All-Butter Crust recipe

By • November 8, 2013 10 Comments

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Author Notes: This is one of our staple crusts used at the shop. It's also featured in a variety of our pies included in THE FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS PIE BOOK.ElsenEM

Makes dough for one single-crust 9- to 10-inch pie or tart

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ice
  1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.
  3. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).
  4. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.
  6. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining.
  7. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
  8. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.
  9. If making the double-crust version, divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs.
  10. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.

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Comments (10) Questions (1)


about 1 month ago Cira

This is my go-to crust. It comes out flaky and delicious every time I've tried it, and is super easy. The first time I tried it I mixed it in the mix master and it came out perfectly. This time I used a pastry cutter and it came out just as perfectly. Much love to the chefs.


9 months ago AOK

I have made this recipe three times and I am sorry but it is just not good. The first couple of times I made it, I told myself it didn't come out right because I had overhandled or rolled out too thick. But the third time I made sure to do everything right and it still sucked. It is not crisp and tastes uncooked. Even the scraps that I cook with cinnamon sugar weren't good. Three times is enough for me, my mother's shortening recipe is the keeper.


10 months ago Margaret Swanson

Has anyone tried it using gluten free flour?


over 1 year ago SuSanFran

I've made this crust twice now, and It's now my go to pie crust. Flawless, easy to work with, flaky results. I also love the fragrance of the cider vinegar wafting up as you roll it out. Next time I'll try the vodka, to see how it's different.


almost 2 years ago Kari Inness

Please help the pie newbie! Partially prebaking this for the black bottom oatmeal pie....I've never done that and I tried it this weekend with poor results as it only partially rose and then turned out thin and chewy on the bottom after I baked it with the filling. Please help me with this so I done ruin another pie!


almost 2 years ago SideworkEnds

used this recipe over the weekend and I loved it. The dough came together easily and flawlessly, baked up tender and flaky, and with a lovely butter flavor. Definitely a time to use good butter. This is my new go-to pie crust recipe; I already made and froze 4 more of them in preparation for Thanksgiving.


almost 2 years ago Judi

Julia Child, from The Way To Cook (slightly adapted from Mastering). All butter. Use the food processor. Never fails.


almost 2 years ago Alex Roscoe

I always go double crust.
2.5 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 sticks butter
3 tbsp lard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup of cold water

A little bit of lard gives the pie crust an incredible savoriness of roasted meats that complements the fruitiness of the pies. For a brief second, this crust will transport you to the original Thanksgiving when the air was fresher, the apples sweeter, and the power of pie undeniable.


almost 2 years ago Michael Mochizuki

My go-to Pie Crust is almost identical to this one, BUT I use chilled vodka instead of ice water. It prevents the gluten from building up and lets me create an incredibly supple, smooth crust.


almost 2 years ago Katrina

Mine is the Tartine Flaky Tart Dough recipe. Also all-butter (imho the way to go). It's a bit simpler (just flour, salt, ice water, butter), but it hasn't ever failed me.