Flaky Pie or Tart Dough

pie crust

If you have a food processor, making pie crust is very easy. If not, it’s a little more difficult (but still not so hard). I have tried many different recipes, but prefer the ones that don’t use shortening (or lard, of course!), so when I found an all butter crust in The Art and Soul of Baking, I became hooked. I don’t use it all the time, but it’s definitely a page that I turn to often.

I almost always double the recipe and freeze half. Makes my life so much easier the next time I want to make pie. You can use this recipe for sweet and savory pies, the only difference is 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. And honestly, if I want to make a savory pie and only have a sugared pie crust in the freezer, I use it anyway. No one’s noticed yet…

I’ve actually made this crust using soy garden with pretty good results. I found that I needed some more water, but it still held together pretty well. If I freeze it, it’s pretty easy to use for a delicious Shabbat dessert!


  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 /2 teaspoons sugar (omit for savory)


1. Cut the butter into pieces and freeze for about 20 minutes.

2. Mix the dough: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend. Add the frozen butter pieces and pulse 6 to 10 times, until the mixture looks like crushed crackers.

3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Sprinkle one tablespoon of water and “fluff” it in, add another, fluff, and then one more, and fluff again. Stir 10 to 12 times. It should look like a bowl of shaggy crumbs now.

4. Test the dough to see if it has the right moisture by taking a handful and squeezing firmly. Check your hand – if it’s all together. you’re set. If the clump falls apart, remove the moist clumps from the bowl, add more water, sprinkling a teaspoon at a time, and mix in. Test again, and repeat if needed.

5. Knead the dough gently 3 to 6 times. Flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. Roll the dough into a 14-15 inch circle, about an 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to pie pan. Chill for 30 minutes before baking.

Some recipes require baked pie shells, other unbaked – check your recipe before continuing…

7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

8. Line the pie shell with foil and fill with pie weights. bake for 2o minutes.

9. Remove from oven, remove weights and foil, and bake for another ten minutes. Check for cracks, patch any that you see, and bake for another 15 minutes.