Buttery Flaky Pie Dough

Buttery Flaky Pie Dough

This is one of my favorite pie doughs, made with butter as its only fat it turns out a delicious flaky crust every time. Versatile enough to be used both with savory and sweet recipes. This is one you’ll want to keep in your arsenal.

Flour, butter, salt, ice water: all the necessary ingredients to create buttery flaky pie dough

Makes enough for a 9-inch double crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup cake flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter

5-6 Tablespoons ice water


 In a Processor

Pie dough dry ingredients in a food processor


To make this in the food processor, which you should if you have one, combine the dry ingredients in the processor.

chunks of butter, placed on top of the dry ingredients for the pie dough

Add butter

Butter and dry ingredients for the pie dough after they have been pulsed together in the food processor

Pulse briefly until crumbly.

pie dough after the water has been added and the ingredients pulsed together.Add the ice water gradually, and pulse just until the dough begins to clump together.

pie dough, wrapped in plastic wrap and ready to be chilled

Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or until firm.

By Hand

If you do not have a food processor your hands or a sturdy pastry blender will do as well. Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl, sifting is optional and most times I will simply measure my ingredients then give them a whisk to aerate them. Next, add the cold butter and using your hands or your pastry blender cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you are left with a crumbly mixture containing bits of butter about the size of small peas. When this is done add your ice water a little at a time. The liquid is highly variable depending on humidity and the amount of moisture in the flour. So add just enough to hold everything together.  Flatten into a disk, cover in plastic and refrigerate until firm.

unbaked flaky pie dough

-This dough keeps well in the refrigerator for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Remove the cold dough from the refrigerator and roll out onto a lightly floured surface until you have something close to a 12-inch disk. Transfer it to your 9-in pie pan. This pan can be greased or left dry. Due to the high ratio of fat to everything else in your pie dough you probably don’t need to grease your pan, but why tempt fate? Trim the dough’s edges leaving ½ in. of overhang. Fold the excess under itself, and flute the edges of your pie. We now have to allow the dough to rest again. I like to do 40 minutes in the fridge and then another 20 in the freezer.

Partially Baked Crust

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat your oven to 375F. Bring your pie crust out from the freezer and cover with parchment or aluminum foil being sure to cover your lovely fluted edges. Distribute pie weights evenly across the pie. You can invest in the ceramic ones, they are heavier and so are better at preventing that bubbling of the crust that sometimes comes when you pre-bake pie dough. But in my experience, a couple cups of dried beans work just as well and can be reused again and again. Bake for 25-30 minutes, the dough should still look fairly light in color. Remove the weights and the foil and place the pie back into the oven for another 5-6 minutes the dough should be a light golden color at this point.

For a Fully baked pie crust bake for 12 minutes after removing your weights and foil, allowing the crust to develop that golden brown we equate with doneness and vacations. When it’s the color you wish you were, remove it from the oven.

Recommended Equipment



J.K. Adams 12-Inch Maple Rolling Pin     Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor      R.L.Beranbaum’s Pie Plate, 9-Inch

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