Quick & Easy Pie Crust from Scratch

Make your favorite pie from scratch, starting with your own pie crust.

TIP: I used to think pie crust was too delicate and required being much too precise even to want to try to make it on my own. But last year I gave it a shot. My first crust turned out fine though it stuck like glue to the waxed paper as I rolled it out because I very purposefully blew off the part in the directions I used that mentioned refrigerating the dough before rolling it out. No problem. Lesson learned. This recipe shows how to make pie crust quickly, easily and with a full flavor that makes the crust much more than just a
convenient container for your favorite pie filling.

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes plus at least an hour refrigeration time

Cooking Time: depends on filling

(for one 10-inch diameter pie)

2 Cups Flour (I use whole wheat flour, but any flour will work)
1⁄2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Ground Cinnamon (optional but adds warm flavor for pumpkin or fruit filled pies)
Cold Water or Black Coffee (I like using coffee for more flavor but either will work)
Cooking Spray


Large Mixing Bowl
Measuring Cup
Table Knife
Large Cutting Board
Wax Paper
Rolling Pin
10-Inch Diameter Pie Pan
Pot Holder or Folded Dish Towel

1. Measure 2 cups of flour, and …

… pour the flour into a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the following to the bowl:

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons butter—use the butter wrapper as a guide (4 tablespoons = 1/2 stick of butter)

4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Good shake (or 1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon (optional but adds a warm flavor to the crust)

3. Use a fork to mash the butter into the flour, and mix the ingredients together until …

… the butter has been broken into small, flour-covered pieces about like this.

4. Add and mix in small amounts of coffee (or water) to the bowl until …

… the dough mixture is moist enough to stick together loosely and look thickly granular like this.

5. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball.

Put the dough ball back in the bowl, and let the dough cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour to make the dough less likely to stick to the wax paper when the dough is rolled flat.

6. When the dough has cooled, and you’re ready to bake a pie, cover a large cutting board with a sheet of wax paper sprinkled with a light layer of flour to help keep the dough from sticking to the wax paper during rolling.

Put the dough ball on the floured wax paper, flatten it a bit with a palm of your hand, and top the dough with a light shake of flour.

Cover the dough with a second sheet of wax paper cut the same length as the first wax paper sheet, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough by working from the middle of the dough piece to the outside edges.

Once the dough starts to flatten, alternate between rolling the dough front-to-back (top left photo) and side-to-side (bottom right photo) until …

… the dough piece is slightly larger in diameter than the diameter of the pie pan when the pan is held upside down over the rolled out dough as shown below.

7. When the dough has been rolled out to fit your pie pan, remove the top piece of wax paper, and spray the inside of the pie pan with a light, even coat of cooking spray.

Then place the pie pan upside down on the dough, put your hand under the cutting board, and maintain pressure with both hands to keep the cutting board and pie pan pressed together snugly while turning the pie pan right-side up.

8. Remove the wax paper, and gently use your fingers to press the dough evenly onto the surface and sides of the pan.

Use a knife to remove any excess dough from the edge of the pan, and fill in any holes in the dough with the excess dough that’s been cut away until what you have looks about like …

… this.



Read more on Thanksgiving and Gratitude on The Good Life.

Images courtesy of Bruce Tretter

About Bruce Tretter

Bruce Tretter helps people feel comfortable making practical, flavorful and quick & easy meals for themselves---even if they’ve never boiled water---through Gotta’ Eat, Can’t Cook step-by-step picture book and short video directions. He’s a father of 3, Former Naval Intelligence Officer, current school board member, and avid cyclist.


  1. wellokaythen says:

    Good stuff.

    When you bake a pie with a crust on top as well, be sure to cover the outside edge with foil for the first half of the baking time and then bake it uncovered the second half. This will make sure the crust comes out evenly baked. Otherwise, the outer edge will cook much faster than the inner part.

    Also, it’s sometimes best to coat the rolling pin with flour first, to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. (Or maybe that’s just if the crust isn’t refrigerated.)

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