How to Make a Single-Crust Piecrust

Learn how to make a pie with tender, flaky crust in 11 simple steps.

Step 1: Cut in shortening

Cutting shortening into flour mixture

Following your piecrust recipe, use a pastry blender to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Work just until the pieces are the size of small peas.


Step 2: Moisten the flour mixture

Moistening flour mixture

  • Sprinkle ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time, over part of the flour mixture.
  • Toss gently with a fork. Push to one side of the bowl.
  • Repeat until all of the flour mixture is evenly moistened.

Step 3: Form dough into a ball

Forming piecrust dough into a ball

After all the flour is moistened, use your hands to gently press and form the dough into a ball.

Step 4: Roll out the dough

Rolling out dough

  • Flour the rolling surface just enough to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Use your hands to slightly flatten the ball of dough.
  • Roll slightly flattened dough with a floured rolling pin from the center out to the edges, all of the way around the circle.
  • Use light, even strokes to form a 12-inch circle with an even thickness. If dough sticks to your rolling pin or work surface, sprinkle it with additional flour.

Step 5: Prepare to transfer dough

Wrapping dough around rolling pin to transfer to pie plate

For easy transfer to the pie plate, wrap the pastry circle around the rolling pin.

Step 6: Transfer dough to pie plate

Transferring dough to pie plate

  • Holding the rolling pin over a 9-inch pie plate, unroll the pastry. Start at one side rather than in the middle.
  • Center the pastry so an equal amount is hanging over all sides.

Step 7: Fit the pastry into the pie plate

Pressing piecrust dough into pie plate

  • Gently ease the pastry into the pie plate without stretching it. Stretching pastry causes it to shrink while baking.
  • Lightly press the pastry over the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Step 8: Trim the dough

Trimming the dough

Use kitchen scissors to trim the excess dough to 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate.

Step 9: Fold the edge of the piecrust

Folding the pastry edge

  • To build up the edge of the pie shell, fold the extra 1/2 inch of pastry under itself so it is even with the rim of the plate. Try to keep this edge as even as possible.
  • Press dough lightly together.

Step 10: Shape the edge

Shaping the pastry edge

To create a pretty fluted edge, place a finger against the inside edge of the pastry. Using the thumb and index finger of the other hand, press the pastry around the finger. Continue around the complete circumference of the pie.


Step 11: Prick the pastry and bake

Pricking the pastry and lining pastry with foil

If you're baking pastry without a filling, prick the bottom and sides all over with a fork. This will prevent the pastry from shrinking while it bakes.

Next, line the pastry shell with a double layer of regular foil or a single layer of heavy-duty foil. The foil prevents the crust from shrinking or losing its shape while it bakes.