flaky pie crust in pan

Before we get started on this amazing pie crust, I must confess. I have never been a pie person. I’d take a cookie over a slice of pie any day, and while I do enjoy pie every once in awhile, it’s definitely not something I would choose first. And one of those reasons is probably because I don’t exactly love making it. I’ve always found pie crust finicky, and overall pretty dry and tasteless. BUT THEN this foolproof flaky pie crust recipe came about. And now? Now I LOVE pie. And it only seems fair to share with all of you how to make the best crust.

We’ve broken it down step by step to take any guess work out and ensure this perfect pie crust recipe turns out….well, perfect.

Step One: Add all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse together.

food processor used to make pie crust        pulse dry ingredients in food processor for pie crust

Add the flour, sugar, and salt into your food processor and pulse a few times until everything is incorporated.

Step Two: Add cold butter to the dry ingredients and pulse until it resembles wet sand.

We recommend cutting your butter into smalls cubes and then popping it in the freezer for fifteen minutes to keep it nice and cold. The key to a flaky pie crust is keeping those cold little butter pockets so it is so important to use ice cold butter. Pulse the ingredients a few times until the mixture resembles wet sand and no visible chunks of butter remain.

Step Three: Add ice cold vodka until the dough comes together.

       

Why cold vodka, Sarah? Are you crazy? Hear me out, guys! Vodka’s high alcohol content causes it to evaporate off quickly in the oven, which will leave you with a tender, flaky pie crust.

Start with 7 tablespoons of ice cold vodka and pulse the dough together. If it doesn’t start to form a a ball in the food processor add in one tablespoon of vodka at a time until the dough starts to come together. The dough will be thick, but not dry, and when it looks like the second photo above you’ll know it’s time to pop it in the fridge.

Step Four: Form the dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

This pie crust recipe will make one bottom and top crust for a pie or two bottom crusts! Divide your dough into two balls before refrigerating to pre-portion your dough out.

You should refrigerate your pie dough for at least an hour, but up to 2 days! If you’re not ready to make a pie just yet, you can also freeze your dough for up to 3 months and pop it out of the freezer whenever you’re in need of the perfect homemade pie crust. Just take it out the day before you want to use it to defrost in the fridge!

Step Five: Roll out pie dough into a large circle on a floured surface.

Make sure you thoroughly flour your surface because you want to get it right on the first go. The less you work your dough, the better. You’ll want to roll the dough out into a circle at least two inches wider on all sides than your pie dish is.

Step Six: Place pie dish facedown on top of your dough and cut a circle two inches wider than it

Cutting a healthy 2 inch border around your pan gives you a little wiggle room to get it perfectly centered.

Step Seven: Roll the pie dough around your rolling pin and unroll over your pie dish.

Place your rolling pin at the edge of your dough circle. Peel up the top of your dough and wrap it around your rolling pin. Rotate the rolling pin as you continue to peel up the pie dough. Repeat until the dough is fully wrapped around the pin. Then unroll the dough over your pie dish and ta da! No ripped or torn pie crusts here!

Step Eight: Trim the dough, and roll the edges of the pie dough under like a sleeping bag.

Use both hands to roll the pie dough underneath itself, rolling it up and under towards the pie dish. Repeat this alllll around your pie dish and then use your fingers to seal everything in and even out the crust, so you have a nice even, thick crust to make those beautiful classic pie crimps.

Step Nine: Crimp the edges of the pie dough

       

Make a “v” with two fingers on one of your hands and brace against the outside of the crust. Use the index finger of your other hand to push between the “v” and make an indent. Repeat all around your pie until you have a beautifully crimped pie crust.

Step Ten: Brush an egg wash over the edges of your pie crust and use a fork to poke holes in the base.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of your pie crust with an egg wash. This will give you that beautiful golden brown finish. Last, use a fork and make some holes in the base of your pie crust to prevent any air bubbles. 

And that, my friends, is how to make the best pie crust. Ever.

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How to Make the Best Pie Crust

flaky pie crust in pan

Step by step directions on how to make the best pie crust ever. This easy, buttery and flaky pie crust recipe is the perfect base for any pie!

  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 1 top and bottom pie crust 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: american
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter cold, cut into cubes
  • 68 tablespoons ice cold vodka
  • 1 egg, for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the cold butter cubes to the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand and no large chunks of butter remain.
  2. Add in the ice cold vodka, one tablespoon at  a time. If your dough has come together, don’t add any more vodka. You want just enough to bind the dough. Mix until just combined.. Turn the dough out of the food processor, divide into two equal pieces, and form into a flat oval disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 days, or freeze for up to a month.
  3. When you’re ready to make your pie, turn the dough out on a floured surface and roll out into a large circle to about an 1/8th of inch thickness. Place the pie dish face down onto the dough circle and use a sharp knife to cut a border 2 inches wider than the pie dish.
  4. Roll the dough over your rolling pin, until it’s fully wrapped around. Unroll the dough over the dish, centering it.
  5. Roll the excess dough on the edges in and under towards the dish, like a sleeping bag. Use your fingers to press the dough, sealing it to create a thick outer crust.
  6. Crimp the dough, making a “v” with two fingers one hand on the outside of the pie crust and the index finger of the opposite hand to make an indent in the pie crust. Repeat around the pie until the entire crust is crimped.
  7. In a small bowl whisk together an egg and a teaspoon of water. Use a pastry brush to brush the edges of the pie crust. Last, use a fork to poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust to prevent any air bubbles from forming. Use with your favorite pie recipe!

Notes

*This recipe makes enough dough for two pie crust bases, or one pie with a top pie crust as well! Feel free to half the recipe or double it based on your needs!

Keywords: easy, flaky, how to, the best, buttery, foolproof

12 comments

Hala
Reply

Brilliant recipe ! Thanks for sharing Sarah ❤️
I have avoided making pies for the exact same reason as you mentioned. Perfect crust is such a gamble. But your recipe sounds super simple. I will definitely try it. I have one concern though, is there anything else we can use in place of vodka ?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Hala! Happy to hear I’m not alone in hating making pies! If you don’t want to use vodka, you can always use water–you just might find your pie crust ends up a little chewier because the vodka doesn’t build gluten in the dough, while the water will! Just make sure you use ice cold water and work the dough as little as possible! Hope this helps 🙂

cathy
Reply

OMG -me too – never been a big pie lover and totally because I’ve never been able to get the crust to consistently turn out right so this is AWESOME!!! Definitely going to try this – so helpful!!!!!!

arlene Hansen
Reply

In all fairness,,the recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated. it is an excellent recipe.

Amy
Reply

The Cook’s Illustrated has been my go-to for years!

Amina
Reply

Is there any substitutes for the vodka plz?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hey Amina! You can always just use water!

Jk
Reply

Hello Sarah,
Thanks for the accurate pictures on making this crust!
I have pinned several of your recipes, however, I can’t seem to find the Pinterest link on this recipe. What have I missed? Please advise
Thanks, JK

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

So strange! I’ll have to look into on our back end, but I haven’t seen anyone else having problems. Sit tight 🙂

Amy
Reply

I’ve found that freezing pie dough made with vodka is not a good idea. Vodka doesn’t freeze and it changes the texture when using after freezing it. Because I do like to freeze my dough scraps, I’ve started using seltzer water instead and it makes a very flakey crust. Vodka is great if I’m going to use all of it and not freeze any.

Bri
Reply

Can we sub whole wheat flour in this recipe?

Sofi | Broma Bakery
Reply

We’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why not! I’d probably reduce the amount of flour by a few tablespoons though!

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