All the Best Advice for Better Pie Crust—in One Place

November 11, 2015

Before pie ever gets to the table, there are questions to ask yourself: What kind of filling, what type of topping, and, um, how do I make a good crust? Butter or shortening—or oil or lard? Can you make a good gluten-free pie? Or one for the person who's sick of the usual crust? And then there's the aesthetics to think about—how do you decorate and crimp and fold? Rest at ease, fellow bakers. We’ve got your back. Below you’ll find all the articles you may need this holiday season to make sure your pie game is on point.

First Things First: Pie Basics

Everything You Need to Know About Pie Crust by Erin McDowell


7 Tools for the Perfect Pie by Erin McDowell

pie weights 

How to Roll Out Pastry Dough by Kristy Mucci


All About Blind Baking by Marian Bull 

blind baking 

Cook's Illustrated's Foolproof Pie Crust by Kristen Miglore 

foolproof pie crust 

A Big Fat Question Mark: Fats

Pie Fats: Butter vs. Oil vs. Shortening vs. Lard by Erin McDowell

Shop the Story

pie fat 

How All-Lard Pie Crust Compares to All-Butter by Posie Harwood

lard pie crust

Alternative, Non-Traditional Options

How to Make Gluten- and Dairy-Free Pie Crust by Lindsey S. Love | Dolly and Oatmeal

gluten free pie crust  

6 Nontraditional Pie Crusts + What to Fill Them With by Erin McDowell

Vanilla-Mascarpone Cream Pie with Honeyed Fruit in a Sugar Cookie Crust  

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Pie Crust by Jenny Xu
nut crust

The Art of Pie Styling

9 Ways to Fancy Up Your Pies by Erin McDowell

three pie crusts 

3 Ways to Style Pie Crust by Marian Bull

pie crust dots 

Master the Traditional Lattice Top Pie (& Then Try 7 Fun Riffs) by Erin McDowell

lattice tops


Any tips of your own to help your comrades in oven-mitted arms?


Photos by Sarah Stone (1); Bobbi Lin (3); Posie Harwood (7); Mark Weiberg (9); all others by James Ransom.

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Gabi Benedit

Written by: Gabi Benedit

domestic dilettante.


Lynne D. November 2, 2016
Loved the article on pastry from Canadians being good. I am one of those Canadians who make the Tenderflake pastry using their lard. My mum made it too and like many Canadians, its our tradition.

A number of years back I tried other brands of lard, shortening, butter using the same recipe. Big mistake, ended up back with my tenderflake. I have made it using rice flour instead of AP flour, works wonderful too.
Ron M. November 11, 2015
My favorite pie curst these days for many pies is to simply use shortbread cookie dough. It is not light and flakey like a traditional pie crust, but it is crunchy and delicious, and most importantly, does not get mushy nearly as quickly when your pie filling is moist.