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It’s a Piece of Pie – Pie Dough Basics

  • Author: Marissa Sertich
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 pies 1x


  • 12 oz All-Purpose Flour
  • 8 oz Butter, cubed
  • 4 oz Milk
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar and salt
  2. Toss the cold, cubed but butter into the flour, ensuring that each cube is coated in flour.
  3. Using your fingers, rub through the butter and flour until the butter is in flakes the size of kidney beans. Resist the urge to over-mix.
  4. Dig a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture and pour in the milk in the hole. Incorporate the liquid into the flour, until it forms a dough. This is best done through a series of folding motions.
  5. Divide the dough in two-flat pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and chill before use (At this point the dough can also be frozen and saved for later use).
  6. When the dough is chilled, roll it out on a floured surface using a rolling pin to about 1/8 inch thickness (About 8 oz of dough is used for an 8 inch pie shell).
  7. Using the floured rolling pin, lightly roll the dough onto the pin and gently unroll it onto the pie tin (Lifting the dough using your hands can result in tearing).
  8. Allow the dough to drop into the tin and then press the dough into all of the edges, ensuring that there are no air pockets between the dough and the tin. Any air pockets between the dough and tin will cause the dough to slip down from the rims.
  9. Using the back of a pairing knife, gently remove any overhang of pie dough over the tin.
  10. Chill to allow the dough to relax for at least twenty minutes. Fill your pie shell as desired.
  11. Bake the pie at 350F until golden.


Basic pie dough formula is often called “3-2-1 dough,” because of the ration of flour, fat and liquid.

A note about prebaking: Prebaking, or half-baking your pie shell may be required depending on your filling. Many fresh-fruit fillings do not require prebaking the pie shell, while cream pies require baking the crust completely before filling.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
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