Perfect Homemade Flaky Pie Crust

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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.


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).






  1. 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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There’s still an endless list of skills I want to learn and projects I want to tackle. The thing I love most about the homesteading lifestyle is that there is literally always something new to learn!

I don’t expect to ever learn all the things I want to learn, but I know that even when I’m in the latter season of my life, I’ll still have an insatiable appetite to keep learning until it’s my time to leave this Earth.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you live or how much land or experience you have. If you consider yourself a lifelong learner (who’s not afraid to get your hands dirty), then you have what it takes to be a homesteader too;)

Super pumped for tonight’s dinner of wild mushroom risotto and a celebratory glass of Chardonnay :)

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It’s November, and that means we’re about to head into cold and flu season (hello, some of us are already there 🙋🏻‍♀️)

Add in a global pandemic, and we could be in for a rough ride these next few months 🦠

I spent some time the other day whipping up a few homemade herbal remedies that we’ll be relying on all winter long to help boost our immunity and keep our whole family as healthy as possible. I thought you might like to join me in my kitchen as I show you how easy it is to make your own herbal medicine at home, and talk more about how we stay healthy the all-natural way (and how you can too!

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But not only does homemade elderberry syrup taste better than the OTC (over-the-counter) stuff, it WORKS just as well to relieve cold and flu symptoms too! Actually, it might even work better!!

This is because, if used regularly, elderberry syrup can help you to stay healthy by building up your immunity and warding off illness in the first place, and if you do get sick, the antiviral, anti microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties in this elderberry syrup recipe will help you feel better and support faster healing rather than just relieving symptoms.

Oh, and by making your own elderberry syrup at home instead of buying it by the bottle at your local health food store, you’ll also save yourself a buttload of money. (And that also helps to relieve a little suffering;)

To learn how to make your own all-natural elderberry syrup at home, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to to get the full recipe!

P.S. It’s stupidly easy to make too, so no special skills are required to make your own batch;)

Just a reminder, there are only a few hours left to get your free Wellness Sampler Set from @planttherapy essential oils, which includes my very favourite Germ Fighter blend plus two more must-have oils to keep on hand this cold and flu season.

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(Seriously, do it. You’ll be glad you did;)

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But in order to use herbs and essential oils safely and effectively, you need to know HOW to use them safely and effectively.

As with anything, you can find a lot of free info online, but how much of that information can you really trust? Wouldn't it be even better to have your own little library of reliable natural remedies right at your fingertips - especially one that's been created and curated by trusted aromatherapists and herbalists?

Well look no further, because the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle is back due to popular demand for the 5th year in a row!

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Lest we forget.

Democracy is fragile. We must never become complacent or take it for granted.

Remembering all those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom today.

🌿 It’s no big news that we’re headed into what could be a particularly bad cold and flu season this year.

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As we come closer to wrapping up the year that was 2020, I've started to reflect on the lessons I've learned. I distilled it down to 6 humbling life lessons that 2020 has taught me or reinforced in my life about gardening, homesteading and life, and I'm sharing them with you today in hopes that they might help you put this year in perspective too:

—> Lesson #1: We cannot control everything (and that's okay)
—> Lesson #2: Always diversify (crops, income streams, skills, etc.)
—> Lesson #3: Be grateful for the good (we cannot have the good without the bad)
—> Lesson #4: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst (stay positive but be realistic)
—> Lesson #5: Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow (seek to find the lessons)
—> Lesson #6: There's always next year (one ending is just another beginning)

Join me for a heart-to-heart in the garden as I take one major disappointment (tossing a box of homegrown tomatoes in the compost) and make the best of it by using it as a catalyst to reflect on the year and the growing season and find the lessons and meaning behind it all.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to watch the full video or go to and let me know what hardships or disappointments YOU'VE overcome and what lessons you've learned this year in the comments.

Remember, we’re all in this together 🖤
#2020 #lifelessons #nosuchthingasfailure

When I first made up my mind to pursue homesteading and started growing my own food, I had no idea where this path would lead me. All I knew was I was unhappy where I was in the city and in life, and I had to make a radical change for my own physical and mental well-being. Homesteading, gardening and this lifestyle of greater self-sufficiency and sustainability called to me; It lit a fire and a passion in me and gave me purpose and meaning, and the more I explored it, the more convinced I became that this was the path I was meant to be on.

Less than a decade later and not only am I still on this path with more enthusiasm in my heart and fire in my belly than ever before, but it’s also led me to connect with so many other amazing homesteaders, gardeners and people who are just as passionate about this lifestyle as I am.

This morning my humble little Instagram account was featured on @humanswhogrowfood which features amazing people growing food all over this beautiful planet. To be able to think of myself as a peer among these greats is beyond my wildest dreams when I first started out as a city girl with zero gardening or homesteading experience. It’s a testament to how far I’ve come, but also to the whole world of beautiful souls out there working to put more homegrown food on tables all across the globe.

Today, with everything going on in the world, I’m feeling reflective, honoured and humbled to be a part of such an amazing community of people. Thank you to each and every one of you! The world may be messed up, but we’re alright.

Also, go follow @humanswhogrowfood if you’re in need of a little faith in humanity right now. So many amazing people out there growing food and doing wonderful things! 💚
#humanswhogrowfood #peoplewhogrowfood #homesteadersofinstagram #growfoodnotlawns #homegrown #gardenersofinstagram

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