Pie Making Series Part I: The Pie Crust

by Kelsey Norwood

in Celebrations, Routines, & Traditions,Food,Tutorials

The key to a great pie this Thanksgiving is a great pie crust, of course. I went to a little class recently (taught by Erica Miller) about making pie crusts, and I learned some pretty great tricks. Here they are, just for you. (Click here for just the basic pie crust recipe)

Part I: The Pie Crust

pie crust making tutorial

With a stand or hand mixer, cut the following ingredients together:

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. lard or shortening
  • 1/2 c. butter

pie crust making tutorial
In a separate bowl, whisk together

  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 5 T. cold water

You should have little balls the size of peas.

pie crust making tutorial

Combine the two mixtures until just mixed. Cover and allow to rest 5 minutes before rolling out. This recipe makes 2-3 pie crusts.

pie crust making tutorial

This is the tricky part – the rolling out. You’ll need:

  • The dough
  • A pie plate (or round cake pan if your one pie plate is currently occupied by pie)
  • Cooking spray
  • Scissors
  • Ziplock bag – gallon size
  • Rolling pin
pie crust making tutorial pie crust making tutorial

For one crust, put half the dough in the Ziplock bag. Smoosh together and place in the center of the bag. Leave the Ziplock bag open and roll out the pie dough so it completely fills up the bag.

Important Tips:

  1. Place both hands side by side in the center of your rolling pin and press down there rather than using the handles. This creates more even pressure for a more uniform pie crust.
  2. Roll only in one direction to avoid over rolling. Start in the center and go out, come back to the center and go to the side, etc. Don’t roll back and forth.

pie crust making tutorial

Cut down both sides of the Ziplock bag and pull the bag open.

pie crust making tutorial

Lay the pie crust on top of your pie plate/pan and gently separate the crust from the bag.

Rolling out the crust like this is soooo easy and you don’t have to add any extra flour so you end up with a perfectly flaky and delicious pie crust. The dough doesn’t stick very much at all to the bag and it comes off really easily.

pie crust making tutorial

Press the edges up so that the pie crust stands about 1/2″ above the rim of your pie plate.

pie crust making tutorial

Pinch the dough between your index finger and thumb/middle finger to make that pretty edge. I’ll have to make a video of this part because it’s kind of hard to explain.

Poke the crust all over with a fork and blind bake at in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. If you’ll be making an apple or other fruit/baked pie, bake according to recipe instructions.

That’s it! This method of pie crust making is super easy and pretty much foolproof and fail safe. Enjoy your yummy pies this Thanksgiving!

{photos taken with a Canon Digital Rebel XSi}


1 Megan A November 25, 2008 at 8:09 am

cool thanks! I think I will try this since I have to make a pie today or tomorrow

2 Andrea Holloman November 25, 2008 at 9:05 am

Thanks for a very simple tutorial.


3 crunchy domestic goddess (amy) November 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm

yum! i’ve been thinking of making my own pie crust lately, and this makes it look so easy. thanks!

4 Kim T. November 25, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Just in time – I am making pies tonight! Thank you!

5 Jfalls November 25, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Thank you for making my first pie making experience a good one. Your crust in the zip lock method was outstanding. Saved the night. Happy Thanksgiving!

6 Valerie September 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I will try this method of rolling out the dough. I’ve tried every other method with bad results, very bad results. But I missed what the cooking spray was for. Do you spray it inside the ziplock bag?

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