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How to Make One-Crust Pie Pastry

Learn how to make a simple one-crust pie with our easy step-by-step guide.

What’s the secret to the best homemade pies and tarts? Flaky, tender pastry crust! While you may be tempted to buy pre-made pastry, making it from scratch is easier than you might think. Follow along with Betty and learn how to make this simple, flaky base for your next dessert. 

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon All-Purpose Gold Medal Flour 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup cold shortening 
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice-cold water 
  • A medium mixing bowl 
  • A rolling pin 
  • 9-inch glass pie plate 
  • A pastry blender or fork
How to: 

1. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture forms coarse crumbs the size of small peas. Sprinkle with the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened.


2. Gather pastry into a ball and flatten on lightly floured surface. Wrap flattened round in plastic wrap and refrigerate 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable.


3. Using floured rolling pin, roll pastry on lightly floured surface into a round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate.


4. Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate or roll pastry loosely around rolling pin and transfer to pie plate. Unfold or unroll pastry and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side and being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.


5. Trim over-hanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold edge under to form standing rim; flute edges. Bake as directed in pie recipe.


Expert tips: 

  • For Butter Crust: Substitute cold butter, cut into ½ inch pieces, for half of the shortening.

Looking to try a different pie crust? Learn How to Make Two-Crust Pie Pastry or create Lattice-Top Pie Crusts.