Making a perfect pie crust doesn’t need to be difficult, fussy, or stressful. With only four ingredients and 15 minutes of effort, you can confidently make this flaky, buttery pie crust that will earn you endless accolades—and requests for the recipe.Angie Zoobkoff

A partially crimped perfect flaky pie crust in a pie plate with a knife, rolling pin, and bowl of crust scraps beside it.

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

5 from 1 vote
This perfect flaky pie crust, made with flour, butter, salt, and water, is quick, easy, flaky, and basically foolproof. Here’s how to make it.
David Leite
Servings8 servings | 1 pie crust
Calories172 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water


  • In a large bowl using a pastry blender or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, butter, and salt until the mixture resembles small peas.
  • Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the mixture and stir with a fork or pulse until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the dough into a 13-inch (33-cm) circle. Fit it into a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate, fold the edges under, and crimp as desired.
  • If the recipe calls for the pie crust to be filled and then baked, go ahead and use the pie crust immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple days. If the recipe calls for the pie crust to be blind baked, line the dough with aluminum foil, fill with pie weights or dried beans, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights or beans and bake, uncovered, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more. Let the pie crust cool completely on a wire rack.
The Southern Pie Book

Adapted From

The Southern Pie Book

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 172 kcalCarbohydrates: 15 gProtein: 2 gFat: 12 gSaturated Fat: 7 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.5 gCholesterol: 30 mgSodium: 75 mgPotassium: 24 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 0.1 gVitamin A: 353 IUCalcium: 7 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 Jan Moon. Photo © 2013 Time, Inc.. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This perfect flaky pie crust is definitely an easy recipe.

The first time, I followed the directions exactly and 4 tablespoons ice water was perfect. The second time, 4 tablespoons was a bit too much. I also used a food processor the second time and did frisage, which put a bit more flake into the crust. I used the recipe for poppers and a crostata and it worked wonderfully in both recipes.

The only thing I’d do differently is add some vinegar or lemon juice to allow the crust to last a few days if it’s not being used right away.

This pie crust came together beautifully. I did not make any deviations from the recipe and I used 6 tablespoons ice water to get the ball formed and then a generous amount of flour for rolling.

There were several things I liked about this recipe. First, it used a whole stick of butter. I like simple measurements. I like that there was enough dough for a thick crust. I don’t usually chill my dough, but I was pleasantly surprised at how light the crust was after baking, even when it was in the oven for 50 minutes. The chilled dough probably helped with that.

The crust was thick and beautiful and maintained its form nicely, yet flaky at the same time. I made a quiche with the crust. It’s beautiful!

I was trying to get my husband to confirm how awesome my crust looked. He wasn’t overly enthusiastic. However, my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter said, “I think it’s awesome.” So there you go.

I will be making this crust again with a sweet pie next time.

I really like this perfect flaky pie crust recipe because of the simple ingredients and the delicious pie crust it yields. This recipe would work with savory pies, such as chicken pot pie, or sweet pies, such as apple or pumpkin.

Make sure to double this recipe if you’re making a double pie crust. I used a food processor to mix my ingredients and the pie crust dough came together so fast, in just a couple of minutes! I pulsed the flour and the salted butter I had available (hence I only added a pinch of additional salt) till peas formed and then added the water by the tablespoon. I used a total of 5 tablespoons, pulsing after each tablespoon of water was added, just until a ball of dough was formed in the bowl.

I immediately rolled the dough out onto a floured marble counter surface and placed it directly into my pie pan and covered with plastic wrap. The dough chilled right in the pie pan and was ready to use after the recommended 1/2 hour in the refrigerator.

A food processor method is so easy and cuts the time to 5 minutes instead of 20 minutes mixing by hand.

You can cover the pie dough edges with foil if too much browning occurs.

I would rate this 10 for the simplicity of the recipe and the taste of the final product.

Easy peasy pie crust. This recipe is very close to the pie crust recipe that’s been in my family for several generations. Simple to make, virtually foolproof, and best of all makes a great pie.

Two notes to follow are 1. make sure your butter is VERY cold and 2. only add water to the point where it doesn’t look wet enough. Then hand form the dough into a couple of loose balls, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to rest. I find to get my butter really cold, I freeze it in sticks and then grate the amount of butter needed into the flour to make pie dough. It is so much easier and faster than cutting the butter in.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Caramel Apple Pie

Classic apple pie just went next level with the addition of sweet caramel on top.

5 hrs

Whole Wheat Pie Crust

There are pie crusts, and there’s this crust–nutty, crisp, buttery, and oh-so-perfect for your favorite pie–sweet or savory.

1 hr 5 mins

Sweet Noodle Kugel

If you haven’t tried sweet kugel yet, you’ve been missing out. See why this creamy noodle casserole is a perennial holiday favorite.

1 hr

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Pie crust intimidates the heck out of me, so I was thrilled to find this incredibly easy crust recipe! It took very little time to come together, and tasted delicious!