Tough pie crust

I need help diagnosing my pie problems. I've made every recipe under the sun and have seen basically the same result - while baking the butter weeps out of the crust, to the point of creating puddles, and once cooled the crust is incredibly tough.

I keep everything cold, try not to add too much water, try not to overwork the dough, etc. I feel like I know enough about potential pie-pitfalls to prevent this, but it still helps happening. Any idea what's going wrong?

  • Posted by: Rachel
  • June 25, 2016


2 P. June 26, 2016
Butter has such a low melting point it can be a huge pain in a pie crust. I have two suggestions:

1. After rolling out your crust and placing it in your pie plate, put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before adding your filling. Rolling out the dough tends to bring the temperature back to room temperature. I've found this helps quell butter pools.
2. I'm not one to endorse shortening, but it really works in a pie crust. I usually do 50/50 butter and shortening. Shortening melts between 117 and 119 degrees (compared to butter's 90-95). This allows the crust to begin setting prior to all of the melting so you don't have seeping puddles of fat.

Hopefully this helps!
BerryBaby June 27, 2016
That is exactly what I use, 50/50 and the same process. I keep a stick of Crisco in the fridge specifically for pie dough. Works like a charm. Good luck, Rachel!
Nancy June 26, 2016
Hands-on practice and learning are wonderful.
Is there an accomplished baker in your family or circle of friends? Maybe a session of baking together will let you identify (unseen) problems or (unknown) ways to make it better.
And you can always eat the fruits of your labor.
HalfPint June 25, 2016
How long are you letting the dough rest before rolling out and baking?
Rachel June 26, 2016
In my most recent attempt I let it sit overnight in the fridge. But typically I let it rest for at least an hour if not more.
Sarah Q. June 25, 2016
It sounds like you're paying attention to all the important things. Try the King Arthur flour website. They have a couple of recipes- all butter or not, double crust or single. The recipes aren't revolutionary, they're standard. What's great are the how-to videos. The technique is perfection. Sooo flaky and so good. Good luck to you!

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