This pie crust recipe is extra flaky and delicious. Made with a combination of butter and lard for fantastic flavor and ultimate flakiness. Make the pie dough ahead of time and pop it in the freezer!
I prefer to make a few homemade pie crusts at a time so they are ready to go whenever I am craving pie.
Using both butter and lard in my opinion creates a perfect pie crust that is flaky but also melts in your mouth. If you would prefer to check out my all-butter pie crust recipe if you don't like to use lard.
For this delicious crust you will need:
- Flour. You just need good old all-purpose flour also known as plain flour.
- Salt. Just a bit is needed, don't skip it!
- Lard. Lard helps create a very flaky, tender, melt in your mouth type of pastry.
- Butter. Butter provides great base flavor and creates a flakier and sturdier pie crust. The combination of the two I think provides the best crust. Make sure your butter is ice cold. You want cold butter so that the water content in the butter doesn't melt into the pie crust and form more gluten which would create a tough, leathery pie crust. You want the water portion to burn off quickly in the oven when baking.
- Ice Cold Vodka. Alcohol doesn't help the gluten formation process so it helps keep the pie crust flaky and tender.
- Ice Cold Water. The water mixes with the flour to bind everything and to form a little gluten. Using ice-cold water is necessary to keep the temperature of the pastry dough cold. This helps make sure the fat, butter and lard, don't melt.
You can make this pie dough by hand or by using a food processor.
In a large bowl combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
Then add your cold cubed butter and lard to the flour mixture.
Sometimes I use a pastry cutter or my clean fingers to use a to incorporate the pieces of butter and lard into the flour. You want to mix the butter in until you get pea-sized amounts of butter left.
If using a food processor then pulse a few times, you don't want to overwork the dough.
Add all of the ice-cold vodka and 3 teaspoons of ice-cold water.
I use a butter knife or fork to cut the liquid in, you want the dough to be moist and just come together. Not wet. As you can see in the photo below the dough doesn't look wet.
Depending on your environment and the protein percentage in your flour you may need up to 2 more teaspoons of water but before you do use your hands to press the dough all together if it comes together don't add the additional water but if it doesn't add one teaspoon of water at a time.
Shape into a ball then, gently shape into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours. Keep in mind if you chill the dough for more than 30 minutes you will need to let it sit out for a bit, before you roll the dough out.
Chilling the dough ensures the pie crust is cold before baking so that the butter and lard stay cold which helps the crust bake into a flaky, tender pie crust.
Once chilled you can roll out your pie disc. Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin, for a 9-inch pie plate roll your disc into a 12-inch-ish circle, approximately ⅛ inch, roll the pie dough on the rolling pin so it's wrapped around it.
Be careful not to overwork the dough! You risk creating a tough, leathery pie crust.
Place the dough in a pie dish by rolling the pie dough over the rolling pin and then unrolling into the dish.
Then use the back of your finger to gently press the pie dough into the pie plate.
Fold the remaining dough (hanging over the edge) over itself and press together to create a finished edge. If you have a ton of extra dough overhang in some areas then cut off the excess to create an even crust around the pie plate.
Use a fork and press flat down on crust for an easy design or use your two knuckles to crimp it.
How to freeze
Pie dough freezes extremely well, in fact when I make pie dough I generally double or triple the recipe so I can freeze an extra crust or two. To freeze pie dough shape the dough into a disc then wrap in plastic wrap tightly and store in a freezer-safe bag. The pie dough will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
When ready to use the pie crust place it in the refrigerator the night before so it has time to thaw. Then use the pie crust as the recipe calls for.
Blind baking pie dough
For custard or cream filled pies you will need to blind bake the pie dough. You can easily make the pie crust a day or two before you want to fill it.
Prepare your pie dough and design the pie dough then prick the dough all over with a fork then place the pie plate in the freezer for 20 minutes to really chill the dough. Pricking the pie crust with a fork helps steam escape and helps the crust not puff up as much.
Baking the chilled pie dough will help ensure the crust bakes up flaky and that it doesn't shrink much.
After the pie crust has chilled gently place a piece of aluminum foil lightly sprayed with non-stick spray or use a crumpled up piece of parchment paper inside and to cover the pie and fill the dish with pie weights, dried beans, or rice.
Bake the crust in a properly preheated 400F/204C oven for 20 minutes then carefully remove the weights and parchment paper, brush the dough with an egg wash (egg and water mixed together) I use a silicone pastry brush to brush the egg wash all over. This sort of seals off the pie and creates a sort of barrier for the filling later!
Then bake the crust for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the pie has a gorgeous shiny golden brown crust! Let the pie crust cool completely before filling.
My apple pie with cloves is always a winner at our house.
This apple butter pumpkin streusel pie my friend Cheryl makes looks epic!!
★★★★★ Please let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a star rating and comment below!Print
- 208 grams (1 ⅔ Cups) All-Purpose Flour/ Plain Flour
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 2oz (¼ Cup) Lard
- 2oz(¼ Cup) Cold Unsalted Butter, cold
- 2 Teaspoons Ice Cold Vodka
- 3-5 Teaspoons Ice Cold Water
- In a large bowl combine the all-purpose flour and salt. Then add your cold cubed butter and lard, I like to use a dough blender to incorporate the fat into the flour. You want to mix the lard and butter in until you get pea-sized amounts of fat left.
- Add all of the ice-cold vodka and 3 teaspoons of ice-cold water but you may need up to 2 more teaspoons of water. I use a butter knife to cut the liquid in, you want the dough to be moist and just come together. Not wet. Use your hands to press the dough all together.
- Shape into a ball then gently shape into a disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 48 hours. If you chill the dough for more than 30 minutes you will need to let it sit out for a bit, before you roll the dough out.
- For a 9-inch pie plate roll your disc into a 12-inch circle, approximately ⅛ inch, roll the pie dough on the rolling pin so it's wrapped around it. Place it in a pie dish and gently press the pie dough into the bottom of the dish, then up the sides and fold the remaining dough (hanging over the edge) over itself and press together to create a finished edge, or use a fork and press flat down on crust for an easy design.
For a pre-baked pie crust
- If you are making a pie like a strawberry pie or banana/chocolate cream pie you want to pre-bake the crust a few hours or a day ahead.
- I prick the dough all over with a fork, this helps steam escape and helps the crust not puff up as much. Then let the pie dough sit in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. This helps ensure that your crust does not shrink and ensures the flaky crust.
- After the pie crust has chilled gently place a piece of foil that has been lightly greased to cover the pie or crumple up a piece of parchment paper, uncrinkle and place in the pie dish, and fill the dish with pie weights, dried beans, or rice.
- Bake at 400F/204C for 20 minutes then carefully remove the weights and foil, brush the dough with an egg wash (egg and water mixed together) I use a silicone pastry brush to brush the egg wash all over. Then bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the pie has a gorgeous shiny golden brown crust! Let the pie crust cool completely. You can bake this a day or two before filling your pie, after the pie crust has cooled carefully wrap it in plastic wrap.
For a baked fruit pie or quiche follow recipe instructions
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: the flakiest pie crust, flakey pie crust recipe, pie crust recipe