How to Make a Single-Crust Piecrust

We're sharing our 11 steps for never-fail flaky pie crust so every pie you bake is completely irresistible.

You can never go wrong with a buttery, flaky piecrust—especially one that's homemade! Don't be intimidated by making your own piecrust! In just 11 steps you can learn how to make flaky piecrust that will melt in your mouth and be far more popular than any store-bought crust. Follow along with our flaky piecrust recipe, then choose your own filling or combine our recipe with another to make a delicious homemade pie.

Step 1: Cut in shortening.

Cutting shortening into flour mixture
  • Start by combining the dry ingredients: 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Use a pastry blender to cut 1/3 cup 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, 1 tablespoon at a time, over part of the flour mixture.
  • Toss gently with a fork; push moistened flour to one side of the bowl.
  • Repeat until all of the flour mixture is evenly moistened (you'll probably need 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water).

Step 3: Form dough into a ball.

Forming piecrust dough into a ball
  • After all of the flour is moistened, use your hands to gently press and form the crust 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 the way around the circle.
  • Use light, even strokes to form a 12-inch circle with an even thickness.

Tip: If dough sticks to the 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 even 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. (Doing so may cause 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 shears to trim the excess dough to a half 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 half inch of pastry under itself to create a rim. Try to keep the 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 your other hand, press the pastry around your finger.
  • Continue around the 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 to prevent the pastry from shrinking while it bakes.
  • Finally, line the pastry shell with a double layer of regular foil or a single layer of heavy-duty foil.
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