Julia's All Purpose Pie Dough - Pate Brisee

October 16, 2011

Author Notes: I take no credit for this wonderful recipe but I wanted to enter it because it's just so good. It has never failed to produce a tender flaky pie crust. It is from Julia's Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child. I love this cookbook, in a very small book you have many of Julia's master recipes. It's my reference manual for so many basic recipes. sdebrango

Makes: two nine inch shells


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces cold cultured unsalted butter cut into small pieces (12 tbs or 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening or leaf lard (I like to use lard)
  • 1/2 cup ice water
In This Recipe


  1. If you are using a food processor add the flour and salt pulse once, now add the butter pulse 5 or 6 times to break up the butter now add the shortening or lard. Pulse until it resembles crumbs now add the ice water pulsing until you have a cohesive dough, it should hold together when you press it in your hand. Dump out onto work surface and form into two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes I find an hour is preferable. This can be made in advance and kept refrigerated for several days.
  2. I often like to make this by hand using a pastry cutter and my hands, If you choose to do this by hand add the flour and salt and stir with a fork, add the butter and break it up with your pastry cutter or hands, now add the shortening or lard and mix it so that it resembles crumbs I like to see little pieces of butter in the dough, add the water a little at a time until you have a cohesive dough that holds together when pressed in your hand. Form into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

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Reviews (4) Questions (0)

4 Reviews

lise November 23, 2017
I used duck fat in place of lard. Best crust I ever made. Great recipe!
LE B. March 24, 2015
I have NEVER seen a more beautifully made crust!
Carlynn H. December 23, 2013
Ounces of butter! For those of you not wishing to drag out your scales—6 oz. is a stick and a half (eg., 12 T) of butter.
PMarie April 7, 2013
Where/how does one obtain leaf lard?<br />