Easy, flaky and requires just 4 ingredients – this all butter pie crust is perfect for all your crust needs! Learn how to make pie crust with this simple recipe and use it as a tart crust for sweet tarts, mouthwatering pies and even savory tarts and quiche! This recipe makes enough dough for a double-layered 8-inch pie, or an 11-inch tart.
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How to Make Pie Crust
I love to use this simple pie crust recipe because it requires just 4 ingredients and I can have it done in no time! I start with unsalted butter. I always, always use unsalted butter for baking because you can control the amount of salt this way. I cut the butter into small, 1/2-inch cubes, place them onto a tray and into the freezer for a good 15 to 20 minutes while I’m measuring and getting everything else ready for my recipe.
Once the butter is cold, it’s time to make the dough!
Methods of Preparation
You can prepare pie crust or tart crust several different ways. My favorite method, and the fastest method, is using a food processor! It literally takes all the work out of this recipe and you’ll have perfectly uniform dough each time. Just place the cold butter into the processor, add the flour and salt and mix for 1 minute. Then, add the water and watch the magic happen! The dough ball forms within 30 seconds!
An old-fashioned but handy pastry cutter will also work well for this recipe. Essentially, you need to break down the butter into small little pieces, creating a grainy mixture and the pastry cutter does a fantastic job of it, with a little bit of manual labor! Don’t have a pastry cutter or a food processor?! Open your silverware drawer! Using 2 large forks is about the same as using a pastry cutter. Just make sure your butter is very cold – it will be easier to cut into the flour!
Tips to Avoid Shrinkage!
My biggest pet peeve with tart crusts and pie crust and quiche crusts is that they can and do occasionally SHRINK! If you have ever blind-baked a tart shell only for it to come out half its size, you know what I mean! It can really ruin the recipe. But, you can avoid the shrinkage with just a few easy tips. The reason that the dough shrinks is because it’s is too warm and too soft from handling, making the butter melted even before it bakes. I know that sounds counter intuitive but for best results, the crust needs to be ice cold going into the oven.
- Avoid handling the dough! Keep any moving or rolling to a minimum to prevent the butter from melting.
- I like to pre-roll my crust, shape it into the pan and then freeze it for at least 30 minutes.
- If blind baking, pierce the dough all over with a fork and fill the crust with pie weights or dry beans. Make sure to line the crust with parchment paper before adding the weights!
There are so many crust recipes out there and I wanted to share just a few varitions you can try without changing the recipe too much.
- Egg Yolk – adding an egg yolk will make for a slightly richer tasting crust. I find this option is great for savory tarts.
- Speaking of savory, try using gourmet salted butter if you’re making a savory quiche! A salty, buttery and flaky crust is a real game changer!
Use my butter pie crust recipe for any and every kind of tart, quiche or pie! Here are some great recipes you can get on my blog right now!
- Classic Fruit Tart – filled with cream cheese filling and lemon curd!
- Blackberry Pie with Cream Cheese Filling
- Classic Peach Pie
- Blackberry Lemon Frangipane
- Smoky Bacon and Cheese Quiche
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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
I love my classic CuisinArt food processor – it’s simple and gets any job done well!
Don’t have a food processor? Try using a pastry cutter instead!
Use this handy silicone pastry mat for rolling out the pie crust.
How to Make Pie Crust (video)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, ice cold
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Prepare the butter first. Cut the butter into small squares, place onto a small tray and into the freezer for at least 10 minutes, until the butter is very cold and firm. This can be done ahead of time, too.
- Place the cold butter, flour and salt into a food processor and pulse for about 1 minute, until a fine, grainy mixture forms. Add the water and pulse again until a dough ball forms. For different method of preparation, please see my blog notes above.
- Wrap the pie crust dough in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to chill. Refrigerator for at least 30 minutes; 1 hour for best results. If the dough is wrapped well, it can stand in the fridge for up to 1 week. The dough can also be rolled immediately, shaped and then refrigerated in the pan.