Food52 Pantry

Best All Butter Pie Crust Dough

March  7, 2021
58 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes one single-crust pie (double easily)
Author Notes

The name says it all—this pie dough recipe is all butter, all the time. Allow plenty of time for chilling, and it'll turn out crazy flaky. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Best All Butter Pie Crust Dough
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (150 g)
  • Pinch salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (113 g)
  • 1/4 cup ice water, or more as needed (56 g)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt to combine.
  2. Add the butter, tossing the cubes in the flour to coat. Rub the butter into the flour until it is the size of walnut halves (for a flaky crust) or peas (for a mealy crust).
  3. Make a well in the center, and add the water a few tablespoons at a time and mix just until the dough comes together.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill well before rolling, forming, and baking.
  5. VARIATIONS: Chocolate Pie Dough Replace: ¼ cup/30 grams of the all purpose flour with 1/3 cup/28 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (any kind, but dark or black cocoa powder (see Resources) make particularly intense crusts). Take care not to overbake this crust – look for a dry, matte appearance all over as an indicator. Spiced Pie Crust: Add up to 1 1/2 tablespoons ground spices or a combination of a few! One of my fave combos is 1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, and ½ teaspoon ground cloves.
  6. -To Roll Out the Dough: Lightly dust a work surface with flour, and lightly dust a rolling pin, if desired. Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick, rotating it as you work to help prevent it from sticking. To transfer the dough to the pan, gently roll it up, wrapping it around the pin, then unfurl it into the pie plate. -To Prepare the Edge for Crimping: On a single crust pie, use scissors to trim away the excess dough, leaving about ½ inch excess all the way around the outside edge of the pie plate. Tuck this excess dough under, pressing gently to make it flush with the edge of the pie plate. On a double crust pie, gently press the top and bottom crust together to flatten the dough slightly, then trim the excess and tuck under ss directed for a single crust pie. -To Par-Bake the Dough: Dock the crimped single crust pie dough with a fork and chill well (at least 30 minutes). Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the diameter of a pie plate, and press it into the base of the pie plate. Fill with pie weights to the top inner rim of the pie plate. Bake in a 425°F oven until the edges begin to lightly brown, 15-17 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights, and return to the oven until the lower portion of the crust appears dry and set, 2-3 minutes more. Cool completely before filling. -To Blind-Bake the Dough: Follow the instructions for par-baking, but bake until it is fully golden brown. After removing the pie weights, bake for 5-7 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • lechatmoelleux
  • Stephanie Anne Marie
    Stephanie Anne Marie
  • Kandice Dee
    Kandice Dee
  • Cranky
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

85 Reviews

Julie August 12, 2023
I loved the video on pie dough making and have watched it several times!
However, when I tripled the recipe, it was too soft. 3 sticks of butter for 3 3/4 cups flour?
sika6061 November 25, 2022
This is my go-to pie crust recipe, and it's always a stunner. I get an extra flakey crust by folding the dough a couple of times. It's amazing and delicious. It comes together beautifully. Putting the flour/butter mixture back in the freezer before adding the cold water is the key IMO. Also recommend Erin's The Book on Pie. I've made a bunch of pies from that book, and they're so delicious! I'll be making more this holiday season. Can't wait!
Char November 24, 2022
I made this for the first time today and it turned out far better than I could have ever dreamed! The video is a wonderful guide through the whole pie crust process. Many years ago a local grocery store offered a pie "boot camp" and I didn't come away from that with the confidence I have after watching this video. Erin gives such a wonderful explanation about how much water to use and *shows* exactly how the dough should look! Priceless! I got lots of compliments on my apple pie tonight. Thank you Erin!
Ariella November 14, 2022

Your video is a wonderful guide to making a pie crust. Very clear and thorough.
You are the best. Thank you.
bringpeace October 23, 2022
I heard that it's a good idea to partake the crust when preparing a pumpkin pie. Would I follow the same steps that was recommended on the video by baking 2-3 minute more after removing the weights?
You have the best videos, Erin. You're an excellent teacher!
sika6061 November 25, 2022
Answer: yes. However, be sure to watch the crust after you put your pie in with the filling to make sure the crust around the edges doesn't brown too much. You may need to protect it with foil. Happy baking!
123voy138 October 21, 2022
I have used this recipe probably 15 or so times now. I could not recommend this recipe enough as a base for everything from apple pie to tarts, and even savory pies. I would suggest adding a bit of vodka if you are new to baking pies to ensure a more reliable flake. The more you make it, the easier it gets to identify when the dough is ready or if you need more/less flour or water. This is a go-to recipe for me, and probably one of the first I worked with when I started baking as a hobby a year or so ago. It has never let me down. My biggest tip is to always keep the dough chilled to ensure you get a flaky crust.
Smaug October 4, 2022
This is a good crust, a little more butter than I prefer, but that seems to be the idea. Rubbing the butter in by hand really is the best way to go, though it can be tough on older hands. One caveat, however- by rubbing in the butter you are coating flour with butter much more than you would by cutting it; if you overdo it, it's possible to overshorten the crust to the point that it won't stand up.
A L. September 18, 2022
Easy, quick and delicious - Flaky, crisp crust, tender apples and sweetened perfectly. That addition of bourbon compliments the apples so well!
MrsMcF May 1, 2022
Thank you Erin for your pie videos. They arr so informative about technique. They have taught me a lot about making good pies. I love watching you bake!
TerryL49 April 14, 2022
I always envied my mother's ability to make pie crust, making 6 or more at a time and rolling pie dough like it was child's play. Her crusts however relied on shortening or lard, both of which I tried to avoid with no luck. Then ! After baking biscuits along with Erin and her Dad on her YouTube video I watched her pie crust video and though .. whoaaa far to difficult. But, I trusted my ability to "feel" the dough and lo and behold the single best pie I have ever made. The crust was the hit of the dinner and everyone raved about it. Thank you, Erin !
sherrylr January 25, 2022
I have struggled with pie crusts for some time. Family loves this one and it was so easy and so good!!! I made chicken pot pie and my son said this is different. It is the best you have made. was the crust that did it.
TruTru December 20, 2021
This is the best teaching video I've ever seen! Most people are great chefs, but not good teachers, because they don't fill in the gaps, assuming students know basic things they know. What a natural teacher! I never would have thought I would watch 1:20 video on crusts, but Erin is so compelling and thorough. This is how you teach someone to bake—or cook. Bravo.
ctate December 11, 2021
How do you keep butter from dripping all over when it (par)bakes? Seems like either I get a ton of shrinking around the sides, or I fill the house with smoke because the butter boils up under the crust and over the lip of the pie dish. :(
Cranky December 12, 2021
- make sure all the butter is covered well with flower before mixing further
- make sure the dough is nice and chilled at every step, especially right before baking (at least 30min in the fridge, do not use the freezer)
- make sure your oven is the correct temperature (in doubt, use a thermometer)

This should minimize the amount of butter dripping out. There could still be some, then it's best to use parchment paper under the pie dish for easier clean-up.
ctate December 12, 2021
My oven's excellent at temperature (dial matches high-quality oven thermometer exactly), I've been extremely careful about chilling and flour-coverage, and still got enormous amounts of butter drip.
Cranky December 13, 2021
Hm, that's tough.
Then all I can think of is maybe try a different, more dry kind of butter.
Or since you're using a high-quality new oven, maybe the heat is distributed "too" well, so maybe crank it up another 10-20 degrees for the first 15 minutes or so of baking.
Sumey44320 December 4, 2021
Just made this as a hand pie and my family loved it. I made the more flat dough in the food processor like she shows in the video. Needless to say my husband wants me to make more.
Jo B. November 25, 2021
I’m glad I didn’t read any reviews before making the best pie crust ever! It was perfect. Flaky top and bottom. I could have made two pies. A keeper for sure!
Smaug November 22, 2021
This is a good basic recipe, but a couple of comments. Some caution should be exercised when rubbing in the butter- if overdone this can result in a too-tender crust that won't hold together. I do it to some extent with most of my crusts, just don't go crazy with it. A quarter inch is awfully thick for a pie crust, and I don't think this amount of crust could come close to filling out a 9" pie plate at that thickness. I like to add some spice to crusts, but the amounts given are huge; a teaspoon of sugar and a half teaspoon of cinnamon, for instance , is enough to transform this amount of crust.
Password August 9, 2021
Is it possible to have the measurements in grams for the pie crust . Thank you
Ellie I. August 9, 2021
150g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
213g butter
60 ml water
Cranky August 10, 2021
That's a typo I think. Should be 113g of butter.
Ellie I. August 10, 2021
113g* sorry!
Password August 12, 2021
Thank you
Password August 12, 2021
Thank you
lechatmoelleux April 24, 2021
I've used this recipe for years and people are always blown away by how good it is! The first little tweak I do is to add water by eye and I make it a little wetter than it looks in the video. I find this helps me from overhandling the dough. having plenty of ice cold water in the bowl I can very lightly toss it with a spoon to incorporate all the flour into a cohesive dough. Then I just spoon it onto my waiting plastic wrap. When I take it out of the fridge I use plenty of flour on the counter and on top of the pie dough and by the time I roll it out it is the perfect moisture and consistency to put it into the waiting pie dish and do all your crimping.. Then, I bake at 450 for 20 minutes, then I turn to 375 and tent the crust (I just do this with the oven door open which lets all the extra heat out). Just let it bake til the filling boils. I don't do an egg wash, the light golden brown of the crust is way more beautiful to me. Getting that long initial blast of heat really locks in the flake, I find. I just stumbled upon all of these tricks through lots of trial and error but I'll tell you, no matter the filling, this makes awesome pie every time, with just the right balance of tender, flaky and chewy.
Smaug November 26, 2021
More water, like more handling, will increase the gluten production, so you need to be cautious with that. That's the theory behind the popular vodka crust recipes; the alcohol will aid cohesion without raising gluten. The author's suggestion to add water "a few tablespoons at a time" is OK for the first few, but when you get anywhere close it's much too large an increment- half teaspoons would be more like it.
Stephanie A. April 23, 2021
I made this for the first time yesterday and it came out perfect! Watching the video was really helpful as I learned not to be so heavy handed while mixing and I loved Erin's trick of taking out the section of dough that comes together first to finish mixing the rest. I did take a lot of precautions which I think helped. I chilled the mixing bowl, put my butter in the freezer for 10 minutes before cutting it and then for 10 minutes after cutting it up. I put the dough disc to set for 1 hour in the fridge and I put my rolling pin in the freezer. Once I shaped it in the pan, I put the pan with pie weights and all directly into the freezer to set for 30 minutes before baking.

The result was flaky, buttery, heaven.
Kandice D. March 7, 2021
Third attempt at making apple pie after trying other recipes and videos. I used this recipe after watching Erin's Bake it up a Notch - How to make pie dough and crust video on Youtube and it came out flaky and delicious. I highly recommend watching her video and using this recipe.