5 Ingredients or Fewer

Stand-Mixer Pie Dough

January 16, 2019
17 Ratings
Photo by Sarah Stone
Author Notes

This easy-breezy method lets the stand mixer do all the work. (Just like cookie dough or cake batter, but way quicker.) The big advantages: Using the paddle attachment instead of your hands means the butter is less likely to melt, and you’re more likely to get a flaky crust. And using the open mixer instead of a lidded food processor means you can see everything super clearly.

A few notes about ingredients: I’ve taken to using Gold Medal bleached all-purpose, a la Stella Parks, because of its protein content (about 10 percent, just right for pie dough). I developed this with Diamond Crystal kosher salt (if you have Morton’s, use half the amount). And for the very cold water—if you keep a pitcher of water in the fridge like me, that works, or add a couple ice cubes to a glass of cold tap water and let sit for a few minutes.

If photos of each step helpful sound helpful to you, please click here. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Makes 1 9-inch single-crust
Ingredients
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, refrigerated until right before you use it
  • 1 1/2 cups (192 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup very cold water (see headnote), plus more as needed
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Cut the butter into pieces—aim for 10 from the full-stick and 5 from the half-stick (so each one is slightly smaller than 1 tablespoon). Put the cut-up butter in the freezer for a few minutes, while you work on the dry ingredients.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a few seconds, just to combine, then turn off.
  3. Add the butter pieces to the dry ingredients. Mix on the lowest setting possible for 5 to 10 seconds—pulsing on/off if necessary, so the flour doesn’t fly out of the bowl—then turn off. Err on the side of undermixing at this step. You want each butter piece to be coated in flour and slightly bashed by the paddle, but most of the pieces should be barely smaller than when you started.
  4. Turn on the mixer to the lowest setting possible, slowly pour in the 1/4 cup very cold water. Once it’s all in, let the mixer run for a couple more seconds, then turn off and check in with the dough. The end goal is a very shaggy dough that holds together when squeezed, with some dough starting to grab onto the paddle attachment, and a few flour streaks on the side of the bowl. If the dough is still quite powdery and dry in some places and the sides of the bowl are still flour-coated, continue to mix while adding another tablespoon of water, and letting that incorporate for a couple seconds. (Repeat with more water—but only a very small amount!—if needed.)
  5. Use your hands to gather the dough into a mass and dump onto a piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to form the dough into a ball, then smush into a disc with your hands, so the plastic wrap is extremely snug. (You can wrap with another piece of plastic wrap for extra insurance, which I always like to.)
  6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using, or for up to 2 days. This can also be frozen for up to 1 month.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Megan Lonsdale
    Megan Lonsdale
  • Bill
    Bill
  • holly dart
    holly dart
  • Monica Resendez
    Monica Resendez
  • Caroljay86
    Caroljay86
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

39 Reviews

Meb67005 December 24, 2020
Absolutely amazing. Typically, I don’t like the taste of crust. This was so easy to make. The taste was just wow!!!!!! Follow directions to the “t” and don’t over mix even though you want to. Trust the creator of this recipe. Wow
 
KenoshaQuilting November 26, 2020
I made this pie crust for the first time so flaky and delicious. I made an apple pie will definitely make this crust again so easy I would call it foolproof
 
ccabral November 25, 2020
Can this recipe be doubled to make a top crust also.
 
KenoshaQuilting November 26, 2020
Very easy to do
 
jamesdonegan June 21, 2020
We are very bad at baking, but we gave it a shot. it was a mess (I think it was too wet?) but it tasted AMAZING. We made a video of ourselves... https://youtu.be/83s9aTq_J4A
 
Megan L. May 5, 2020
This was buttery and delicious, and very easy. But maybe too buttery?! I kept everything chilled but the crust just didn't hold up once in the oven. I've made it twice with the same results.
 
Bill November 23, 2019
I love this recipe! I gave up baking decades ago after several disastrous attempts. But I have some time on my hands now and on a whim I bought a KitchenAid. My first attempt at baking a pie since circa 1985 was a complete success. The crust was buttery and just the right amount of flaky vs moist. I couldn't be more pleased with myself. Thank you, Emma, for giving me hope that I can be a baker after all. I'm so proud of myself, I wish I could share a pic of the finished product!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. November 24, 2019
Go, Bill, go! Thrilled to hear it.
 
Amy October 19, 2019
Emma, I have made this recipe three or four times now and while I *love* the flavor, I get significant shrinkage and a lot of butter melting out of the pastry. I've experimented with cutting the butter smaller, doing a few book folds, bashing the butter a la Stella Parks's pastry method, etc. Any thoughts on how I can fix the problem? I've chilled the dough but not tried freezing it yet. How long would you recommend I freeze before a) blind baking or b) baking a filled, double-crust fruit pie?
 
holly D. October 25, 2019
clearly, I am not Emma, but I used to have the same problems with all-butter crust! when you are blind baking did you fill it all the way or most of the way with pie weights? When I first used pie weights I think I did just a layer in the bottom, that’s why I ask. I just hate it when the butter leaks over the edge of the pan and it starts burning in the oven. That used to happen to me all the time- I don’t fill my pies as high now and keep my crust crimpings within the pie pan and not over the edge. These two things seem to help with the butter dripping problem for me.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 27, 2019
Hi Amy! Freezing the crust before baking can help with shrinkage (I just pop it in the freezer until it's firm to the touch). And if the butter is significantly seeping out, my guess is that the pieces are too big/not incorporated enough. Hope that helps!
 
holly D. October 10, 2019
I have experimented with making pie crust with the pastry blender, two butter knives, the food processor, and mixing by hand. Hand mixing was my favorite method until now- the stand mixer! It's faster, doesn't add heat, and yields just as flaky a crust! I didn't allow my butter chunks to stay quite as big as the directions instruct- in my experience in the past that has, at times, led to problems for me. I think my largest butter chunks were like a medium sized blueberry. Never cornmeal- why do all old crust recipes say cornmeal!!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. October 10, 2019
So glad to hear you like the method, Holly!
 
holly D. October 25, 2019
Actually - some where bigger than a blueberry but I would say most were various blueberry sizes. I made this Perfect crust again today! It’s delightful!
 
Monica R. September 24, 2019
What are the cooking times for this crust?
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 24, 2019
Hi Monica! It depends on what you're making (say, a single-crust pie, a double-crust pie, a hand pie...), but it'll be a similar bake time to any other butter-based crust, so you can just swap this into any recipe that calls for a butter-based/flaky pie dough.
 
hotpockprin July 20, 2019
Wow!! I didn't even think it was possible for pies to be this flaky!!!
I added a little too much water (1 T) which made it sticky and hard to work with (even after two hours in the freezer and probably an extra 2/3 c of flour) so add water sparingly.
I still hate baking pies, but I hate it a little less with this recipe on my side!!
 
Barbara April 17, 2019
please confirm 12 tablespoons of butter for a single crust; it sounds delicious, but is the most I've seen in any recipe for a single crust. thank you.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. April 17, 2019
Yes to 12 tablespoons! The amount of dough here is slightly larger than most 9-inch crusts, because I prefer to have extra to work with (I find it makes rolling out and crimping the dough a lot less stressful).
 
Barbara April 17, 2019
thanks for confirming!
 
Mark March 14, 2019
Why kosher salt? Presumably you want the salt to dissolve, in which case it seems like table salt would be better. (It's also cheaper, and it's available non-iodized, if you don't like the flavor of iodized salt.)
 
Author Comment
Emma L. March 18, 2019
Hi Mark! All the professional kitchens that I worked in use kosher salt, so it became a staple in my own kitchen, too.
 
Mark March 18, 2019
It certainly has its place! I stock both in my pantry, but I've always thought it weird when a baking recipe calls for kosher salt. So I thought I'd ask if there was a reason. May I suggest, please provide equivalents for table salt when appropriate? Thanks!
 
Oddible April 6, 2021
Or, recognize that even among kosher salts there are a wide variety of grain sizes and if you want to do a substitution do the calculation! There are plenty of websites to help you with this. Best substitution is by weight - 1 tbsp of kosher salt is about 6g. Use the equivalent of whatever salt you like!
 
Mark April 6, 2021
Yes, weights would be ideal. I wish all recipes would provide weights for salt! For a lot of things, it's easier to measure that way, anyway.

BTW, the conversion I have for Diamond Crystal kosher salt is 7.5g per tablespoon, but looking around the internet, I see conversions as high as 10g per tablespoon (specifically for Diamond Crystal). So it's really best if the recipe author provides the actual weight of salt that they used.
 
Caroljay86 January 22, 2019
This method is very close to the one I use for pastry and for biscuit and scones. I use some shortening in my pastry recipe, and I use a stand mixer for the entire process. Where I differ is that, at the point where you add the cubed butter, I do mix on the lowest speed, just until the butter cubes are somewhat smaller and misshapen. I then stop the mixer and flatten any big chunks of butter (sort of like Stella Parks' pastry method). When all the butter pieces are flattened, I mix again a few seconds, and then proceed with the ice water.
 
April January 21, 2019
Good morning. I made this crust yesterday for the bottom of an apple crumb pie. It was crispy and delicious! As other commenters, I also have used the quick method in the food processor successfully, but this one is even easier. Plus, my stand mixer already sits out, so I didn't have to lug out another machine. I did need to add extra water. Well done, thank you!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 21, 2019
Thanks, April—so glad it turned out well for you!
 
BerryBaby January 20, 2019
Haven't tried using the stand mixer. My food processor does a fabulous job as well. Next time I'll give the mixer a try.
 
Natasha January 19, 2019
I freeze unsalted butter we buy and pull it from the freezer, as needed, for baking and cooking. Frozen butter, chopped into chunks by hand with a large blade knife or cleaver, then whirled in food processor with flour + salt, followed by adding a few soup-sized spoonfuls of water to bring it all together, also makes an easy, excellent crust. Form dough into a disk, wrap in wax paper, and let rest in the fridge 45 minutes to 1 hour before rolling out.
 
Ella Q. January 19, 2019
Emma, just tried this and have never had flakier pie dough! Such a wonderful, easy, foolproof method.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 20, 2019
Thank you, Ella! That means a lot :)
 
SusanInLondon January 19, 2019
Lovely! The best pastry I’ve made for months.
I did have to manually break down some bigger bulbs of butter still, and it also shrank quite a bit. But FLAKY and CRISPY! Wow!
 
SusanInLondon January 19, 2019
Blobs! (Autocorrect 🙀)
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 20, 2019
Thanks, Susan—so glad you enjoyed! (P.S. chilling or freezing pie pastry before baking helps get ahead of any shrinkage.)
 
Joyce D. January 17, 2019
In instruction #4, you say add a tablespoon of flour to an already floury mix. Did you mean to add a tablespoon of cold water?
Plus, we live and travel in our Motorhome, so with limited space, I don’t carry my stand mixer. How can I use my hand mixer, or just do the mixing by hand?
I’m new to your articles and newsletter, and look forward to learning better and new cooking habits.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 17, 2019
Hi Joyce—yes, that should be water, and it's been updated! I wouldn't recommend a hand mixer for this, since the beaters are different than a paddle attachment. But here's a great recipe for an all-butter pie dough, mixed by hand: https://food52.com/recipes/72570-stella-parks-no-stress-super-flaky-pie-crust
 
Isabel January 17, 2019
Just a note-there is an error at the end of step 4, you should add a tablepoon of ice water not flour, according to the description in the article. Looking forward to trying it!
 
Author Comment
Emma L. January 17, 2019
Thanks so much for that catch, Isabel! All fixed.