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Flaky All Butter Pie Crust Recipe (Double Crust)

This all butter pie crust is so flaky and easy to make if you know just a few simple tricks! Who doesn’t love a buttery, flaky pie crust topped with all the delicious things like blueberry pie or strawberry peach pie or even pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Pie is so versatile and the perfect vessel for all the summer fruits and berries. 

 

Pie pan filled with an unbaked pie crust.

 

There are tons of things to consider when making a butter pie crust, but it’s not difficult when you first give it a go. In this post you can read why I prefer to use just butter, tips on how to keep the dough cold, how to avoid shrinkage and overworking the dough. It may take some practice, or you may nail it on the first try!

 

Just like with macarons and pavlova, it is not difficult, but it takes some getting used to the various processes.

 

Recipe for both 9 and 10.5 inch pies

 

This pie crust recipe makes a double pie crust that fits both 9 inch but also a 10.5 inch, which is more common in other parts of the world. I have looked and looked and LOOKED for 9 inch pie pans in Norway, with no luck, so I am thinking others may be in the same boat as me. 

 

Fret not; if you have a 9 inch pie pan, you can and SHOULD use this recipe still. The flavor and texture are impeccable, and if you find yourself with just a little too much pie dough, make some mini galettes on the side! 

 

Baked blueberry pie with lattice top, not showing all of it.

Classic blueberry pie

 

Ingredients

 

A basic pie crust only has 4 simple ingredients (5 if you also use shortening). And those are:

 

  • Cold butter
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Ice water

 

You may notice a theme here, that both butter and water needs to be cold at all times. More on that in the next paragraphs. There are other ingredients you could add to pie doughs, like egg yolks to make it more pliable, or lemon juice to make it more tender. But I’m using just the basics in this recipe, as I think that is enough for a flaky, butter pie crust. 

 

Ingredients to make butter pie crust.

 

Butter vs shortening

 

I am a flavor girl. And butter = flavor. Butter also melts quickly, which can be a problem when it comes to making pies. Shortening keeps its shape for much longer considering it has a higher melting point. That makes it easier to shape the dough and roll it out, without the fat melting. This also means that if you use shortening, the pie will keep its shape better when it bakes, which makes it possible to create intricate patterns.

 

However, shortening doesn’t taste like much and it has a greasy mouthfeel. And butter, butter tastes amazing.

 

Butter is a pain to work with sometimes, but you just can’t beat that flavor. It is also the butter that gives the pie its flaky layers. That is because the water in the butter is evaporating as the butter melts in the oven. That creates air pockets aka delish flaky layers.

 

You can of course use a combination of shortening (or oil) and butter to get the best of both worlds, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to compromise on flavor if you don’t want to. 

 

Hand holding a piece of a baked pie crust to show the layers.

Look at all those layers!

 

How to keep it cold

 

So you want to make an all butter pie crust without shortening and I don’t blame you. In order to keep things cold for as long as possible, there are a few tricks you could (and should) try.

 

  1. Freeze the butter for 45 minutes before making the dough (especially if using European butter)
  2. Work quickly so it doesn’t have time to melt (food processor is great here)
  3. Shape into flat discs for easier rolling
  4. Put the discs back into the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours
  5. Again, work quickly when rolling the dough
  6. Put the pie pan with the dough in it in the freezer while you pre-heat the oven
  7. Add prepared filling (if you’re not blind baking) and bake. 

 

It boils down to (get it?) working quickly and keeping it chilled in-between stages. It isn’t that hard, but it does take a while! 

 

Steps to make the pie crust dough.

 

Pie shrinks when it bakes

 

Shrinkage of the dough when it bakes is also a common problem. That can happen when air pockets try to escape the dough, but in order to avoid this you can prick the bottom of the pie with a fork. Now you will let the steam out while it bakes and it will hold its shape better. 

 

I also like to have a little extra dough over the edge to have some room for shrinkage. When shaping the edges of the pie, just leave an inch extra overhanging the outside of the pie pan. This will help keep the edges to maintain their shapes.

 

Slice of peach pie with ice cream on top.

Strawberry peach pie

 

I like to shape this part of the dough with my knuckles. On one side of the dough, keep your index and middle finger knuckles apart, and on the other side of the dough, fit your index knuckle on your other hand inside your other hand, gently pressing the dough in-between. 

 

When blind baking, baking without filling (more on that below), you should use pie weights to force the pie down. Pie weights can be actual pie weights or it could be dry beans or peas as I use here. Cover the unbaked dough with parchment paper or aluminum foil and then fill the pie with weights. 

 

It can also happen because you have overworked the dough and developed the gluten. Gluten is what makes doughs elastic and springs back into shape when you pull it. However, as opposed to bread and buns, you don’t want to develop gluten when making flaky pie crust.

 

Steps to roll out the dough.

 

Other things to consider

 

Yes, keeping the butter cold is not the only thing to consider when making flaky pie dough. Too warm butter in pie dough will blend too well with the flour. That in turn makes the final pie crust tough. You should be able to see large specks of butter in the dough when you roll it. 

 

The other thing to consider when making pie, is avoiding to overwork the dough. In some sense this also comes down to the butter, as you blend it too well with the flour, developing the gluten. An overworked dough will become tough and that can also shrink too much in the oven when you bake it. 

 

That is why I like to use the food processor. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but I think that is definitely the fastest way to get walnut halved sized pieces of butter in the dough. It’s important that you only pulse for 1 second intervals or else you will overwork the dough.

 

When using two forks (I don’t have a pastry cutter… which I probably should own, yes), I tend to keep on forever in order to get those same pieces, and sometimes I even cave in a use my warm hands to squeeze the butter. I know, not a good call. So I recommend a food processor. 

 

Steps to fill and shape the dough in a pan.

 

To make butter pie crust from scratch

 

First, take cold butter right out of the refrigerator, cut it into 1 tbsp ish size pieces and place the pieces in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. 

 

Meanwhile, mix flour and salt in a food processor and get a bowl of ice water (when the 45 minutes are up of course). When you take the butter out, add them to the food processor and pulse in 1 second intervals until the largest pieces of butter are walnut halves sized. Now add 1 tbsp of ice water at a time, pulsing in-between. It is done when it looks crumbled, but when you press it, it keeps together. About 8-9 tbsp, no more than 10. 

 

Strawberry peach pie seen from above.

 

So the clue is to work fast. Dump the content of the food processor on to a floured work surface and press it together into a ball. Then cut the ball in 2 and shape them quickly into 2 flat discs. Cover them in foil and put them back in the refrigerator. A minimum of 2 hours to firm up the butter and rehydrate the dough. 

 

You could leave it the fridge for up to 4 days or you could even freeze it and save it for later. This is great if you want to make a crumble pie and you only need the bottom pie crust

 

When you’re ready to take it out of the fridge, add it to a lightly floured surface and start to roll it gently with a floured rolling pin. Shape it to 13.5 inches (34 cm), or about 3 inches (7 cm) more than your pie pan. Carefully transfer it to the pan. Lift the edges of the pie and press it into the corners (are there corners in a round pan?) so that it fits snugly into the pie. 

 

Shape the excess pie dough with your knuckles as mentioned above, and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Now place it in the freezer for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven (and roll the second disc if you are using a double crust). 

 

If you want to know how to lattice the top, I have included some instructions in the recipe card, but for a more detailed explanation and step-by-step photos, check either the blueberry pie recipe or the strawberry peach pie recipe

 

Bake with or without filling?

 

So the next question is, what kind of pie are you making? If you are making a pie with a thicker filling, like a blueberry pie, you will bake the pie with the filling inside. Pre-heat oven to 350F (170C) and bake with the filling (and top crust – for how to lattice the top, see strawberry peach pie recipe) and on the bottom-rack for 35-45 minutes. The last 7 minutes, I change to the middle rack and increase the temperature to 400F (200C) to get that beautiful golden crust. 

 

Slice of blueberry pie without runny filling.

 

However, if you are filling the pie with for example a lemon curd or mango curd, custard or something very runny, you should fully bake the pie crust first. This is known as blind baking. To do this, you have to keep the dough down with pie weights as mentioned above. Pre-heat oven to 375F (190C) and bake with weights for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil and then bake for another 20 minutes or until it is golden.

 

Steps to blind-bake a pie crust.

 

If the edges brown too quickly, you can cover the edges with aluminum foil while it bakes. 

 

Now you should be perfectly equipped to make this easy flaky pie crust made with just butter. What will you make first? Tell me in the comment section below or hit me up on instagram at @thegingerwithspice. Can’t wait to see what you will do with it. Enjoy!

 

Did you like this back to basics baking recipe? Here are more I think you will like:

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

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Pie pan filled with an unbaked pie crust.

Flaky All Butter Pie Crust Recipe (Double Crust)

Yield: 2 crusts up to 10.5 inches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes

Flaky, buttery pie crust made with just 4 simple ingredients. This recipe includes all my tricks for the perfect all butter pie crust!

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks cold butter (225g)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (290g)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8-10 tsp ice water, divided

Instructions

  1. Prepare the butter. Butter needs to be COLD. Cut cold butter into reasonably same sized cubes and place on a plate. Leave in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, add flour, salt and partially frozen butter cubes. Pulse on 1 second increments for about 10-15 seconds, or until it resembles crumbles with some walnut halves sized pieces of butter.
  3. Add ice cubes to a cup of cold water. Pour 1 tbsp of the cold water into the food processor at the time. Pulse for 1 second, before adding in another tbsp. Add about 8-10 tbsp in total, pulsing in between each tbsp. I use 9 in this recipe. It should come together when you press it, but otherwise look crumbled. The less water, the better!
  4. Pour this mixture on to a floured work surface. Working quickly and as little as possible, shape it into a large ball with your fingertips. Slice it in half and press into two flat discs. Wrap in cling foil and keep in the fridge for 2 hours or up to 4 days (can also be freezed).
  5. Prepare bottom crust: On a floured work surface, place one disc (keep the other in the fridge). Start rolling carefully, with a floured rolling pin. Roll until it’s 13.5 inches (34cm) round.
  6. Carefully transfer to your pie pan, lift the edges and press lightly to fit the ‘corners’. To make a round zig-zag shape on the edges, take your index knuckle on one side and press the dough into the crease between two knuckles on the other side. This can also be done after latticing to better blend the sides and the top.
  7. Prick the bottom with a fork to let out steam so it will be nice and flat once baked. Place in the freezer while you roll the second disc and pre-heating the oven.

With filling

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F (170C) and roll the second disc to about 30-35cm. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 1 inch strips (if using lattice pattern).
  2. Add your desired and prepared filling and top with the top crust. I like to use a lattice pattern. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar for extra texture and color.
  3. To lattice: Take every other strip and line your pie pan vertically with at least 1 inch in between each strip. Turn every other strip backwards so we can top it with the other strips. In the other direction, horizontally, add the other half of the strips. Start with one strip at the top. Take the vertical strips back down, and take the other vertical strips up. Add a new horizontal strip. Keep going until the bottom. You should always take the strips that are under the horizontal strips. That way you get the beautiful every-other-lattice pattern.
  4. Bake on the bottom rack for 35-45 minutes. The last 7 minutes or so I change to the middle rack in the oven and increase temperature to 400F (200C) to get that golden brown top.
  5. Cool completely in the pan before slicing it. Perfect with a scoop of ice cream.

Without filling (blind baking)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F (190C). Add aluminium foil to the pan and cover with pie weights or dry peas/beans. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove pie weights (and foil) and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden. If the edges brown too quickly, you can cover it with aluminum foil.
  3. Cool completely before filling the pie.

Notes

Please read blog post if you want more tips and information on how to make the perfect, buttery and flaky pie crust.

Tips for filling: blueberry pie or strawberry peach pie.

Tips for filling with blind baking: lemon curd or mango curd and fresh fruit/berries. Or a simple custard like the one used in this turtle cake recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 18.6gSaturated Fat: 11.7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 363mgCarbohydrates: 21.5gFiber: 0.8gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 3.1g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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