Julia's All Purpose Pie Dough - Pate Brisee

October 16, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Makes Two nine inch shells
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

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces (12 tbs or 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  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. 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 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • sdebrango
  • Holly
  • lise
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.

7 Reviews

Holly July 9, 2023
There’s supposed to be sugar in this.
Holly July 9, 2023
If it’s used for a sweet dish as opposed to a savory dish.
sdebrango July 9, 2023
I don’t add any sugar, if I am making a sweet pie I brush the top crust with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on it. You can add a little sugar if you like a couple of tsps would do. I find this recipe to work either for a sweet or savory pie.
lise November 23, 2017
I used duck fat in place of lard. Best crust I ever made. Great recipe!
LeBec F. 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?