The Right Ways to Make Pie Crust
These 5 easy steps will ensure a perfect pie crust every time.
1. Make the dough
First, choose a recipe.
In a food processor, pulse dry ingredients and fat just until they’re the consistency of cource meal (little pea-sized pieces).
To blend by hand, pinch and rub the flour and fat between your thumb and fingertips (this works well if you have cool hands). See our tip on how to rub butter into flour.
Transfer the flour-fat mixture to bowl. When adding water, it should be ice cold. Mix just until dough starts to clump. Minimal mixing helps ensure a tender crust.
2. Roll out the crust
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten to a disk, and chill for at least 30 minutes. Allow the dough to briefly sit at room temperature so that it’s easier to roll.
Try our new favorite rolling method: Hands-off Rolling
- Everyone knows that pie crust is most tender when the dough gets minimal handling. But for the pie-challenged among us, it’s easier said than done. Get ready to meet your new best friend: Parchment paper. Start by tearing off two large sheets.
- Lightly flour one sheet of parchment. Unwrap the chilled disk of dough, set it in the center of the parchment, and pound it with the rolling pin until it is about 6 inches in diameter. (This technique is called rapping).
- Lightly dust the dough with flour and lay the second sheet of parchment on top. Starting at the center and rolling out to the edges, roll the dough, using even pressure.
- To keep the thickness uniform, turn the parchment 90 degrees and flip it over after every few rolls.
- Roll out the dough to a 12-inch round, and peel off the top layer of parchment.
- Pick up the remaining parchment and dough round into the pie dish, centering the dough in the dish.
- Ease the dough into the dish and peel off the parchment.
If you’re a traditionalist or simply don’t have parchment paper around, you can roll it out the old-fashioned way:
Flour your surface and your rolling pin well. Roll lightly from the center out, lifting and frequently rotating the dough clockwise or counter-clockwise to make sure it isn’t sticking.
If you’re using a rolling pin with handles, ease up on your pressure toward the edges. If you’re using a pin that tapers or thins at the sides, you can use even pressure throughout.
Make sure that your dough is 2 to 3 inches bigger in circumference than your pie plate. To easily measure the circumference, use a ruler or roll out the dough on a silicone mat that has measurements printed on it.
3. Transfer to a pie plate
To move the dough from countertop to pan, wrap it loosely around the rolling pin. The pin helps center the dough over the filling, Or you can just fold it lightly in half and then in half again, transfer it to the pie plate, and unfold it.
4. Crimp the crust
For crimps, pinch your thumb and index finger on one side and press with your other index finger on the other side.
Use a crust protector to avoid burning the crimpled edges before the pie is done. If you don’t already have one, it’s easy to make at home: Cut a piece of foil 36 inches long. Fold in thirds lengthwise. Wrap it around the pie plate, clipping the two ends of the foil together. The foil will stand approximately 2 inches above the pastry and plate rim; it doesn’t need to be folded over the crust to prevent burning.
Here are four unique ways to shape the edge of a pie crust