This Is The Piecrust

I know, you already have a pie crust recipe. Believe me, I had a pie crust recipe, too—in fact, recipes, plural. The one that uses all butter. The one that mixes butter and Crisco. The one that uses cream cheese. The one that uses oil and you just press it in the pan. The clever, science-y Cooks Illustrated one—with vodka! All of these recipes worked most of the time. Even when they didn’t—so what? They shrunk a little or tore a little or ended up a little too tough or too fragile. It was homemade pie crust, for God’s sake. No one ever complained.

Except me. I still wanted total ease of making, total reliability, and a flaky, tender outcome. Every time. That’s why I tried yet another pie crust recipe. And that’s why I’m sharing it with you. You’re welcome.



Adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats. You can see the step-by-step directions here. Note that I use less butter in my version, not for health reasons (ha!), but so that the crimping on my crust would hold its shape. 

Makes enough dough for two 9-inch pies (or one double crust).

Place in your food processor

8 ounces flour (you will add more later)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar (for a sweet pie)

Pulse three times.


2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter, cut into pats

Pulse to incorporate fully. None of that nebulous “pea-sized pieces” crap; you want it thoroughly mixed in until the dough collects in clumps.

Then break up the flour/butter mixture and scatter the pieces around the bowl of the food processor again.

Then sprinkle over the top

4 ½ ounces flour

Pulse the dough again to incorporate—maybe five pulses. The moist dough should break up, but there’s still plenty of dry flour around.

Dump it all in a bowl and add

6 tablespoons cold water

Use a rubber or silicone spatula to fold the dough over itself and incorporate the water. Keep folding until it’s a solid ball.

Transfer to a floured surface, divide in two, make each into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for a couple of hours before rolling out.