Perfect Homemade Flaky Pie Crust

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.



The key to any good pie is a perfect, flaky pie crust. This all-purpose pie crust is buttery and flaky and goes great with both sweet and savoury pies. And it's as easy as pie to whip together from scratch:) #flakypiecrust #allpurposepiecrust #piecrustrecipe #homemadepiecrust #homemadeflakypiecrustThe key to any good pie is a perfect, flaky pie crust. This all-purpose pie crust is buttery and flaky and goes great with both sweet and savoury pies. And it’s as easy as pie to whip together from scratch;)

* * *

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pie. Apple pie, cherry pie (my personal favourite), blueberry pie, pumpkin pie, strawberry rhubarb pie… All delicious options. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter how good your filling is if your crust is too tough, or cooked unevenly, or (gasp!) soggy!

Luckily, making a perfect, flaky pie crust from scratch is easy to master by remembering a few simple rules. 


Three rules for perfect, flaky pie crust…


Rule #1: Keep your butter (or lard) as cold as possible.

The colder the better when it comes to pie crust. This is especially true when it comes to the fat source you’re using (ie. butter, lard or even coconut oil), because you want the fat to stay solid until it melts in the oven. Then when it does melt, little air pockets will remain in the pie crust, which makes for a delicious layered flaky crust.

I put my butter in the freezer right before I cut it into my flour to keep it as cold as possible right up until it’s ready to go in the oven.

Related: How to Render Lard At Home


Rule #2: Keep the fat content as high as possible.

Fat equals flavour, and also helps keep crust light and flaky. To up my fat content, I use cream (or whole fat milk) instead of water in my pie crust. 

Also, don’t allow too much gluten to form. Gluten causes pie crusts to become tough and dense, and that is definitely the opposite of what we’re going for here! One way to prevent gluten from forming is to add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your pie crust, as you’ll see in this recipe. Vinegar helps to inhibit gluten strands from forming, which will help you keep your pie crust light and flaky.


Rule #3: Don’t overwork your dough.

The more you mix and work your pie dough, the more gluten will form. Remember, i’s not bread dough, it’s pie! And the less you touch it, the better.

That being said, I’ve found it’s pretty hard to overwork pie dough when forming it by hand. I usually spend a good minute or two working my dough into a dough ball and my crust always turns out nicely. However, if you’re using a food processor, you need to be more careful not to overwork it.



How to make homemade flaky pie crust from scratch

This recipe is for a double pie crust, so you’ll get a bottom and a top crust out of this.

The first step to a perfect, flaky pie crust is to start with cold butter or lard. Never use room temperature butter to make pie dough! Always start with butter that’s been in the fridge (or even the freezer!)

Cut one cup of cold butter or lard into ½-inch cubes and set the cubes aside in a bowl. Transfer to the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to add it to your flour.

You can use butter or lard in this pie crust recipe. If you’re vegan, you could even use coconut oil (although full disclaimer, I’ve never personally tried using coconut oil in my own pie crusts). I find butter adds a little more flavour to pie crust, but lard really helps to make it extra flaky. Either one is a good option. 

Next, in a liquid measuring cup, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to ½ cup of cold cream or whole milk and set it in the fridge until ready to use.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together three cups of all-purpose flour and one teaspoon of salt.

Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter or lard by hand. (You can also use a food processor if you prefer).

Cut in your butter or lard until the chunks are roughly the size of peas.

Slowly drizzle your milk/vinegar mixture over your flour/butter mixture and then mix together with your hands or with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to stick together. Then turn dough out onto a floured surface and work the dough into a ball with your hands. 

The dough will be crumbly. That’s okay! Just keep working it until it forms into a ball. However, if you feel you need to add a bit more liquid, add a little more milk but just add one tablespoon at a time. You really don’t want your dough to be too sticky or wet, so err on the side of crumbly as long as it holds together.

If using a food processor, pulse a few time to cut in the butter and then drizzle the milk/vinegar mixture in as you run your food processor. Turn your food processor off as soon as you’ve poured all the milk in, then turn dough out onto a floured surface and work it into a ball.

Once you’ve shaped your dough into a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap or place in an airtight freezer bag and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling out.

* If you want to make your dough ahead of time, it can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

The key to any good pie is a perfect, flaky pie crust. This all-purpose pie crust is buttery and flaky and goes great with both sweet and savoury pies. And it's as easy as pie to whip together from scratch:) #flakypiecrust #allpurposepiecrust #piecrustrecipe #homemadepiecrust #homemadeflakypiecrust


How to roll out pie dough

When you’re ready to assemble your pie, remove pie dough from the fridge, remove wrapping and transfer to a floured surface. Cut pie dough in half to form a bottom and a top crust.

Roll out your bottom crust to about 11 inches in diameter to fit a 9-inch pie plate, then transfer dough to the pie plate.

Rolling out pie dough.

I love my heavy marble rolling pin for rolling out my pie crust nice and thin.

To make transferring easier, fold dough in half once and then in half again. Then place in the pie plate and unfold.

Folding pie dough.

Folding pie dough.

Folding pie dough.

Folding pie dough.

Press pie dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate and trim off any excess dough around the edges.

Scoop filling into bottom pie crust and set aside. Re-flour your surface and roll out the other half of your dough to form your top crust. Either cut into strips to form a lattice crust or fold in half twice (just like you did with the bottom crust), place on top of your pie and unfold.

Cut off excess crust and use fingers or a fork to crimp around the edge or the pie.

Brush some egg wash on your pie crust (and a little raw sugar, if you’re making a sweet pie), and use a sharp knife to cut a few vent slits in the top.

Brushing egg wash on pie crust.

Place in the oven on the bottom rack and bake at 375ºF for one hour. 


Blind-baking pie crust

If you’re blind-baking your crust (pre-baking) for a cream, custard or pumpkin pie, line your bottom crust with a little parchment paper or aluminum foil and place some sort of weights on top to keep your pie crust weighted down so it doesn’t shrink or deform in any way. You can use pie weights or dried beans also work well since they distribute weight evenly and won’t burn.

Blind bake your crust at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes. 

For more detailed instructions, check out this tutorial on blind-baking pie crust.


Want more pie???

Check out the following posts for more pie-related goodness:

Oh, and make sure to print out the recipe for this all-purpose pie crust below. You’ll want to keep a hard copy on hand in your recipe box to pull out quickly whenever you find yourself in the mood for a good pie:) (Always).

Perfect Homemade Flaky Pie Crust

Perfect Homemade Flaky Pie Crust

Yield: makes enough for one double crust pie


For the crust

  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes (or substitute lard)
  • ½ cup cold cream (or whole, full-fat milk)
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt

For the egg wash

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. water


  1. Cut butter or lard into ½-inch cubes and set the cubes aside in a bowl. Transfer to the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to add to your flour.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together milk and vinegar and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter (or food processor), cut (or pulse) the butter/lard until the chunks are roughly pea-sized.
  4. Slowly drizzle the milk/vinegar mixture over the flour/butter mixture and mix together until the dough begins to stick together. Dump dough out onto a floured surface and work the dough into a ball with your hands. If you feel you need to add a bit more liquid, add one tablespoon of milk at a time.
  5. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap or place in an airtight freezer bag and transfer to the fridge for at least an hour before rolling out. Dough will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  6. When you’re ready to assemble your pie, transfer dough to a floured surface. Cut pie dough in half to form a bottom and a top crust.
  7. Roll out your bottom crust to about 11 inches in diameter to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer dough to pie plate.
  8. Press pie dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate and trim off any excess dough around the edges.
  9. Scoop filling into bottom pie crust and set aside. Re-flour your surface and roll out the other half of your dough to form your top crust. Either cut into strips to form a lattice crust or lay it over the top of your pie.
  10. Cut off excess crust. Then use your fingers or a fork to crimp around the edge or the pie. Brush some egg wash on your pie crust (and sprinkle a little raw sugar on top if you’re making a sweet pie), and use a sharp knife to cut a few vent slits in the top.
  11. Place in the oven on the bottom rack and bake at 375ºF for an hour. Let cool completely before serving.







  1. Amanda Frelke

    Made a fresh blueberry pie and used your pie crust recipe. It was great! Turned out with great flaky layers.

    • Tish Painter

      Yeah! Sounds great Amanda!
      Now I’m hungry for pie….. 🙂

  2. Rose Felton

    I don’t make pies because I never learned to make a good crust. I am going to try your recipe and see if, finally, I can make the crust edible! Thank you!

    • Anna Sakawsky

      Let me know how it goes!



  1. Mini Cherry Pies in a Muffin Tin - […] for the dough, I use the same basic pie crust recipe I’ve always used, but doubled to make enough…

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Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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That what sets Homestead Living magazine apart from much of the information you'll find online: We don't have staff writers, we have experienced homesteaders sharing their hard-won wisdom in each issue. And while we do offer a digital version, we're also now offering monthly PRINT issues for U.S. subscribers (Canada and elsewhere hopefully coming soon!)⁣

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*** Comment "Homestead" below and I'll send you the link to subscribe! ***

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When I graduated from university with a degree in journalism many years ago, I remember thinking that while I knew how to write, edit, interview, shoot, and handle just about every part of creating a publication from the editorial standpoint, I really had no clue how to actually get published, let alone how the printing process works.

Over the years I’ve followed my passion for writing, editing and creating content, figuring much of it out on my own. From creating my blog to “self-publishing” my own digital/print magazine for the last 4 years, I’ve taught myself most of the practical skills necessary for turning an idea into a publication and getting said publication in the hands and in front of the eyes of many hundreds of readers.

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27 5

It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)

117 42

I’m all about practical gifts; Gifts that will truly make life easier and contribute to my and my family’s wellbeing. And our family includes our animals!

One of the ways we make sure our chickens are taken care of is by letting them free range during the day, but making sure they’re locked up and safe from predators at night. But who wants to be up at the crack of dawn to open the coop, or wake up to a bloodbath because you forgot to close the coop the night before?

(The answer is obviously no one… No one wants that).

Automating our homesteading tasks as much as possible allows us to worry about other things and saves us a ton of time. Plus, it makes sure that things get taken care of, whether we remember or not.

Using an automatic chicken door has been a GAME CHANGER for us. It’s one of those lesser known homestead tools that can make all the difference, and I’m always recommending one to anyone who keeps chickens!

This chicken door from @chickcozy_ is so easy to install and use too, and right now you can get one for a steal during their Black Friday sale!

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22 5

Yes, you read that right…

Modern Homesteading Magazine is coming to an end.

This decision has not come easily, but there’s a season for everything, and more and more I’m feeling called to transition out of this season and into the next in both life and business.

And so this final farewell issue is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s the first ever annual issue, with 100 pages packed with brand new content that celebrates the best of the past 32 issues!

And it’s the first issue I’ve ever offered in PRINT!

But on the other hand, it marks the end of an era, and of this publication that I’ve absolutely had the pleasure of creating and sharing with you.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you will not be charged a renewal fee going forward, and will continue to have access to the digital library until your subscription runs out. As part of your subscription, you’re able to download and/or print each issue of you like, so that you never lose access to the hundreds of articles and vast amount of information in each issue.

Rather than subscribing, you can now purchase an all-access pass for a one-time fee of just $20, which gives you access to our entire digital library of issues.

Plus, for a limited time, when you purchase an all-access pass you’ll also get a gift certificate for a second all-access pass to gift to someone else.

I’m also still taking preorders for the print version of this special edition issue, but only for a few more weeks!

When you preorder the print issue, you’ll also get a digital copy of the special edition issue (this issue only), and will receive a print copy in the mail later this year (hopefully by Christmas so long as there are no shipping delays!)

Click the link in my profile or visit to check out the latest issue, purchase an all-access pass to the digital library and/or preorder the print issue today!

Thanks to everyone who has read the magazine over the past 4 years. I’m humbled and grateful for your support, and can’t wait to share whatever comes next:)

#modernhomesteading #homesteading #homesteadersofinstagram

25 3

It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

But if you work on learning one new skill at a time and gain confidence in it before moving onto the next, one day you’ll be looking back and marvelling at how far you’ve come.

That’s where I’m at now. Life today looks a lot different than it did 10 years ago, when our homesteading and self-reliance journey was just beginning.

Back then we still lived in our city condo and were just beginning to dabble in all of this stuff. But my husband Ryan and I felt a sense urgency to start pursuing a more self-reliant lifestyle, and we committed to taking small steps, one day at a time to make that vision a reality.

Over the years we’ve continued to put one foot in front of the other, adding new skills and tackling new projects along the way that have helped us get to where we are today.

While there’s always more we want to learn and do, as I look around me right now, I’m so grateful that we took those first steps, especially considering what’s happened in the world over the past few years!

If you’re also feeling the urgency to take the first (or next) steps toward a more self-reliant life, this is your final reminder that today is the last day to join The Society of Self-Reliance and start levelling up your homesteading and self-sufficiency skills so that you’ve got what it takes to:

• Grow your own groceries
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• Learn other important life skills like time management for homesteaders, goal setting and how to become your own handyman

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If you’ve been feeling called to level up your self-reliance skills (because let’s be honest, we’re in for a wild ride these next few years with everything going on in the world), now is the time to heed that call.

Link in profile to enroll before midnight tonight, or go to

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203 5

There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

💰 Saves you money at the grocery store
🍴 Healthier than conventionally grown food
🔑 increases your overall food security
🫙 Gives you an abundance to preserve and share

But perhaps the number one reason is because it just tastes better!

Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

Plus, having to wait all year for fresh tomatoes or strawberries or zucchinis to be in season makes that short period when they’re available just that much more exciting!

With the world spinning out of control and food prices continuing to rise, it’s no wonder more people are taking an interest in learning to grow their own food at home. But that also means changing our relationship with food and learning to appreciate the work that goes into producing it and the natural seasonality of organically grown fruits and vegetables.

(It also means learning to preserve it so you can make the most of it and enjoy homegrown food all year long).

In my online membership program, The Society of Self-Reliance, you’ll learn how to grow your own food, from seed to harvest, as well as how to preserve it so you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor all year long!

You’ll also learn how to grow and craft your own herbal medicine, detox your home, become your own handyman, and so much more (because self-reliance is about more than just the food that we eat… But that’s a pretty good place to start!)

The doors to the Society are now open for a limited time only. Click the link in my profile or go to to learn more.

#foodsecurity #homegrownfood #homesteading #selfreliance #selfsufficiency #homegrownfoodjusttastesbetter

90 0

If you’ve been watching events unfold over the past few years and you’re feeling called to start “cutting ties” with the system and begin reclaiming your independence, The Society of Self-Reliance was made for you!

When I first launched this online membership program last year, my goal was to create a one-stop resource where members could go to learn and practice every aspect of self-reliance, as well as a space to connect with other like-minded people pursuing the same goal. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you join!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn inside the Society:

🌱 Food Security and Self-Sufficiency: Learn the art of growing and preserving your own food, ensuring you and your loved ones have access to nutritious meals year-round.

🌿 Natural Living and Herbal Medicine Mastery: Discover the secrets to creating a low-tox home and and to growing, making and using herbal remedies to support your family’s health, naturally.

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As a member, you’ll enjoy:

📚 Monthly Video Lessons: Gain access to our ever-growing library of video lessons, with fresh content added each month.

📞 Live Group Coaching Calls: Participate in our monthly live group coaching calls, where we deep dive into a different self-reliance topic every month, and do live demonstrations and Q&A’s.

🏡 Private Community: Join our private community forum where you can ask questions, share your progress, and connect with like-minded individuals.

I only open the doors to The Society once or twice each year, but right now, for one week only, you can become a member for just $20/month (or $200/year).

In today’s world, self-reliance is no longer a luxury, a “cute hobby,” it’s a necessity. Join us inside The Society of Self-Reliance and empower yourself with the skills you need to thrive in the new world!

Link in profile or visit to learn more.

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32 0

Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)

114 18

Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

Plus you’ll also get access to my step-by-step video lesson on planting garlic so you can set yourself up for success with your garlic crop this year.

Comment “Garlic” below or head to to get your free copy!
#garlic #garlicharvest #homesteading #selfsufficient #selfsufficiency #selfsufficientliving #selfreliance #homegrown #groworganic #growfoodnotlawns #gardenersofinstagram #homesteadersofinstagram

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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
#homesteading #modernhomesteading #raisinglittles

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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!

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