Southern homemade pie crust is a staple recipe in our home and was passed down to me by my mom. This recipe makes two pie crusts and is perfect for any quiche or pie you are baking. Flaky and full of flavor, you'll never buy store-bought again!
Oh, man. I have been putting off this recipe for a long time, and I am not sure why. Maybe because I knew it was going to be a long one to write and very in-depth, but nonetheless...today I am finally sharing my southern homemade pie crust recipe with you!
I have lots of pie and quiche recipes on the site (with more to come) and I have grown up making pie crust since I was young enough to remember it. This is my mom's recipe that she always used and now I do as well. I have never bought a store-bought pie crust for a recipe because I am a FIRM believer that homemade is WAY WAY better and worth the extra effort.
No worries if you do use store-bought. It is definitely more convenient and quicker, but I promise you, the homemade way is not hard. You can do it! And the results are so worth it!
This is going to be a long one with lots of tips and in-depth explanations in it so let's get going!
You actually only need 5 staple pantry ingredients for this recipe. Because there aren't a lot of elements to pie crust, use high-quality good ingredients (like flour and butter) to result in the best-tasting pie crust possible!
I also like to use combo butter and shortening in this recipe. You will find a lot of recipes that either use all butter or all shortening (my mom actually uses all shortening) - but I like to use both. I think it gives you more flakiness with the shortening and the buttery flavor by using some butter.
- Flour - I always use King Arthur All Purpose flour for all my baking recipes
- Butter - use a high-quality great tasting butter if you can
- Lard or Shortening - either straight-up lard or Crisco will work for this
- Ice Water
How to Make
PRO TIP - dice your butter into small cubes so that it is easier to cut into the flour to start!
- In a large bowl, add flour, salt, cold butter, and cold lard/shortening.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut butter and lard into the flour until the mixture resembles small pea size shapes. If the butter and lard have gotten too warm in the process, place into the freezer for 5 minutes to chill before continuing.
- Fill a large glass with water and ice. Using a tablespoon measure, spoon 5 tablespoons of the ice water into the flour mixture. Using a fork or spatula, mix well. You may need to add in more water if still floury and not coming together. You want the dough to just begin to come together - not sticky and wet but not floury and crumbly as well. It will still be a bit crumbly but when you squeeze it together with your hands it stays together (see the picture below). Do not add too much water (I usually end up adding around 10 tablespoons most of the time).
- Sprinkle flour lightly out onto the counter and place dough on top. Roll around flour so that all sides are covered and bring it together into a ball shape. Split the dough in half making 2 pie dough balls. This recipe makes 2 pie shells.
- Roll out with a rolling pin in a circle until it is larger than your pie plate.
- Gently pick up the crust at one end and scoot the pie plate right up next to the dough so that it is easy to flip over/drag over onto the pie plate (this allows you not to have to pick up the entire pie of dough and risk breaking). Make sure the dough lays evenly around all the edges.
- Trim off any excess on the sides of the crust, then gently crimp your edges with your fingers all the way around the pie plate. (To crimp: gently fold the excess crust under itself on the edge. With your pointer finger and thumb on both hands, gently pinch together the crust then push both hands together to meet, forming a small pinch. Repeat around the entire crust.)
- Repeat with the second crust, or reserve it for the top of a pie, or see the post for how to store it.
See below for how to blind or fully bake the pie crust depending on the recipe. Also, see below for what to do with the extra pie crust if you only need one.
This is some of the equipment that will help make this recipe easier for you:
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Tips for Making the Best Pie Crust Every Time
If you have never made homemade pastry before, it can be a bit intimidating, and at times easy to mess up. These couple of tips will help ensure that you will make the perfect fool-proof pie crust every time!
- ONE - keep your fats cold! The key to flaky pie crusts that we all love is cold butter and shortening. When we cut the fat into the flour and it stays in cold little pieces. Once it hits the heat of the oven the water in the fat evaporates creating tiny pockets of air that become the flaky crust we all love. If you do not use cold fat or work it too much where it gets warm it will ruin that effect. If you have had your dough out for a while working with it, pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill again and repeat before popping it into the oven.
- TWO - keep the dough cold! Same as above, if you have had the dough out shaping and working with it for a while, pop it in the freezer to chill for 5-10 minutes before baking to ensure those lovely flaky layers!
- THREE - cut the butter into small cubes before using. Trying to cut 6 full tablespoons of butter into flour can be harder than it needs to be (and take longer)! Use a knife to cut into tiny cubes then add them to the flour. You will save yourself so much time by doing this and ensure more evenly sized butter pieces throughout.
- FOUR - use high-quality ingredients! Using good flour and butter will result in better tasting crust. Since there are not a lot of ingredients in this recipe, using great-tasting ingredients will ensure the best pie crust possible! I always use King Arthur flour and then any high-quality butter you can get at your local grocery store.
- FOUR - scooting the pie plate up to the crust. After you have rolled out the dough, transferring it to the pie plate can be tricky since the dough is so delicate. Keeping your countertop floured appropriately while rolling out will help prevent any sticking of the dough. Once it's rolled out to the size you need, gently place a hand under the dough and gently flip back and forth between both hands gently rising up the crust off the counter. Once you're above halfway through the crust, scoot the pie plate under the lifted crust and gently fold the crust on top. Then you should be able to gently move the crust so that it is evenly centered on the plate and proceed with crimping the edges.
How and When to Blind Bake a Pie Crust
What does blind baking a pie crust mean? Blind baking a pie crust is the process of partially cooking a crust in its shell without a filling inside. You do this for any liquid or custard-based quiches or pies because they are liquid fillings. If you were to place a liquid filling in an unbaked pie crust and bake, the bottom of the pie crust would never be able to fully bake and still be raw. By blind baking it by itself, you ensure that the bottom of the crust actually gets baked for those types of recipes.
You will need to use pie weights, or better yet, just buy a bag of $1.50 dried pinto beans from Walmart and designate them to be your "baking beans" used only for this recipe (my mom and I have ours stored in a mason jar). You will need the weight of the beans on top of the crust to ensure an even bake on the bottom without any air bubbles forming.
- If a blind or partial bake is needed, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place wax or parchment paper over the pie crust on the pie plate. Pour in baking beans or pie weights and evenly distribute around the shell.
- Place in the oven for 15-16 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Pick up the edges of the wax or parchment paper and pour the beans into a mason jar. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
How to Fully Bake
There are some pies or desserts you will make that are no-bake pies. Pies like coconut cream, lemon meringue, and strawberry. For those pies you will need and fully baked pie crust, which is very easy to do:
- If you need a fully baked pie crust for a no-bake recipe, follow the directions above for blind baking with the pie weights in the shell and bake at 375 for 30-32 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the pie weights.
- Let the pie crust cool completely before preceding with the recipe.
How to Make Ahead of Time, Freeze, and Store
So all of you who use store-bought pie crust on a regular basis - where you do find them in the grocery store? In the freezer section! Freezing and prepping pie crust ahead of time is so easy and convenient to do and a must around the holidays!
This particular recipe makes TWO PIE CRUSTS. So unless you are making an apple pie or some sort of pie that has a top or latticework, you will most likely only need 1 pie crust. And while you can certainly half this recipe, just go ahead and make the whole thing because it is no more work and you'll have one extra on hand for when you will need it.
What to do with the extra pie crust:
- ONE - Keep wrapped tightly in plastic in a flat round disk in the fridge for 3-4 days until needed for another recipe.
- TWO - Freeze extra pie crust in a disk wrapped tightly in plastic wrap multiple times to remain airtight and store in the freezer for 6-12 months. To thaw, place in the fridge for 24 hours then use as needed.
- THREE - Freeze in a pie shell. Go ahead and place it in the pie shell with crimped edges like you are going to use. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to flash freeze, then wrap airtight in plastic wrap a couple of times. Place back in the freezer for 6-12 months. When needed, place in the fridge to thaw for 24 hours then process with the recipe as directed.
- FOUR - Make double your recipe! A lot of pies can be frozen if need be. If you have a circumstance, just go ahead and make 2 of whatever you're making (or one of a different recipe) and have 2 options for a party, holidays, or gift to a friend.
Whatever the case, it is just as easy to make this whole recipe and store it in multiple ways to have something already prepped on hand than to half the recipe!
BONUS PIE CRUST USE!
I have a bonus treat for you that is totally frivolous but so delicious and fun - and a sweet memory for me.
When my mom made pies growing up, she would take the excess crust that she had trimmed off the edges and place them on a baking sheet sprinkled with sugar and bake for a little treat for us. We would just call the pie crust scraps and they aren't anything special but a fun little treat when you have an extra crust but not enough to do something with.
No need to form into any pattern, just keep it as is as you've trimmed them off, sprinkle with white sugar on top, and place in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes until slightly golden brown and flaky...then enjoy!
Recipes for Homemade Pie Crust
- Southern Pumpkin Pie
- My Mom's Apple Pie Recipe
- Mama's Pecan Pie
- Apple Hand Pies
- Caramelized Onion and Spinach Quiche
- Bacon and Cheddar Quiche
- Fresh Strawberry Pie
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