How To Make Apple Pie Crust


For those whose pie baking may be limited mostly to holidays, the phrase easy-as-pie seems a poor estimation of the effort. Making good pie crust, however, is a skill fairly easily learned. Many pie crusts actually suffer from too much effort, rather than too little. A light hand and quick pace can make a flaky, delicious crust time after time. A crust suitable for apple pie works as well for berry, cherry, peach and other fruit pies.

Step 1

Chop butter, salt and flour together with a pastry blender or two small sharp knives, until the mixture consists of crumbs roughly the size of peas. Your goal is to keep the butter from melting into the flour, keeping your pastry flaky, or "short."

Step 2

Add 4 tbsp. of the ice water and stir pastry together quickly with the spoon. Do not mash or stir a long time to combine water with other ingredients; working the flour and water together slowly lets gluten develop in the flour and makes your dough gluey. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. of ice water if pastry remains very dry and crumbly.

Step 3

Dump pastry on a sheet of plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Gather plastic around and use your hands quickly to mold pastry into a ball. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before rolling out.

Step 4

Divide dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the rolling surface and roll out the larger ball of dough, making a circle at least 2 inches in diameter larger than your pie pan. Fold the dough lightly in quarters, move it gently into the pie pan and unfold it. Fill with fruit and seasonings.

Step 5

Roll out the top crust. Fold lightly in half and use a small sharp knife to make two rows of small slashes across the crust to let steam out during baking. Place top crust over fruit, trim top and bottom edges and pinch, crimp or mash edges with a fork to join them together. You're now ready to bake.

Tips and Warnings

  • Metal pie pans can sometimes produce disappointing results--a damp bottom crust being the most frequent complaint. Try rolling your bottom crust thinner (just cut a scrap from the edge of the dough and lay it over any cracks or holes). Ceramic or glass pie plates tend to hold heat and may produce a crisper, fully baked bottom crust.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 tbsp. butter or butter and shortening, chilled
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • pinch of salt (roughly 1/4 tsp.)
  • 6 tbsp. ice water
  • Bowl
  • Pastry blender or two small sharp knives
  • Large spoon
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pastry cloth or breadboard
  • 1/4 cup flour for the rolling surface
  • Rolling pin
  • 9-inch pie pan


  • Pie Chef: Butter Pie Crust (Food Processor)
  • Crisco Recipes: Classic Crisco Pie Crust
Keywords: apple pie crust, flaky pie crust, techniques and tips, quick pie crust

About this Author

Janet Beal holds a Harvard B.A. in English and a College of New Rochelle M.S in early childhood education. She has worked as a college textbook editor, HUD employee, caterer, and teacher. She is pleased to be part of Demand Studios' exciting community of writers and readers.