This Flaky Pie Crust Recipe is an old fashioned shortening recipe that makes the BEST pie! Follow our 10 simple tips for the perfect crust with amazing flavor. You can even freeze extra pie crusts for later!
Old Fashioned Pie Crust
A good pie just isn’t the same without a fantastic Flaky Pie Crust Recipe! You may have experienced the unappealing frozen pie crusts with their factory crimped edges. If so, you are probably craving a good old fashioned homemade pie crust!
Store bought pie crusts serve their purpose. I admit that in a pinch, I have use them on occasion. The fact of the matter is that they are usually dry and tough though. They don’t even compare to a tender and flakey homemade pie crust recipe like Grandma made.
Store Bought Pie Crust Options
Over time, I have played around with just about every imaginable alternative to homemade pie crust. There are a variety of options, some worse than others.
- Frozen, pre-formed in the pie tin
- Frozen chunk of dough
- Refrigerated crusts you roll out
- Box mixed that you just add water (Surprisingly, the best alternative I have found)
…and the list goes on! While some of those are better than others, nothing compares to old-fashioned homemade pie crust.
A flaky pie crust that is so tender it just flakes apart when you delve your fork in to it, can’t be beat. It is a must have for amazing pie recipe like Apple Pie, Cranberry Custard Pie or Homemade Peach Pie.
Shortening Pie Dough Recipe
While I have and will continue to get plenty of people who scoff at me for using shortening over butter in any recipe. The fact of the matter is it provides a slightly different texture than butter.
Recipes like this Rhubarb Streusel Coffee Cake or Sour Cream Cutout Cookies are old fashioned recipes with shortening that our moms and grandmothers used and there is no reason to mess with perfection. This shortening pie crust is no exception!
How to make a flakey Pie Crust
It may take a bit of practice to become comfortable making a pie crust recipe from scratch, but once you’ve mastered the technique, you will never go back.
I am sharing my family’s recipe and tips on how to achieve the perfect pie crust, in hopes of helping you master the art of pie crusts.
Check out my wonderful mom showing you how to make the best pie crust in step-by-step photos. She is using her old school Tupperware non-stick pastry mat, but you can simply use a well floured counter top.
Tips & tricks for a perfect pie crust
- Add your water very slowly. If your crust has reached the desired consistency, stop adding water. Too much water will make the dough tough, but too little water will make the crust dry and it will fall apart when you are working with it.
- Don’t over-mix the dough or it will become tough. Use a pastry blender for the best results.
- Roll the dough out on a non-stick pastry mat to avoid it sticking to your work surface and tearing.
- Use a spatula to slowly lift the dough on all the edges and release it from the work surface, being sure not to tear the dough.
- When transferring the crust to the pie plate, fold it in half or quarters to transport it without it tearing. Unfold the crust on your pie plate.
- You want plenty of dough to overhang the plate, so you can fold it under for a thicker crust on the edges.
- If you are baking the crust with no filling, be sure to poke holes on the bottom and edges with a fork, so you don’t get large air pockets.
- When baking a pie crust, filled or not, cover the edges with tinfoil for the first half of the baking time, so the crust on the edge doesn’t get overdone.
- Don’t waste the scraps of crust! Sprinkle them with some cinnamon and sugar. Bake them on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes for a snack the kids will love.
Can I freeze a pie crust?
If you make a double crust, but only need one at the time, freeze the second one in the glass or tin pie plate. Seal it tight and remove as much air as possible. It will store well in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Not only do the crusts freeze well alone, but most fruit pies freeze fantastic as well. Peach, blueberry and apple are just a few of the pies that you can prepare ahead of time. Seal them up and freeze them before baking.
This is a great way to preserve seasonal fruits in pie form. You can make lots of pies and enjoy them any time of the year!
When you go to use the frozen pie crust, you can grab it from the freezer and let it thaw a little bit on the counter while you prepare your filling such as Pumpkin. Bake it as you normally would and it will be perfect!
If you are baking a prepared frozen pie there is no need to thaw them. Pop the frozen pie directly into the pre-heated oven. You will need to add 10-15 minutes onto the normal baking time for the whole pie, but they will turn out great!
Favorite Pie Recipes
Be sure to check out some of my favorite pie recipes below. From adorable little mini pies perfect for hosting, to delicious homemade fruit pies perfect with fresh summer produce, they are all winners!
- Mini Blueberry Pies
- German Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Rhubarb Custard Pie
- Fruits of the Forrest Pie
- Mini Strawberry Pies
- 1 1/3 c. sifted flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. water
- 2 c. sifted flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 c. shortening
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. water
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two butter knives until the mixture is course.
- Sprinkle with water, a tablespoon or less at a time and toss lightly with fork. It is very important not to add too much water, or your dough will be tough. Add just enough water to reach the consistency of a firm ball.
- If you are making a double crust, divide the dough in half before proceeding.
- Press the dough into a flat circle and smooth the edges with your hands. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a circle 1/8 in. thick and 3-4 inches wider in diameter than your pie plate (1.5-2 inches overhang on all sides of the pie plate).
- Using a spatula, carefully release the edges of the crust from the table or pastry mat.
- Transfer your crust to your pie plate by folding it in half, so it is less prone to tearing.
- Once you have it positioned it right in the pie plate, unfold the crust and press it into the plate gently, so it hugs the pie plate.
- With a butter knife, go around the edges of the crust, to trim off any excess beyond an inch overhang. Fold the crust that overhangs the pie plate, under and pinch the edges.
- (see notes about freezing pie crust)
- To bake the crust without filling, preheat your oven to 425° and poke the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.
- Bake at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
I use butter flavored Crisco shortening for the best results.
To freeze an unbaked pie crust in a pie plate for late use, place the crust in plate in a 2 gallon resealable bag. Suck out as much air as possible and seal. Freeze up to 6 months. Thaw the crust before filling and baking a pie.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1/8 crust
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Provided nutrition data is only an estimate. If you are tracking these nutrients for medical purposes, please consult an outside, trusted source.