • 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.
  • 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 with a fork; or you can add decorative pieces of crust you've cut out with a mini cookie cutter or other decorative tool.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400° F.
  • 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. If you're baking the crust with filling, be sure to follow the exact instructions for that particular recipe.


*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.
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.
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.
  • 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.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 203mg
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