Fool Proof Pie Crust

Fool Proof Pie Crust


  • 4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 12 tablespoons sugar (I like to use 2 tbsp for sweets and 1 tbsp for savory pies)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups solid vegetable shortening OR lard
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ice water


  1. Sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the shortening using a pastry knife, or rub the shortening into the flour with your fingertips until you have a mixture that resembles coarse cornmeal.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, egg and water.
  3. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and toss with a rubber spatula or with your hands just until the dough comes together in a ball. Add more ice water if your dough is not coming together. You want it to hold together in a ball without being sticky.
  4. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. You can also freeze the dough at this point. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.


  1. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 13-inch circle. Run a large spatula or dough scraper under the dough as you roll to ensure your crust is not sticking to your rolling surface. Add additional flour as necessary.
  2. To place the dough in your pie plate, fold the dough in half (I use a large metal spatula for this task) and then fold it over again, making a triangle.
  3. Place the dough in the pan with the tip of the triangle in the center of the pan. Unfold and gently press into the pan, making sure the crust is snug in the corners of the pan.
  4. Trim the excess dough from the edges with kitchen sheers, leaving enough to create a nice high edge to your pie, about an inch of overhang.
  5. Fold the overhang under itself so you have a cylinder that rests on the edge of the pie plate.
  6. With one hand on the inside of the edge, and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your outside hand to form a U or V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or place in the freezer for 30 min.