The Very Best Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

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Try this easy Homemade Pie Crust Recipe, which will help you make a yummy pie crust the entire family will love! This recipe makes the very best pie crust!

The Very Best Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

I admit it, I hate pie crust, that is all pie crust except mom’s “very best” pie crust! It seems like it is usually so difficult to make a pie crust that tastes great and also has a good texture. Here’s mom’s famous homemade pie crust recipe which really is the VERY BEST! Make some extra to freeze and use later and you’ll cut your preparation time for your next pie!


The Very Best Pie Crust Recipe

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups shortening, cold
1 egg, cold
1 Tbsp. vinegar, cold
5 Tbsp. cold water

Mix flour, salt and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives. Add egg, vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. Mix lightly. If dough is too dry, add more water. Mix with hands. Don’t over mix. Mix just until the dough sticks together. Divide into thirds. Roll out to make 3 pie crusts. When using the crust for the top of the pie sprinkle sugar on top. Crust can be frozen in slightly flatten balls and then defrosted and rolled out when ready to use. Makes 3 crusts.

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Combine and press into a pan. Use a spring form pan if you have one. Alternatively, a 9 inch pie pan will work, too.

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From A Reader:

I purchase frozen pies most of the time. My husband prefers peach. To make them “more like Mama’s” when they come out of the oven, I sprinkle the tops of the pies with a few sprinkles of granulated sugar & a few sprinkles of cinnamon. I always have multiple compliments on my “homemade pies”.

I love your newsletter!!

Terri H., Pahrump, NV

Thanks for the great tip Terri. You can add the sugar before you bake it too. Try carving your last name initial in the top crust before you bake it with a knife. You would really have them fooled then. : )




  1. Bea says

    Jill, This is a yummy recipe.
    Lemon Pineapple Pie (Makes 2 pies)
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1 can lemon pie filling
    1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple (well drained)
    1 (8 ounce) carton of cool whip
    2 graham cracker crumb crusts
    Combine the condensed milk, lemon pie filling and the drained pineapple; mix well. Fold in cool whip. Pour into pie crusts. May be frozen.

  2. Donna B. says

    Hi Bea, Hi Jill:

    this looks really good, but I’m a little confused. What makes the pie actually “set up”? the lemon pie filling, does the cool whip get solid again?

    I bet a little cream cheese would thicken it even more and cut some of the sweetness? love the flavors presented here, but sweetened condensed milk is a little too sweet for me. ?

    thanks, I hate it when I’m a bit dense! And Jill, I’m determined to learn to make pie crust! I can’t even unroll the premade ones and have them work!

    • says

      No problem Donna. The lemon pie filling is thick enough added to the cool whip and when you chill. It thickens it just fine. You should just gently fold in the cool whip which helps keep its thickness.
      I’m not sure if it would work but sometimes when I do things with pudding and cool whip I add some sour cream and that cuts the sweetness although I love sweetness and could drink the can of sweeten condensed milk.

  3. JazzFest says

    Could you just use lard or butter if you have it on hand (I’m a newbie! :P)?
    A friend of the family told me the best pies are made with lard!

    • says

      I always used lard for my pie crust for years and my mom still does. It is the best. I like it even better then butter because it gives an extra flakiness to the crust. I stopped using it because everyone went to this fat craze a few years back and it got really hard to find lard at some stores which caused me to start using Crisco. It is pretty close to using lard and since I always have it on hand and don’t have the lard I use it. I finally did find some lard and it was in the meat section.
      Butter, well many people use butter for the nice flavor it gives the crust but the texture and flakiness is often not quite as good as lard or Crisco. If I really didn’t want to give up my butter flavor I would use the butter flavored Crisco.
      I say use Crisco in my recipes here because most people wouldn’t know what lard was let alone try and find it and Crisco is a close second.

    • Jan says

      MMMM, pie, one of my favorite subjects!!!
      I do make a good homemade pie crust, because years ago I just
      kept making it until it was right. It was suddenly usable and controllable,
      and did not crumble and break during the rolling out. It’s worth the trial
      and error!
      Another way to make those frozen pies look homemade, is to take the frozen pie
      right out of the foil pan and place it into the same size glass pie pan, before

  4. says

    Cut the amount of water in half and substitute chilled vodka for the water…learned this on Americas Test Kitchen…makes a flaky crust.

  5. Magdalen says

    Soon after we married, in 1977, I made pastry which gave Him indigestion.Never made it since.How’s that for a mega sulk?

  6. Alexis says

    The best pie crusts have lard in them! :) I have a friend who, at the time, was about 3 times my age; she is a great cook. For my pre-wedding gift 3 years ago, my dear friend (she and her husband are the reason my husband and I found each other) taught me how to make pie crust (something I’ve never made and I love to bake), but not just any pie crust, old fashioned lard pie crust. My sister wanted to learn too, so my sister and I went to our friend’s house and learned how to make a pie. I made the pie, while my sister watched and wrote everything down; mine was strawberry rhubarb. So YUMMY! She also gave me a longburger (spelling?) pie plate, a thing to roll the pie crust out on (can’t think of what it’s called right now), and the rolling pin that my friend and her husband had received as a wedding gift many moons ago. I still use store bought crusts for things like quiche or sour cream lemon pie, but if I am going to make a pie, I make the real deal.

    • says

      You are so right Alexis. My mom always used lard and I did too for the first 20 years after I was married but then there was the fat scare which didn’t bother me but many of the stores didn’t sell it any more which I hated. Only recently have they started carrying it again but you really have to search for it. My grandma always used it to make biscuits too. It makes things flakier or something. It is hard to explain. I now don’t use it because I would use it only for pies and I don’t make them often enough now to keep it around.

      For those of you who want to know what we are talking about you can buy lard in a square block (I think I saw some in the meat section of our store the last time I was there) and substitute it for the Crisco using the same amount.

      • Alexis says

        In the two stores where I shop, it is in the cold section with the bacon, cheese, etc. My friend actually gave a whole bunch to me that she got from a local meat locker; I store it in the freezer because I don’t use it that often. She said that the lard from the locker is best because she can find out exactly what the hogs were fed, unlike lard from the grocery store; I think she said lard from corn-fed hogs is best for making pies.

  7. Mary Jane says

    For years I struggled with making a good pie crust, that was easy to handle, tender to eat, and predictable from one time to the next. Finally, I found the crust that could not fail. It is virtually identical to the one you have posted in this article. Thanks for sharing it. I found mine in a Mennonite cookbook.


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