This crust is the base of any great pie, galette, pasties, turnover,s and more. Sweet or savory, this easy recipe will consistently deliver a delicious dish. This 3 ingredient pie crust recipe is a simple, no-fuss way to make a tender, flaky pastry crust. And it's so easy that even someone who has never baked can handle it!
The ingredients are simple in this pie crust recipe, but the technique is essential. The trick to making a flaky pie crust is to avoid overworking the dough. Also, ensure your butter and shortening are very cold so they don't melt as you mix them in with the flour.
Are you ready to conquer your pie crust dough fears and take your desserts to the next level? Grab your trusty bench scraper and let's do this!
Why this pie dough works
The secret to this 3 ingredient pie crust recipe's success is its simplicity. This recipe yields a tender crust that's easy to handle and flaky and flavorful. Before you know it, you'll be a savvy home baker who is entering pie contests (or starting your own).
The key to making tender pie dough is keeping everything cold while working with it.
For example, I usually freeze my butter before using it in this recipe because it's easier to cut it into small pieces than room-temperature butter would be.
You can also chill your bowl and dough hook attachment in the fridge or freezer before starting this recipe if you want to keep things extra cold while mixing the ingredients.
All-purpose flour will work just fine in this basic recipe but keep in mind if you swap for other types of flour whether that be pastry flour or any kind of heart heartier flour know that you may need to make some adjustments.
Pie dough is usually made with unsalted butter because the salt in salted butter can inhibit gluten development. Make sure to keep your butter cold and cut it into cubes while it is still chilled. Working with cold butter is part of the science of good gluten development and piecrusts in general.
What's cooler than being cool? Ice cold! When I say cold, I mean iced cold. When I say a 3 ingredient pie crust, water is a given. Cold water from the tap will work OK but if you have time to make sure your water is thoroughly chilled definitely do that.
How to make the perfect pie crust
Mix flour, salt, and cold butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend butter into flour and salt with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly cold water a few drops at a time while stirring gently until the dough holds together when pinched between your fingers.
Divide in two and shape each half into a ball; wrap in plastic or foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove pastry dough from the refrigerator and unwrap one ball at a time onto a floured surface;
Roll into an approximately 10-inch circle using a rolling pin. Repeat with the remaining dough if making two pies.
How to place pie crust in pan
Transfer each rolled-out crust to a prepared pan by gently stretching it around the edges of the pan, pressing in at all sices, and crimping any excess dough along the rim of the pan.
Use your fingers or the tines of a fork – be careful not to press too hard or else you may puncture an air pocket underneath your crust! Chill until ready to use (if making ahead of time, cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap after chilling for best results).
If you use a food processor, I recommend adding the water slowly, with the motor running, until combined.
If you are making this by hand or with a handheld pastry blender, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until just incorporated into the flour mixture (it should resemble wet sand).
Do not overwork the dough after adding the ice water! Overworking will develop too much gluten and result in tough crusts. The dough will be crumbly but should hold together when pressed between your fingers.
To ensure your dough stays cold enough, don't overwork it or wait too long between steps in this recipe. If you do, it will start to warm up and become sticky, making rolling out difficult.
You'll also want to chill your dough sufficiently before baking so that when it hits the oven, it's firm enough to keep its shape without shrinking or losing its flakiness.
Easy Pie Crust Suggestions
Once you have an easy recipe to make pie crust from scratch, the possibilities are endless! Here are some recipes where you can use this dough, but really, there are a lot of options.
- Use one crust to make a sweet galette with seasonal fruit
- Cut your crusts to make homemade hand pies
- Parbake your crust in a tart pan and make a beautiful tomato tart at the height of the season
- Top your fruit crisp or cobbler
- Enjoy a chicken pot pie for the perfect winter meal
- 3 c. sifted flour
- 1 c. butter, cubed
- 1 tsp. salt
- 5-6 tbsp. cold water
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Blend the butter into flour and salt with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Slowly add cold water and a few drops while stirring gently until the dough holds together when pinched between your fingers.
- Divide in two with a bench scraper and shape each half into a ball.
- Wrap your dough in plastic or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove pastry dough from the refrigerator and unwrap one ball at a time onto a floured surface.
- Roll into an approximately 10-inch circle using a rolling pin.
- Repeat with the remaining dough if making two pies.
The recipe yields enough dough for two single-crust 9-inch pies or one double-crust 9-inch pie.
The main thing to remember when making pie crust is to handle it as little as possible. The more you work your dough with your hands or roll it out on a floured surface, the more challenging it will become. For this reason, many recipes call for chilling the dough in the refrigerator before you roll it out and add the filling.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g