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Vinegar Pie Crust

Two vinegar pie crusts in pie pan
Vinegar pie crust is used in all the most popular desserts at Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant and Bakery.  Enough said.
Mollie Cox Bryan

Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 40 mins
16 servings | Makes 2 crusts
194 kcal


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar*
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water


  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or, if you must, your fingertips until it is the size of small peas. Using a fork to lightly mix the ingredients, add the vinegar, egg, and just enough ice water to moisten the dry ingredients, being sure to add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be sticky.
  • Divide the dough in half, form it into 2 equal-size balls, then flatten each ball into a disk. Roll out the crusts right away or wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. When you're ready to bake a pie, on a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch, fit it into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate, and proceed according to your pie recipe.
  • To bake an empty crust, preheat the oven to 400°F. Press 1 rolled-out crust into a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Line with parchment paper and weigh the crust down with dry beans or pie weights to keep the crust from bubbling or shrinking. To parbake the pie crust, bake for 10 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. To prebake the crust, remove it from the oven after 10 to 20 minutes, when you first see a golden hue to the crust.


*Why would I add vinegar to a pie crust?

Think of it as a secret ingredient. A dash of vinegar in your pie dough will help to prevent the formation of gluten while you're rolling everything out. That formation of gluten is what makes for a tough crust. And trust us...that's what all pies are judged on, no matter how fantastic the filling.