Baking Tips, Cooking Techniques, Recipe Substitutions

How to Make Pie Crust Without a Food Processor

A pie crust tastes delicious when it is flaky and crunchy. Unfortunately, many brands advertise that you need some magical spell to get a perfect pie crust. 

You can make fresh and delicious pie crust using a food processor at home. Freshly made dough gives you the best flakey layers. So let’s begin with the necessary ingredients.


The process requires only a few ingredients easily found in your home. You will need some food-grade plastic wrap to freeze the dough.

1. Flour: Use any unflavored all-purpose flour to base a pie crust. If you are a beginner, go for all-purpose or refined flour because it will be easy to handle. But if you are a little experienced, go for any flour like wheat or pastry dough to get a nice texture on your pie crust.

2. Sugar: This is totally optional. If you like your pie crust a little sweeter, go for it. Be careful while adding sugar because this may loosen the dough and make it hard to roll out. Adding sugar provides a nice rich brown color to the pie crust

3. Salt: Just use a pinch of table salt and mix it thoroughly; adding salt will unlock the flavors of the pie crust.

4. Ice Water: Ice water will give the dough a strong fix, holding it together. Add some ice cubes into a small water bowl and mix until the cubes dissolve. You must add enough water to the dough to make it into a clean ball. Without enough water, the dough might be clumpy and break while kneading. You can substitute water ice cubes with buttermilk, vodka, or orange juice cubes, adding more flavor to your pie crust.

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5. Butter: Butter is the main ingredient to get a flaky crust. But, using excess can make the crust tender, and this flavor is strong enough to dominate the flavor of the fillings.

6. Shortening: Adding shortening gives you perfect crimping on the edges of the pie. Although this can make the dough very tender, it is easy to shape your dough. In addition, it has a mild flavor, not as strong as butter.

Many people confuse about what to add to your pie crust. Well, we say add both! Yes, both butter and shortening together. Butter gives a rich flavor, while shortening gives a nice texture to the pie crust. This way, the crust will be easier to shape and assemble too.

Now that you have assembled all your ingredients let’s get into the process.

  1. Take a large bowl and add a cup of flour, a single tablespoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix all the dry ingredients using a whisk or a fork.
  2. Add cold butter and chilled shortening pieces into the mixed dry ingredients.
  3. Use your hands and toss the butter cubes until they are coated with the flour, and use a fork to cut through the pieces of butter and shortening.
  4. Let these be a little chunky, then add 4 spoons of ice cold water to the above mixture and mix it using a non-stick or rubber spatula.
  5. Check for the water level required and add at regular intervals; adding whole at a time can create lumps and will be hard to get texture.
  6. The dough should not be as loose as a pizza base; it should not be too dry.
  7. Adding water is an important step in maintaining the consistency of the pie crust. However, it should still have little clumps so that it would be pizza dough.
  8. If you add water all at once, you need extra flour to eliminate the excess water; this will give you a hard and rubbery pie crust.
  1. Release the dough onto a clean flat surface or a Silpat mat. Do not forget to dust the base before you place the dough on the floor or the mat.
  2. Dust your hands with loose flour and start kneading and shaping the dough
  3. into a ball. Add low pressure while kneading the dough, or it might get hard after you bake it.
  4. After gathering the dough into a ball, cut it into two halves and roll them into a one-inch thick layer.
  5. Then cut the layers into discs and wrap both discs using food-grade plastic wrap.
  6. Place the discs in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before you use them. After that, you need them to rest for at least one night to two days to get a perfect texture.
  7. You can also store them for three to four months in the freezer.
  1. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and let it rest until it reaches room temperature; this will hardly take 5 to 10 mins.
  2. After preparing your filling, roll out the discs starting from the center and dust the base properly so it would not stick down.
  3. Roll the discs as per the diameter of your pie dish, and let the layer be 4 to five inches more than the diameter of the disc.
  4. Now place it in the dish and frame the edges; take the other disc and roll as the previous one. Finally, cut it into strips to make the top of the pie.
  5. Place the strips over the filling and arrange designs as you like.
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Why buy processed pie crust dough in a supermarket where you can make it at home? We guarantee it will taste much better than the one available on the market. All you need to do is follow our steps to make the best flaky homemade pie crust. Resting the dough properly is the key to the best flaky brown-colored pie crust.

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