Ultimate All-Butter Pie Crust Recipe! The perfect pie crust is both flaky and tender. Light flaky layers and a tender golden-brown crust that has a flavor good enough to eat on its own! The layers of dough are distinct and clearly seen.
Follow the step-by-step guide to make the best all-butter pie crust!
All Butter Pie Crust Recipe Characteristics
The perfect all-butter pie crust is both flaky and tender. It has light flaky layers. A tender and golden-brown crust that has a flavor good enough to eat on its own. The layers of dough are distinct and clearly seen.
This simple pie crust relies on high-quality butter for both its flakiness and wonderful flavor. Once you try this recipe you will use it for all your pies.
There aren't many ingredients in this all-butter pie crust recipe, so it's important to use high-quality products. I prefer to use European butter for extra flavor in all our pie and cookie recipes. You likely have all of these other basic ingredients on hand to make the cookies.
- All-purpose flour
See the recipe card for quantities.
What Butter is best for All-Butter Pie Crust?
We've tried over 10 different kinds of butter and I 110% testify that you must use the Kerrygold brand, or else I can't stand by this crust.
We've tried to find the reasoning for it, without boring you with too much science about butter, it just comes down to the fat content vs water content, color, and diet of the cows. What can I say, Ireland cows have got it going on in the butter department.
The Anatomy of the Ultimate All-Butter Pie Crust Recipe
At its most basic, pie crust is nothing more than flour, fat, and liquid. But if that’s all it is, why is pie crust so notoriously difficult to make by hand? Let’s take a look:
Flour: Flour is there for strength, structure, and elasticity. It’s the binder that holds the other ingredients together and, well, makes the pastry a pastry! For pie crusts, we usually use regular all-purpose flour instead of cake or pastry flour because we want some gluten development for structure, but not too much.
Remember – mechanical action creates gluten, so it’s important not to over-handle the dough.
Fat: You can use butter, vegetable shortening, lard, or even oil in the pie crust, each to a different effect. Butter provides the most flavor and wonderful melting quality in the mouth, but it tends to not make the most tender pastry. Shortening and lard make a very tender pastry, but don’t always have the best flavor for a sweet pie.
Also, if the fat is left in large pieces, the crust will be flakier. If it’s incorporated into the flour more thoroughly, the crust will be tender and crumbly.
Liquid: The liquid in a pie crust creates the steam that lifts the pastry and creates flakes. It also gets absorbed into the flour, helping to create gluten. Too little liquid and the dough won’t hold together, but add too much and you’ll end up with a rock-hard crust!
Salt: It might sound odd to have salt in a sweet pie crust, but a pinch or two actually helps boost the flavor without making the crust taste salty.
Sugar: Not all pie crusts have sugar, but those that do will be more tender since sugar interferes with gluten development. In our experience, sugar can also make the pie dough so tender that it’s hard to roll out and transfer to your pan without breaking.
Egg: This makes the dough more pliable and easy to roll out. Eggs also make the crust more compact.
Acid and Alcohol: Both acid and alcohol tenderize pie dough, make it easier to roll out, and prevent it from shrinking in your pan.
How to Make Ultimate All-Butter Pie Crust Recipe (step by step with photos)
If you don't have a food processor you can do this same process by hand. Make sure not to work the dough too much with warm hands.
Pulse liquid with flour/butter mixture until it comes together and butter forms Blueberry/pea-sized chunks
Carefully and quickly (so as to not melt the butter with your hands) form the dough into a disc
Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
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The Best Flaky All Butter Pie Crust Story
This recipe took about six years of trial and error to perfect! I feel like printing it and putting it in a vault just in case there is an internet crash in 2020 (nothing would surprise me, after all, we've experienced so far this year).
If you've read my other posts about pies you know they are a joint effort between my husband and me. Pies run deep in Jordan's family food history and I wanted to honor and integrate part of his family story into ours.
Before I met Jordan I didn't like pie which was almost a sin in his family. After a few tries of their family pies, I quickly jumped on the pie train and was eager to incorporate different flavors and try new methods with the crust.
We started baking pies together as newlyweds using his grandmother's Grandma Rhea's crust recipe.
Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.Print
Makes 1 full pie- bottom and top crust
- 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 sticks (227 grams) cold salted butter (HIGHLY recommend Kerrygold brand) ,cut into small pieces(freeze the cut butter for 15 min on a baking sheet)
- 1 large egg (cold out of the fridge)
- 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed (you may add more up to 4-5 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- Place flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some cherry-size clumps. Start with big chunks so that when you add the liquid they chunks get slightly smaller. You don't want to start with too small of clumps before adding the liquid.
- Beat together egg, ice water, and vinegar in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 10 times more. The chucks of butter should end up to pea size after liquid is added. Squeeze a small amount of dough to make sure it holds together. If dough is too dry, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- If making a full pie divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap, forming each into 1 disk. If making galette only make one large disk with the dough.
- Refrigerate the dough at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days
Blind Baking Pie Crust:
- While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Roll out the dough and place in a pie dish. Line the top of the crust with parchment paper. Crunch up parchment paper first so that you can easily shape it into the crust. Fill with pie weights, or dried beans. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish.
- Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick holes all around the bottom crust with a fork. Return the pie crust to the oven.
- If you’re making a no-bake pie like the Banana Cream-Dream Pie and need a fully baked pie crust, bake until the bottom crust is golden brown, about 15-18 additional minutes. For a partially baked pie crust (if you’re baking the pie crust once it is filled- like the Easy French Apple Tart or the Frangipane Tart) bake until the bottom crust is just beginning to brown, about 8-11 minutes.
Crust will keep in the fridge for 2 days or freezes up to 1 month
HOW TO Blind Baking Pie Crust
- While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Fill with weights: Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper. (Crunch up the parchment paper first so that you can easily shape it into the crust.) Fill with pie weights, dried beans, or my sugar method found in this recipe. Make sure the weights are evenly distributed around the pie dish and filled to the very TOP.
- Bake: Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 15-16 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick holes all around the bottom crust with a fork. Return the pie crust to the oven.
- Blind Bake Pie Crust: If you’re making a no-bake pie like the Banana Cream-Dream Pie and need a fully baked pie crust, bake until the bottom crust is golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. For a partially baked pie crust (if you’re baking the pie crust once it is filled- like the Easy French Apple Tart or the Frangipane Tart) bake until the bottom crust is just beginning to brown, about 8-11 minutes.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 20-60 min depends on cooking method