Butter Pie Crust Made by Hand

I make one recipe for a single crust, one and a half for a covered pie or pie crust art.

4 Pie Crust Ingredients

Four ingredients, 4 minutes. Easy!

I make one recipe for a single crust, 1-1/4 recipes if I want to do pie crust art, and 1-1/2 recipes for a covered pie. Here are quantities for all three:


1 recipe

1-1/4 recipe

1-1/2 recipe

Chilled butter

1 stick (8 TB)

1-1/4 stick (10 TB)

1-1/2 stick (12 TB)


1-1/3 cups

1-2/3 cups

2 cups





Ice water

2-2/3 TB

3-1/3 TB

4 TB

Cut the butter into 8-12 pieces and place in bowl. Add the flour and salt and use a pastry blender to mix the butter with the flour until it’s the size of small peas. (If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use two forks or your fingers.)

Using your fingers, mix in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix just until it holds together, only a few seconds. Press the dough into a flat disk.

Sprinkle a little flour on a cool, dry surface and place the dough on it. (Note: if you’ve made the larger recipe, take about 2/3 of the dough for rolling the bottom crust.) Rub a little flour onto the rolling pin so it won’t stick and roll the dough in a rough circle a little larger than the diameter of your pan. If the dough sticks, sprinkle on a little more flour. The dough should be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

Use a spatula to loosen the dough from the surface, and fold it in half and then quarters to make lifting it easy. Place in the pie pan and press to shape. If you’re so inclined, use your fingers or a fork to make a pretty edge on the crust.

Making the top crust: Shape remaining dough into a flat disk and roll out as above. Determine how big to make the crust based on how much fruit you’ve piled in the pie.

Place crust on top of fruit and seal the edges. If you want to make it fancy, cut out some shapes before you put the crust on top; otherwise, just cut some slits in the top to allow steam out.

Alternatively, you may choose to do a lattice crust or pie crust art.

Tips from Jane

— You can also make this pie crust in a food processor.

— Many people recommend chilling the dough for an hour before rolling. I usually don’t remember to do this, but if you have time you might want to.

Pie crust is very forgiving. If yours tears or splits, as mine often does, just patch it together with your fingers or a little bit of dough. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little bumpy or uneven—after all, it’s going to be covered with yummy filling! You don’t want holes in the crust, however, as that could allow the filling to seep underneath.

Crimping the edge to make it look nice isn’t hard. Just use your fingers to shape small indentations, working your way around the crust. You can also use the back of a fork to make an edge.

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Good reading while your pie is baking...

Three novels by Tom Brosnahan