My Favorite All Butter Pie Crust {step by step photo tutorial}

This All Butter Pie Crust is my absolute favorite pie crust recipe. It works EVERY time and produces flaky, buttery homemade pie crust that will make your pie recipe perfect!

All Butter Pie Crust Tutorial with step-by-step photos | crazyforcrust.com

I kind of can’t believe that my blog is called Crazy for Crust and I do not have one dedicated pie crust post. I mean, I make lots of crusts, and lots of pie, but until now, I’ve never done a pie crust tutorial. It’s time to change that!

I’m going to break down my favorite all butter pie crust recipe for you, step-by-step, with photos.

I’ve been using this all-butter pie crust recipe for about 5 years now, and it is my absolute favorite one.

Now, let me tell you a secret: you don’t always have to use a made-from-scratch pie crust. You are perfectly welcome to bring Pumpkin Pie to your mother’s house for Thanksgiving using a refrigerated crust (Pillsbury is my favorite). In fact, I’ve done that myself. But sometimes you want homemade pie crust, so I think everyone should be able to make a pie crust from scratch. I know so many people are scared of the dreaded pie crust – but there really isn’t anything scary about it. It’s easier than you think. Making your own will taste great – I promise. Even if it’s not the prettiest thing in the world, it’s going to taste better than store bought. And I’ll tell you  a secret: half the time my crust isn’t the prettiest. And you know what? I don’t care. It tastes great just the same.

Now, to make a good pie crust you need a few things: fat, water, flour, and salt. You can use a few different kinds of fats for pie crust, the most popular being butter, shortening (Crisco), or lard. I’m going to go against the grain and tell you, my crust is all butter. I don’t like lard, and I don’t like Crisco. I’ve got nothing against either of those products, (in fact, I use Crisco occasionally) but I don’t like them in my pie crust.

I love butter so I make all butter pie crust. And guess what? I’m bucking tradition even more – I use SALTED butter. I always use salted butter in my cooking…that’s just me. You can totally do this with unsalted butter, but add 1/4 teaspoon more salt.

Okay, are you ready for my step-by-step all butter pie crust tutorial?

This post is very photo heavy, but you’re going to see the crust every step of the way. Let’s get started!

(If you want to skip all the photos and just get the recipe, click here to jump to the recipe.)

When you start making an all butter pie crust, you need to think ahead a little. Everything needs to be COLD. Cold butter and ice water are the keys to a successful crust. Before you start, dice your butter and then put it back in the refrigerator. Then fill a measuring cup with ice and water.

cubes of butter

Add your flour and salt to your food processor. (Remember, if you’re using unsalted butter, add an extra 1/4 teaspoon of salt.)

Now, if you don’t have a food processor, don’t fret. You can do this by hand with a pastry cutter. I’m just really, really lazy. If you’re using a pastry cutter, just whisk the flour and salt first.

making All Butter Pie Crust in a food processor

Add your butter. It’s COLD, straight from the fridge. Don’t touch it too much. Don’t go answer the phone. Cold, straight from the fridge to the food processor!

combining ingredients to make an all butter pie crust

Pulse a couple of times. If you’re using a pastry cutter, now is the time to hope you’re been working your arms. Put some muscle into it!

This is what it will look like:

All Butter Pie Crust mixture, in a food processor

Add your ICE water. Not the ice, just the cold water. Start with 2 tablespoons.

ice water in a measuring spoon

Pulse a few times, let it run a few seconds. I always add a third tablespoon of water at that point, always. But, depending on altitude and humidity and your kitchen and the star alignment, you might not need the third…or you may need a fourth. Run the processor and your mixture should go from this:

All Butter Pie Crust mixture

To this:

All Butter Pie Crust dough in food processor

If it’s not coming together add more water, but wait to see if it comes together. You do not want a wet dough. It takes a few seconds for it to turn into the ball.

At this point, I do something unconventional: I don’t chill it yet. *gasp*

I hate rolling chilled dough. Like, I’d rather eat beets. So instead, I roll out my dough, put it in my pie plate, THEN chill it while I make my filling. This dough is sturdy enough to roll right away, and if it’s rolled out, it chills faster. Win-win, in my book.

(FYI, I do the same thing when I make sugar cookies!)

Okay, so now you have a ball of all butter pie crust dough.

Turn it out onto a cutting board or a silicone baking mat (like a roul’pat or a silpat) that’s been dusted with flour. FYI, if you’re using a cutting board or marble slab, you’ll need more flour. Silicone is better if you have it – less sticking with minimal flour, which is your goal. The more flour you add, the tougher your crust is going to be.

All Butter Pie Crust dough on a pastry mat

Press it into a disk with your hands, flour your rolling pin and roll it out into a circle.

rolling out an All Butter Pie Crust

Keep rolling…

I like to pick mine up and flip it over and around every few rolls until it gets too big to do that. This is important because that way you know it’s not sticking to your surface. There is nothing worse than rolling out the perfect dough and have it crack and break when you go to pick it up.

Roll it until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Or, well, this thickness:

all butter pie crust dough, rolled to 1/4 inch thickness

In the 3 times I made crust last week I could not find a ruler. #damnkids

The easiest way to transfer your all butter pie crust to your pie plate is to roll it up on the rolling pin. If you’ve moved your crust around a bit, it should roll up no problem.

Note: you have to hold your rolling pin with a finger so it doesn’t unroll. Just a word of advice. Otherwise you’ll have a pile of unrolled crust. Not that I’d know or anything…

All Butter Pie Crust on a rolling pin

Put it in your pie plate. Press it to fit, gently. This crust fits best in a 9″ pie plate. Beware: not all pie plates are the same size. Some are 9 1/2″, some are 10″, some are 7″. Be sure what size you have before you start. If I’m using a 10″ pie plate I double the recipe and use 2/3 of the dough.

All Butter Pie Crust in a pie dish

I like to lay the overhang flat around the pie rim, then fold it under if possible. It won’t be overhung that much around the whole pie plate. Some will be flat, some will have enough to fold under.

All Butter Pie Crust inside of a pie baking dish

On the left I had enough to fold over, there in the center, not so much. That’s okay!

Now you decide how you want your edges. Crimped? Forked? (I’m sure there’s an official word for “forked” but whatever, I like making up my own vocabulary.)

crimping the edges of an All Butter Pie Crust

BTW, that was a fun shot to get. {Look ma, no hands on the camera!}

This is what your crimped pie looks like:

crimped All Butter Pie Crust

Or make it pretty with a fork:

crimping an All Butter Pie Crust with a fork

And it will look like this when you’re done:

All Butter Pie Crust Tutorial with step-by-step photos | crazyforcrust.com

Another way I like to dress up my pie edge is to make a second all butter pie crust and use small cookie cutters to cut shapes and put them around the edges.

Stars, maple leaves, Santa stockings, whatever. Last year, I used the back of an icing tip to make round circles using this method:

{Pumpkin Bread Pudding Pie}

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Pie 3 wor

 

If you want to do that method, you’ll need a second pie crust.

Also note: I only ever fill this pie crust and bake. I’ve never blind baked it for a custard filling.

Then all you have to do is fill your pie and bake it! Here’s a tip so your pie crust isn’t too brown after baking (I hate a dark crust!): Tear off strips of foil that are about 1 1/2″ thick. (No need to measure, just guesstimate.) Tear those in half and wrap them around the pie, like this:

pecan pie foil1

{That Toffee Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe is coming Friday!}

Then bake the pie, as directed. About 10-15 minutes before the pie will be done, remove the foil. So many recipes say to add the foil if the pie is getting too brown, but how are you supposed to do that without burning your fingers? (Um, you can’t. That’s a fact.) Make a preemptive strike – cover first, then remove so the edges can brown to a normal color.

And hey, all you crust haters who eat the filling and throw away the crust: this will make you like it, I bet. You probably hate it because it’s brittle and burned…if you follow that tip, it won’t be! 🙂

So, that’s it. My Favorite All Butter Pie Crust. What will you fill yours with?

All Butter Pie Crust Tutorial with step-by-step photos | crazyforcrust.com

I hope you love this pie crust as much as I do!


My Favorite All Butter Pie Crust

Yield: 1 pie crust for a 9" pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (113g), diced and chilled (I use salted butter, see note)
  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons (29-59g) ice water

Directions:

  1. Make sure your butter is diced and cold before starting. Make sure you’re using ice water also.
  2. Combine flour and salt in food processor. Pulse once to mix. Alternately, whisk in a large bowl if you are not using a food processor.
  3. Add butter and process until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of water and pulse, a few times. I always add a third tablespoon of water and pulse until the dough forms a ball. This takes a few seconds. If you find your mixture is too dry, you can add another tablespoon of water. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  4. Alternately, without a food processor, cut your butter in using a pastry cutter. Work in one tablespoon of butter at a time, then turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
  5. I recommend using a silpat or roul’pat or other similar silicone surface for rolling. But you don’t have to, you’ll just have to use more flour. Press the dough ball into a disk and roll to about 1/4″ thickness. Be sure to flip and rotate your dough as you go so it does not stick to your surface. Roll out the dough to a few inches larger than your pie plate (about 12″ for a 9″ pie plate).
  6. Place in pie plate and press to fit. Tuck under any overhang and crimp or use the tines of a fork to decorate the edges. Chill until ready to fill.
  7. This pie crust is great for filling and the recipe makes 1 crust that fits comfortably in a 9″ pie plate. For a bigger pie plate or for a double crust, double the recipe.
  8. To use this crust as a pre-baked crust, bake at 400°F for about 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Be sure to poke it several times with the tines of a fork all over the bottom before baking, or use pie weights.

If you are using unsalted butter, increase salt to 1/2 teaspoon.

If you double the recipe for a 2 crust pie: start with 3 tablespoons of water and add more as needed. The rest of the items can be doubled exactly.


Check out all of my pie crust recipes for even more inspiration!
Here’s a video of what I did:

Need some pie ideas to fill your crust with? Check out my Pie Recipe Collection or these pies:

 

Frozen Pumpkin Meringue Pie

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Pie

Sweets from friends:
Snickerdoodle Chess Pie by Something Swanky
Peanut Butter Pie with White Chocolate Ganache by Wine & Glue
Blueberry Crumble Cream Pie by I Wash, You Dry

Or check out my Crazy for PIE Pinboard!