Flaky Pie Crust

The holidays are a great time to break out your pie making skills. Don’t worry – making pie crust is really easy. Most people find it really intimidating so this is a great way to impress your friends and family!


  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold shortening
  • 6 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 pound of uncooked beans
  • 1 egg yolk

How to Make it

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Measure flour into a bowl and mix in the salt
  3. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or a fork until the dough resembles giant peas
  4. Sprinkle with water a tablespoon at time and mix gently after every addition
  5. Gather dough into a ball and divide into half
  6. Put one half in the fridge for the top crust
  7. Roll the other half out evenly on a well floured surface (about 1/4 inch thick)
  8. Lay into pie plate and poke with fork
  9. Fill with uncooked beans in a piece of foil (this will keep the pie for puffing up)
  10. Bake this way for 5 minutes
  11. Remove beans and foil and bake for an additional 7 minutes
  12. Add your filling
  13. Roll out the other half of the pie crust and cover filling
  14. Seal the edges and cut off any excess dough around the edge
  15. Poke holes in the top of the crust
  16. Mix egg yolk in a small bowl
  17. Brush egg yolk on top of crust (this will make it brown and shinny)
  18. Bake pie according to your filling instructions -to prevent the crust from burning keep a close eye on it and cover the edge with foil when it looks golden brown
  19. When the pie is done, turn off the oven but let it cool in the oven for about 30 minutes – this will allow the pie to set

Helpful Hints

  • I know it will be hard but pie is best eaten on the next day. This will give it time to come together and the filling won’t run out as soon as you cut into it.
  • The crust is the most important part of the pie. The key to keeping it flaky is to keep the dough as cold as possible. Limit the amount of time you handle it and if something comes up pop it in the fridge. I like to use a bottle of cold wine to roll out the dough to keep it extra cold.
  • You will have extra dough from the edge of the crust (or a lot if you made pumpkin pie) so gather it up and roll it out. Spread butter and cinnamon and sugar over the surface and roll it up. Cut the roll into 1 inch pieces and cook at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. This is my favorite holiday treat!
  • Don’t worry if your pie filling leaks through your bottom crust – it will still taste great!
  • Traveling this holiday season and want to bring your famous home made pie? No problem – the TSA will allow you to bring a pie through the security check point. I highly recommend purchasing a pie carrier and make sure your pie plate fits in it before baking (yes, I am talking from experience).
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