Grandma's Secret Pie Crust Recipe with Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust (2024)

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GRANDMA’S SECRET PIE CRUST — A few secret ingredients come together in this perfect pie crust recipe. So tender and flaky, you’ll never use another pie crust recipe again!

Grandma's Secret Pie Crust Recipe with Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust (1)

I confess, I’m a little intimidated when it comes to making pie crust. Or at least, I was, until I tried this recipe for Grandma’s Secret Pie Crust.

This isn’tmygrandma’s recipe, but it’s definitely my go-to pie crust recipe. Although, come to think of it, both of my grandma’s were great cooks, so they probably knew all the secrets for making pie crust.

Their secret ingredients in this recipe are the vinegar and the egg. You don’t see eggs and vinegar in most pie crust recipes.

I don’t know what they do, exactly, but I do know I’ve tried plenty of pie crust recipes without eggs and vinegar, and this one is by far the best!

I’m still not great at rolling out a crust and fitting into a pie pan, but at least I know my crust will be light and flaky.It might not look pretty, but it will be good!

Grandma's Secret Pie Crust Recipe with Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust (2)

I confess, I don’t always make my pie crusts from scratch. Sometimes I need to save time and I opt for a pre-made crust. The thing is, my family usually can’t tell the difference.

But if I’m making a really special pie for a special occasion, like a birthday, I always go the homemade route.

I’ve also learned that there are certain pies that taste noticeably better with a homemade crust. For example, when I make my Best Banana Cream Pie, I always make the crust from scratch because it makes such a difference!

Even if you don’t make pie crust from scratch all that often, everyone needs a really good pie crust recipe in their baking repertoire.

And Grandma’s Secret Pie Crust is hands-down the best pie crust recipe you’ll ever try!

Here are a few more handy tips for making the perfect pie crust:

  • Make sure your butter and water are very cold. I add a some ice to my water, and cut my butter in small pieces and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes before I start making my crust
  • For the flakiest crust, once you’ve cut in your butter, finish mixing your pie crust by hand.
  • Most pie crust recipes have you refrigerate the dough before rolling, but I find the cold dough is so hard to roll out. I prefer to roll my crust immediately after mixing, then place the crust in a pie pan and chill it. Whichever method you use, don’t skip the chilling step!
  • Use a pie crust shield if you’re crust will be in the oven longer than 20 minutes. Otherwise you’ll end up with burnt edges on your pie. I usually remove the shield when my pie has about 15 minutes left to bake so the edges can get nice and golden.
  • If you’ll be baking your crust and filling it later (such as for a cream pie), poke the dough all over with a fork before baking. It’s also a good idea to use pie weights or something similar to keep your crust from sliding down the sides of the pie pan. You don’t need anything fancy. I just line my crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans.

If you have a food processor, you can use that to cut in the butter, but you’ll still want to add the liquids by hand.This recipe makes enough fortwo single crust pies, or one double crust pie.

Be sure to save this recipe forGrandma’s Secret Pie Crust to your favorite Pinterest board for later.

Grandma's Secret Pie Crust Recipe with Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust (3)

Here’s what you’ll need to make Grandma’s Secret Pie Crust

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • White vinegar

Grandma’s Secret Pie Crust


A few secret ingredients come together in this perfect pie crust recipe. So tender and flaky, you'll never use another pie crust recipe again!

4.51 from 164 votes

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Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 15 minutes mins

Total Time 30 minutes mins

Course Desserts

Cuisine American

Servings 8 servings

Calories 434 kcal


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold butter diced
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons cold water


  • In large bowl mix flour and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, or two knives, leaving lumps about the size of peas.

  • In a separate bowl, mix together egg, vinegar, and water. Drizzle wet mixture into dry mixture, a little bit at a time, cutting it in. Add just enough liquid that the dough comes together.

  • Roll dough to desired size, then place in pie pans (or on a parchment lined baking sheet for a top crust) and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For a pre-baked crust (to be filled after baking, such as for a cream pie) bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just golden. For a pie crust that is baked with filling, bake as indicated in pie recipe.


Serving: 1gCalories: 434kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 6gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 503mgFiber: 1g

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Who Dished It Up First:Adapted

Last Updated on 2024-03-22 by Danelle

Grandma's Secret Pie Crust Recipe with Tips for the Perfect Pie Crust (2024)


What is the secret to a great pie crust? ›

Cold butter is the key to flaky crusts. Do not skip this step. You must put your butter in the freezer to get it nice and cold. Many people do not like working with frozen butter, but it makes all the difference in the world when you create your pie dough.

What are the 5 tips for pie perfection? ›

Follow these steps and you'll impress your friends and family this season with tantalizing mile-high pies!
  1. 1 - Cold dough equals flaky crust. ...
  2. 2 - Overfill your pies on purpose ... ...
  3. 3 - Bake on the low rack. ...
  4. 4 - Hold down your pre-baked crusts. ...
  5. 5 - Hold off on slicing your pie.
Oct 30, 2017

What flour is best for pie crust? ›

Choose all-purpose flour or pastry flour. Don't skip or reduce the salt; it's critical for flavor. Various types of fat work well; choose your favorite. Add just enough liquid to hold the dough together.

Is pie crust better with butter or Crisco? ›

Shortening is better at crumbly crust, butter is better at flaky. But you can get either from both. There are obvious differences in flavor, and butter can give you a very nice chewiness in a crust while still being tender. Butter also tends to shrink and lose shape/detail more when it bakes.

What not to do when making pie crust? ›

Below are six common mistakes when making a homemade pie crust and some helpful solutions to avoid them.
  1. The ingredients are too warm. ...
  2. The pie dough is overworked from excessive mixing or rolling. ...
  3. The pie dough isn't given enough time to relax and chill. ...
  4. The pie dough is shrinking down the sides of the pan.
Oct 18, 2022

What are 3 tips for making pie crust? ›

Use this list of simple tips, from choosing the best ingredients to using the proper technique, to turn out a perfect pie crust every time.
  1. Use Very Cold Butter or Fat. ...
  2. Retain Some Chunks. ...
  3. Limit the Water. ...
  4. Make a Disk. ...
  5. Chill the Dough. ...
  6. Roll the Dough, Turn the Dough. ...
  7. Think Curbs, Not Driveways. ...
  8. Let the Dough Fall Into the Pan.
Oct 20, 2019

What is the cardinal rule of pie dough making? ›

The cardinal rules of pie dough: Keep it cold, work fast, and don't overwork your dough.

How to pre bake pie crust tips? ›

Line the crust with foil, parchment, or a paper coffee filter. Fill it about two-thirds full with dried beans, uncooked rice (or other uncooked grain berries), pie weights, or granulated sugar. Bake the crust in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 minutes, set on a baking stone or steel if you have one.

Should you poke holes in bottom of pie crust? ›

With docking, the holes allow steam to escape, so the crust should stay flat against the baking dish when it isn't held down by pie weights or a filling. Otherwise the crust can puff up, not only impacting appearance but also leaving you with less space for whatever filling you have planned.

How do you keep the bottom of a pie crust from getting soggy? ›

Brush the Bottom with Corn Syrup or Egg White

Coating the inside surface of the bottom crust will create a barrier to prevent sogginess.

What will too much flour do to a pie crust? ›

Adding more flour is always an option, but add too much flour and your dough will end up like a cracker—not a pie crust. Remember: The more you mix your pie dough, the tougher it becomes. To keep the mixing to a minimum, try rolling out your dough between two pieces of parchment paper.

Is flour or cornstarch better for pies? ›

Which one you use is a matter of personal preference. Cornstarch makes for a shiny, glossy filling. A little goes a long way because it has twice the gelling power of flour. Flour thickens nicely but leaves more of a matte finish.

Why do you put sugar in a pie crust? ›

Yes, it sweetens the dough, but what else does it do? Sugar is also a tenderizer, primarily because it interferes with gluten development. There is a classic French pastry dough called Pate Sucre.

What does adding vinegar to pie crust do? ›

Adding vinegar tenderizes the pastry. It inhibits gluten from forming there by making the pastry tender and flaky. I have always added a tbsp of vinegar to a beaten egg and added water to make one cup.

How long should you chill pie dough before rolling out? ›

I always chill my dough for at least 2 hours before rolling out, and then chill again for at least 1 hour after shaping in the pie pan. There are undoubtedly faster methods out there, but this is what I've found to work best for me in terms of maintaining pretty crimps and the overall shape of the crust.

What does adding an egg to pie crust do? ›

But let's not underestimate the egg wash, a small but important step that gives the crust its shine. Lending countless baked goods (pie crust, pastries, breads, and more) a glistening golden shell, an egg wash also helps seal the dough, providing a protective barrier from the heat of the oven.

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