The Ultimate Pie Crust Guide

Yield: Makes enough for one 9-inch single pie

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook: 1 hour

The Ultimate Pie Crust Guide breaks down small ingredient and technique changes to discover what makes a pie crust flaky, buttery, tender, hard, crunchy, or crumbly! It’s easy to tell...

36 Responses to “The Ultimate Pie Crust Guide”

  1. #
    Chris Novosel — November 11, 2013 at 7:14 am

    The link is currently not working. I would love to see your analysis.

    • #
      Tessa — November 11, 2013 at 8:17 am

      The link is working now! So sorry for the inconvenience.

  2. #
    Karyn Campbell — November 11, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I keep getting page not found at Relish 🙁

    • #
      Tessa — November 11, 2013 at 8:16 am

      The link should be working now! Sorry about that!

  3. #
    Patty White — November 11, 2013 at 8:02 am

    The links to said page not found.
    I use an iPad 3

  4. #
    Erica Lea | Buttered Side Up — November 11, 2013 at 9:18 am

    This was an awesome experiment, Tessa! I may have to give the sour cream a try. I don’t have a food processor, so of course I’ll be doing the by-hand method. 🙂

  5. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — November 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Love that you experimented. Cannot wait to read the results so going there now!

  6. #
    Diane @ Vintage Zest — November 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    So excited to see! I recently tried a crust with vodka and thought it was good, but I would love to see the other results. I’m heading over now. 🙂

    P.S. – I did my own little experiment changing out the flours: all-purpose, wheat, and whole wheat pastry. No blog post about it though, although it would have been a good one. Opportunity missed, dang!

    • #
      Tessa — November 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

      That would have made a great blog post! If you ever do those flour batches again let me know – I’ll link it here!

  7. #
    DessertForTwo — November 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I saw Mel (Mel’s Kitchen Cafe) posted an all sour-cream pie crust recipe recently. It must be the new thing! I’ve got to try it! Thanks for your experimenting 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — November 12, 2013 at 10:15 am

      I love even a touch of sour cream in the pie crust! Will have to try all sour cream.

  8. #
    Gaby — November 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    So intrigued by the sour cream crust! Love this!!

    • #
      Tessa — November 12, 2013 at 10:15 am

      It’s awesome!! Thanks Gaby!

  9. #
    Maybelline — November 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    How do you stay so slim? I really enjoy your recipes and the way you present them.

  10. #
    Shanna@ pineapple and coconut — November 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

    This is perfect timing for me. I am attempting pie crust for the first time ever and I am making my mom’s pie where she uses a sour cream crust. I love that you do these series Tessa!! Sharing on my facebook page!

  11. #
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — November 14, 2013 at 10:11 am

    I’m a big believer in using both butter and shortening. Also making them by hand because I always seem to over process in the food processor. I’m really intrigued by adding sour cream. I’ll have to give that a try this Thanksgiving. Great post.

  12. #
    Alana — November 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

    the Ultimate link keeps overriding to BING search engine. Can you please update the link?

    • #
      Tessa — November 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      That isn’t happening when I click the link… maybe it’s something on your browser or possibly an advertisement?

  13. #
    Heather Christo — November 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    This is SO BRILLIANT. I am headed over to see the results!

  14. #
    Kristen — November 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I keep getting ported over to Bing too. Even if I try to stop the link from loading while it’s thinking it still goes to Bing 🙁

  15. #
    TN — November 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I LOVE your ultimate guide series! But I think it is such a pity you didn’t try to make the pie crust with canola oil as the fat ingredient (the oil is mixed with cold water and stirred just until moist into the flour). The crust is so flaky I was amazed a liquid fat could do that! Granted, the flavor was lacking, but it can be such a good diet substitute… at midnight when a huge pms craving kicks in lol

  16. #
    Karlyn — November 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I have always used my mom’s pie crust receipe, which makes 3 single crust pies and uses butter, egg and vinegar along with the other standard ingredients. I am curious as to the purpose of the vinegar and how that affects the end product? What do you think Tessa?

  17. #
    Gina — June 10, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I too have always used my Mom’s recipe which was passed down from her Mom. It calls for an egg and vinegar. I have never used butter or shortening only lard.

  18. #
    Goreti — June 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Decided to make apple pie today and used your recipe with the sour cream. Since it was for an apple pie, I also added some cinnamon. Just cut the pie and the crust is wonderful. I think I have found my new go to pie crust recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  19. #
    Jane Raifsnider — June 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I agree with TN. Oil crust wins hands down over any other kind of pie crust. It is incredibly flaky and so quick to make. I make it with sunflower oil. Is it healthier? Well it is not lard, so maybe. But after using this method for years, anyone who has eaten my pies finds traditional crust too dry.

  20. #
    Lynn — June 23, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    When I was a teen I learned how to make pie crust from my mom’s friend. It was an all-shortening recipe. It worked well, and became the family’s standard for many years. Now, however, I know how bad shortening is for you, and so I switched to an all-butter recipe. My husband never liked the old crust, but loves the new one! I will definitely keep sour cream in mind as an addition next time.
    As for lard, it is actually very good for you – as long as it’s from healthy pastured pork, not fed GMO corn. Canola and sunflower are major GMO crops, and are definitely NOT healthy choices! Organic options are available, however.

  21. #
    Sheila — July 12, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Your guides are insanely helpful! Thank you for taking the time to do this and share your results with us! This will help me create for sure. ♡

  22. #
    Jaimie — August 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I’m reading all the time about using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for recipes. What’s your thoughts on doing that for a pie crust?

  23. #
    Christina — October 9, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Here’s one to throw you off: I grew up making the pie crust that my dad grew up with, made by his mother. Flour, melted lard, salt and luke-warm water. Mix together, without overmixing, using a fork and your hand until combined. Roll out on the cutting board, trim to fit the pie plate, and fill with pie filling of choice. Bake, and that’s it! It has never failed us.

  24. #
    Jaime {sophistimom} — October 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Tessa, these are great. I love the idea for the sour cream. There are a lot of recipes out there that I want to make but use puff pastry. I usually have trouble finding puff pastry with all butter (I know I can get it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, but it’a a long drive and I don’t always feel like making the trek), so I usually skip making them. Some of them that I’ve seen, however, like tarte tatins, sometimes call for using a pate brisee, which in my opinion would be way too boring. But this looks like the ultimate solution. Thanks!

  25. #
    Meredith — November 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    I think the food processed shortening crust was a misrepresentation of what shortening can do. Shortening should never be blended into the flour, that’s what made it flat in your result, it needs to be cut in and then very lightly mixed. A properly made shortening crust will always beat out a butter crust in my book.

  26. #
    rick manos — January 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for great pie dough experiments. How do you bake the doughs i.e.pie plate pyrex or metal or did you just bake your samples on a cookie sheet?

    Thank you,

  27. #
    Lisa — April 16, 2015 at 4:01 am

    This was a fun read! I was wondering…in your sour cream trial, did you end up adding less water? And where did you go to culinary school? Love your blog!

  28. #
    Shelby — August 30, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Hi Tessa,

    My pie crust was a fail :[ It was not pie crust-y at all and would not hold/roll/stick so I ended up having to press it into the pan, mostly sticking to my fingers. I went with the sour cream crust, not sure what went wrong. Did I pulse too long/much maybe? First timer.


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