Homemade Pie Crust – A Finer Thing

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Some members of the FishFam have distinctly different tastes than I do. Many prefer cake to pie. But, me? Mmmm. I’ll take pie anyday, savory like Chicken Pot Pie or sweet, like Cherry Pie.

It seemed appropriate to give you the low-down on homemade pie crust, for several reasons:

1. It tastes better than store bought.
2. It’s less expensive than store bought.
3. It’s more fun and fancier than store bought.
4. I’m all about pie.

But, people can get so intimidated by the idea of homemade pie crust. I was for years, but even though I’m no expert and even though mine isn’t always very pretty, I just go for it. So, I think you should, too.

(Taste matters most anyway, so don’t worry if it’s not gorgeous.)

There are two basic methods — the rolled pastry and the pat-in-pan pie crust (like Gramma John’s). The first is more traditional and can hold up to rolling on a board and let’s you cut out fancy shapes. The latter, while Blue Ribbon good, doesn’t always hold its shape well in those other applications. Since this post demonstrated the Gramma John style, today I’m addressing the roll out method.

I like to use the food processor but you can use a pastry blender or a fork or two knives to cut in the butter.

When ready to assemble, flour a large surface and roll out your dough with a floured rolling pin. (If using frozen dough, thaw it completely in the refrigerator and let warm slightly at room temperature before rolling it out.)

They say that to keep a tender crust, to use as little as flour as possible and to work quickly. But, cut yourself some slack if you’re just learning. It’d be nice if it turned into a perfect round circle. I prefer elliptical pie crusts myself.

Transfer your crust to a pie plate by gently rolling it around the rolling pin to transfer.

If you feel timid about that dough-sticking-to-the-surface-and-rolling-pin-movement thing, just roll out the dough between two sheets of Saran Wrap. This prevents it from sticking to the board and makes it very easy to move to the pie pan.

If you’re going for a single crust, just trim the sides about 1/2 inch from the rim of the pan and crimp the edges. An easy way is to just use a fork. (Yes, that’s a pat-in-pan crust in the picture, but use your imagination that it’s not.)

If you’re doing a double crust pie, pour in your filling and center your top crust over the filling. Trim the edges of both crusts at the same time as directed above. Then fold the top crust under the bottom and pinch together. You can crimp the edges and add some cutouts made with any extra dough. Brush the cutouts with water to help them stick and take a sharp knife to draw a few fancy details.

Bake according to pie recipe directions.

What are the Fine Things You enjoy about Fall?

Amy is wrapping up our Fall Festival today, sharing good old enjoyments of the Autumn season. Join her for the “Finer Things of Fall” and enter to win an assortment of Fall-themed scrapbooking supplies.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. So glad you posted this! I've had a dickens of a time with pie crusts, and have been wanting to find someone to recommend a recipe to me! Thanks

  2. Homemade is the way to go:-)

  3. Looks awesome! I am so glad it is pie season again!

  4. Steven and Ginger says:

    Tonight I made your apple pie. It was delcious! I love the little bit of almond flavoring. It will definately be put in the recipe book to make again.

  5. I just started making homemade pie crusts last year and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was! I'm looking forward to pie baking around the holidays again this year.

  6. Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama says:

    Mmmm, so glad fall (a.k.a pie baking season) is upon us =)

  7. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    Nothin' finer than a flaky, tender pie crust! Mmmmm

  8. okay, i have the BEST recipe for you to try as well. and ridiculously easy. blend together with a fork: 2/3 c. oil and 1/3 c. water. in another bowl, mix 2 c. flour and 1/2-1tsp. salt. mix the two bowls together until the dough holds together. next (this is the best part!) divide the dough ball in half. put half in a plastic grocery bag and roll it out until it's an 1/8" thick circle. cut the sides of the bag and lift off the top portion of the bag so the dough is showing. flip it into the pie pan and peel the plastic off. (no flour needed!) then do the same with the other half of the dough and use as your top crust. it tastes so good and is SO easy to do! cook as directed. glad you love pie! i do too!

  9. I've been wanting to try pie crust, and I may use this one for your chicken pot pie recipe. Do you think it would work as well with whole wheat flour?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @April, it doesn’t work as well with whole wheat. Sub some whole wheat pastry flour for the unbleached. But, I don’t know that I would do all. But, try it and tell us how it goes.

  10. Thanks so much for this recipe. We just discovered our son becomes hyper after eating anything with RED40 in it. Store bought refrigerator pie crust contains RED40! Making a bunch for freezer 🙂

  11. So I was looking for a pie crust recipe with no yeast and came upon your website that is a huge blessing! Thank you and God bless.

  12. Jessica, I made your “Versatile Buttery Pie Crust” (from “Not Your Mother’s Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook”) and we loved it. This seems to be a variation from that one. Could you tell me what the difference in results might be?

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