All Butter Pie Crust: Perfect Pie Crust Recipe

Dessert, Pies and Tarts | 19 comments

In the past I have had many failures when attempting to make a perfect pie crust. My homemade pie crust attempts often resulted in a dough that was too sticky, too dry, or full of cracks. Purchasing frozen pie crusts isn’t really my style and I love to eat pie, so I pressed forward and kept trying. A few years ago I finally learned how to make a great, no – perfect, All Butter Pie Crust.

If you’re trying to save time during the busy holiday season, you can make the crust recipe a day or two ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the pie. Just let it sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes before you roll it out.

Perfect Pie Crust Tips

Keep Things Cold

Refrigerate all of the ingredients for your pie crust before beginning your recipe. Pockets of cold butter within the crust are what make it so deliciously flaky. Use very cold, even frozen, butter and iced cold water in your pie crust recipes. You can also chill your flour prior to use.

Use a Food Processor

While a food processor isn’t necessary to make a Perfect All Butter Pie Crust, I love my food processor and I’m convinced that it is what lead to my eventual success. It works so beautifully this way because it makes it simple to get little bits of butter evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture.

However, you can use a set of butter knives or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour if you don’t have a food processor to work with. Just make sure that the bits of butter are small and evenly distributed. The butter bits should be pea sized.

Don’t Overwork

One of the reasons I like to use a food processor is that it keeps my very warm hands away from the pie crust dough. Heat will warm the ingredients and melt the bits of butter.

Work the dough until just moist and combined and don’t over handle. Over handling will lead to a tough pie crust dough.

Delicious Pie Recipes:

What are your tips for making a perfect pie crust?

Perfect All Butter Pie Crust

Yield: 2 standard pie crusts

Prep Time: 1 hour

Print Save Recipe


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) very cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water


Cube the butter into 1/2 inch pieces. Place them on a freezer-safe plate or cutting board and freeze until very firm, approximately 30 minutes.

Sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the flour mixture to a food processor (10 to 12 cup size) along with the butter. Pulse the ingredients until the butter is cut into coarse crumbs.

Add the ice cold water 2 tablespoons at a time while pulsing the food processor until the mixture becomes a crumbly dough and forms together.

On an un-floured surface, turn the dough out and shape it into two circles (I use a kitchen scale to make sure they're evenly sized), approximately 6" in diameter, kneading as little as possible (pockets of butter are what keep the crust flaky and tender).

Dust both sides of each circle with a bit of flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator or freezer. Set it aside while you dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour. Unwrap one dough circle and roll with a rolling pin until the dough has formed a circle about 12" in diameter and slightly thicker than 1/8 inch.

When the dough is the proper size, wrap it gently around the rolling pin to transfer to the pie plate. Press the dough into the 9" pie plate and shape the edges according to your desired design.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Carrie@Bakeaholic Mama - October 05, 2011 @ 6:13 am

    I swear by an all butter crust… though I always seem to mess it up with the food processor and over process it! So now I do it all by hand. I should give it another try though, much easier and much colder than my hands!


  • 2
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids - October 05, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    What a beautiful pie crust. I am always so impressed with how perfect all of your food looks. And, the pictures are just amazing!


  • 3
    Jan @ Family Bites - October 05, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    I second the all butter crust! It’s brilliant and I love the crimping on the edges of your pie.


  • 4
    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven - October 05, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    I’m also a big fan of using only butter (no shortening!!).

    One of the tips I was taught was to roll the crust out between two sheets of plastic wrap, so then you can use the plastic to transport the dough (after rolling) into the pan without any extra stretching or tearing!


  • 5
    marla - October 05, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    Excellent perfect pie crust tips Katie :)


  • 6
    Tracy - October 05, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    Lovely all-butter recipe! I’ll have to try it!


  • 7
    Suzi - October 06, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    I concur with Carrie – by hand gives constantly excellent results pie crust. No butter, no problem, just be sure to chill everything well.


  • 8
    Erin @ Cooking on Whim - October 06, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    It took me a long time to find a crust I actually liked and one that actually worked as well. A food processor really helped me!


  • 9
    angela - October 06, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    This is very similar to my recipe. I learned like you a food processor is way to go, but a good sharp tool that cuts butter works too. I freeze my flour and butter and one tiny secret is then refrigerating dough for 24 hours before I use it. I don’t know why that makes a difference but it does. It’s not totally necessary, but if I remember to do my crust a day ahead, it tastes better and there is less mess to clean up when I get to my pie.


  • 10
    Valerie - October 06, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    I’m always looking for a great pie crust recipe. Pie crust is one of my greatest baking weaknesses. I saved this and will try it soon.


  • 11
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - October 06, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    I love all butter pie crust… This recipe is very similar (almost identical!) to my go-to pie crust recipe. Suddenly I’m in the mood to make a pie. :)


  • 12
    Chez Us - October 10, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    I have always been a fan of all butter for my pie crusts as well as tarts. Something about cisco that kind of freaks me out.

    Your pie is gorgeous and has me wanting to get my hands dirty making an apple or pear pie. Cannot wait to have a kitchen again!


  • 13
    Robin - October 11, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    Another trick to the all butter crust is to put the filled pie back in the refridgerator while you preheat the oven.

    I’ve been using an all butter crust for a long time but I still am not very good at crimping! Your’s are very pretty!


  • 14
    Frostine - October 17, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

    I wish my household would eat more pies. I’m the only one who will eat fruit pies and your post really makes me want to make one.


  • 15
    Stacey - September 26, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    I have been trying to start my own baking from scratch and was looking for a pie crust that didn’t have Crisco. Well, I tried this recipe tonight and made a chicken pot pie. I made a bottom crust and a lattice top. Let me tell you, this IS flakey! It almost looked like puff pastry, it was so flakey. SO delicious and super easy. I froze all the ingredients and used my Kitchen Aid. I mixed until almost all formed and then just dumped on my board and kneaded it all together for a few seconds. I made a double batch and froze 2 crusts. This will be my go-to for sure.


  • 16
    gen - November 18, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

    This looks great, will try it for my thanksgiving crust. A good trick for everyone without a food processor, freeze your butter and grate it up with a cheese grater.


  • 17
    Julie - December 24, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    This looks great… what are the baking time and temperature, tho?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — December 25th, 2012 @ 12:34 PM

      It depends on the recipe. I use this crust with many different recipes and cook the pie according to the pie’s recipe instructions.

  • 18
    Kelly - February 24, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. Looks like a fast way to whip up some pie crust. I will give it a try.


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