An Ultimate Trick for Flaky Pie Crust

Just a short tip today – if you`re looking for more action make sure to come to our Facebook group – it`s been a beehive of activity this weekend as we`ve previewed almost 20 preserves that we`ve been making (and are going to share recipes for) as joined in on a flowing conversation with a tonne of other preservers (new and experienced).  We`d love to have you there!

The key to a great pie crust (so I`m told – I`m fairly new to this game but can understand the key concepts and have been playing with them for the last few years) is keeping the butter in small pieces as opposed to having a 100% consistent dough.  It`s almost as if you want to make the dough and keep the flour and butter separate even once complete.

Your hands will interfere with the process as their warmth is enough to melt the butter.

I start with frozen butter and, using a cheese grater I grate it into an oversized bowl (the bigger the bowl the better as it allows more surface area and helps prevent the butter from sticking to itself and it helps in the next step):

An Ultimate Trick for Flaky Pie Crust Flour Cooking Recipes Butter

Toss in a bit of flour at a time.  As you add a bit, pick up the bowl and shake it gently and toss it like you are trying to coat the butter with flour (which is, indeed what you are trying to do):

An Ultimate Trick for Flaky Pie Crust Flour Cooking Recipes Butter

We continue to do so untill all of the flour is in:

I place the entire thing in a Ziploc bag and add water, gently pushing the dough together wearing oven mitts to prevent the heat from getting through.  As I add a drip of water, I shake the bag really well to avoid a big sticky mess.


12 ounces Flour
8 Ounces Butter
2 or so ounces of water

I bake it in the oven in a slightly greased pie plate with another resting on top and filled with beans (they are for weight, I don`t eat them) at 350.  I remove the pie place after 20 minutes and bake until golden – about another 15 minutes.



  1. Great post!
    I like to use frozen clarified butter, lacking water, it makes the crust even more tender and flaky.

  2. Don’t know if you’ve come across this, but I learned it ages ago and I find it helps with crustiness. Once your dough is just together, quickly (and with minimal touching), roll it into a log, then wrap in parchment and chill for an hour or so. Instead of rolling that dough out (as per most people’s grandmas), slice discs off it slightly thicker than the crust you want to make, arrange them around the pan to more or less cover it, then (again, with minimal touching) press the peices together into one solid crust. I made two crusts side by side after doing this for a while, just to see, and the rolled one was tougher, and definitely less flaky. Not exactly proven science, but it made me feel better about leaving my french pin for other operations.

  3. Thanks so much for this post. My mother taught me this technique and it is one of my favorites. I love the oven not trick too. Have you ever tried a boiling water crust? We use shortening in the Gardenfreude kitchen because we are vegan, but give this recipe a try. I think you may like it.


  1. [...] read the full post and get the recipe, head over to Well Preserved right [...]

  2. [...] 140 grams of very cold unsalted butter cut into chunks (or for the ULTIMATE trick, do this) [...]

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