I call this my workhorse pie dough because it never lets me down. It delivers a tender and flavorful pastry and produces a supple, easy-to-roll dough that doesn’t tear or break under the stress of all sorts of pie decorations including latticing.–Helen Nugent

All-Butter Pie Dough FAQs

How do I make a savory pie crust?

For a single crust, omit the sugar and add 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black or mixed peppercorns to the All-Butter Pie Dough recipe.
For a double crust, omit the sugar and add 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black or mixed peppercorns to the All-Butter Pie Dough recipe.

All butter pie dough in 2 rounds, with a pie plate and dough in the background, as well as a rolling pin.

All-Butter Pie Dough

5 from 1 vote
An all-butter recipe makes the pastry flaky and flavorful. The addition of sugar to this recipe helps to tenderize the dough and adds a golden color to the baked crust.
David Leite
Servings16 servings
Calories257 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Chill Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


For a single-crust pie dough

  • 1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 2 teaspoons (1/3 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

For a double-crust pie dough

  • 2 1/4 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes, chilled
  • 5 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed


  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or in a fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. If using a food processor, pulse two to three times, or, if using a stand mixer, mix on low speed (speed 2) to combine and distribute the ingredients.
  • Add the butter to the bowl. If using a food processor, pulse six to ten times, or, if using a stand mixer, mix on low speed (speed 2) to coat the butter with flour and to cut it into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse sand.
  • Pour in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing two times or mixing on low speed (speed 2) for 15 seconds between each addition.
  • After all of the water has been added, continue to pulse or mix at low speed until the dough just begins to clump together (an additional fifteen to twenty pulses in a food processor or about 2 minutes in a stand mixer). If the dough doesn't come together, drizzle in additional ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cup your hands around the dough and gently bring it together into a ball.
    If making a double pie crust, cut the ball in half.
  • Press gently with the heel of your hand to flatten the pieces into discs that are 1 inch (3 cm) thick. Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with your pie recipe.
Pie Style Cookbook

Adapted From

Pie Style

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 257 kcalCarbohydrates: 22 gProtein: 3 gFat: 18 gSaturated Fat: 11 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 46 mgSodium: 221 mgPotassium: 34 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A: 531 IUCalcium: 10 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 © 2020 Helen Nugent. Photo © 2020 James Brand. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This all-butter pie dough is incredibly easy to bring together and made me feel like a professional baker. I also love eating a good pie crust, and this dough did not disappoint. It made a flaky, buttery, light, and crispy crust that would honestly go perfect with any filling (I used it in combination with my favourite blueberry filling recipe).

The all-butter pie dough is delightful. The recipe is easy to follow and the directions are clear and straightforward. The resulting pie dough is easy to work with and after cooking the shell holds well and gets a nice light golden color. The flavor is also balanced, which makes it a great option to make it either sweet or savory or to add other flavorings.

This all-butter pie dough went together quickly and easily.  It’s a supple, easy dough to work with, rolls out easily, and has minimal shrinkage during baking. The terrific, buttery flavor complements both sweet and savory fillings.  It’s a winner! 

I made the double crust, but the savory version, with the addition of black pepper, and I made it in the food processor. I think one could add a couple of teaspoons of dried herbs (like fines herbes) to the crust, along with the black pepper (which I will increase to two teaspoons), when making a savory pie. I think the black pepper would be a terrific choice for a strawberry-rhubarb pie

I’ll definitely make this again, and I want to try using it for empanadas. I saved the trimmings and today, I’m going to re-roll them, sprinkle them with some Parmesan and have them, on the side, with the soup I’m planning for dinner!

This all-butter pie dough recipe promises a “tender and flavorful pastry” and “easy to roll dough”. It delivers on both. I made the double crust option just to have an extra crust in the freezer.

The food processor was my machine of choice and the description of the number of pulses was accurate. My go-to pie crust is the all-butter from Joy of Cooking. It calls for less sugar and has the addition of vinegar to the ice water (I cannot taste it in the finished product). As compared to the Joy pie crust, this one is sweeter and just as tender, however, I didn’t find it as easy to roll.

I used the dough for a recipe for caramelized honey pumpkin pie. After sitting overnight with the filling, the bottom crust did soften somewhat.

I absolutely enjoyed making this recipe and it was a big hit with my family. The pie dough has enough gluten structure to maintain its shape and is still extremely flaky and tender.

This pie crust is made with five simple ingredients–flour, cold water, fat, sugar, and salt. I find that all these ingredients are highly accessible and it will encourage people to make homemade pie dough rather than opting for the store-bought ones. The addition of only butter as the ‘fat’ in this recipe, produces a delightful crust that is very flavourful. Moreover, the dough is easy to work with as it is quite supple. Overall, a great recipe that I will hold on to for upcoming pie-making sessions!

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.

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