How can I make flaky and delicious pie crust? I want it to taste realllllllly good.

Erin Schurtz
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5 Comments

702551 November 25, 2015
You can get flaky pie crust regardless of whether you use butter, shortening, or lard (or a combination of those). The two main factors are really cold fat and minimal handling of the pie dough.

Taste is subjective. Different fats provide different flavors. Many bakers combine two of the fats in varying proportions to obtain a flavor balance that they like.

I think the flavor of lard works well for some pies, but not all, so I will change the fat depending on what sort of pie I'm making. Sometimes I want a more buttery crust; in those instances I will typically use 50% butter/50% shortening.

It's really your call on the flavor profile.
 
Stephanie G. November 25, 2015
If you have access to a great quality lard, I'd sub 1/3 of the butter with it.
 
Kristen M. November 25, 2015
You've come to the right place! As other editors said, we've learned a lot from Erin McDowell—my favorite tip from her is to bake at higher heat than you'd think (425 degrees), for a browner, crispier, flakier crust. If you use one of her recipes, that's a given.
 
Sarah J. November 25, 2015
I've found that the key to flakey pie crust is really, really cold butter!! Erin explains it in here post, which Caroline linked to above. I usually start with frozen butter, and you can even try grating it in with a box grater: https://food52.com/blog/4913-a-pastry-trick. Be sure not to add too much ice water—the dough should just hold together when squeezed.
 
Caroline L. November 25, 2015
our test kitchen manager is a pie whiz! here's how she does it: https://food52.com/blog/10753-everything-you-need-to-know-about-pie-crust
 
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