Basic Pie Pastry

Pie pastry in the pan
Photo: Diana Rattray
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 pie crust (8 servings)
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This is a basic pie pastry made with chilled butter and shortening. Put the cut-up butter and shortening in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you begin the pie.

The recipe makes enough for one crust, and it is easily doubled for a two-crust pie or two single crust pies.

What You'll Need

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water (ice cold)

How to Make It

  1. Cut the butter and shortening into small pieces and put it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before you begin.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl; sift again. Cut in the chilled butter and shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until the fat is the size of small peas. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and stir with a fork. Add more ice water, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough begins to clump together.
  1. As soon as it is moist enough to gather into a ball, shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Handle the dough as little as possible. Roll the chilled pastry dough out on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch in thickness. The pastry should be about 1 1/2 inches larger than the pie plate.
  3. The recipe makes enough for one crust. Double the recipe for a double crust pie or two single crust pies.

For a Blind Baked Crust

  1. If a recipe calls for a pre-baked or blind-baked crust, line the pastry with foil or parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Reduce the heat to 375 F and bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil and continue baking for about 12 to 15 minutes longer. 
  2. Place on a wire rack to cool and then fill as recipe directs.