The Only Pie Crust Recipe and Tutorial You'll Ever Need

UPDATE: Since originally posting this recipe and after a lot of requests, I’ve added a video tutorial below the recipe – right above the step-by-step pictures – for those that want/need an even more visual approach to making this pie dough. It really is the best.

If making the perfect, flaky pie crust is the one thing holding you back from rockstar status in the kitchen, I totally have your back today.

Today I’m sharing with you the most perfect, amazing pie crust I’ve ever made. I’ve been perfecting this recipe for the last few months in order to share it with you. It is simple (no food processor or special tools required) and I truly believe it is fail-proof. I’ve made it dozens of times and it never ceases to amaze me. In fact, I am 99.9% sure I’ll never use another pie crust recipe again because this one has truly changed my life. Dramatic? Oh just you wait. Your life is about to be changed, too.

The secret? Throw all you know and love about traditional pie crusts out the window because instead of that classic ice water drizzled in at the end, this recipe uses sour cream. I know. I know! Pie crusts made with sour cream are not a new thing; they’ve been around forever (but the concept is new-ish to me). And before you ask, I have no idea what the chemistry is behind the perfection, but it works. Not only is the dough extremely easy to work with but the crust is buttery and flaky and simply the best in the entire universe.

The Only Pie Crust Recipe and Tutorial You'll Ever Need

Below, I have a handy-dandy tutorial for you. I’ve separated the tutorial out into main sections (i.e. Rolling, Crimping, etc.). You can click on the separate links to take you to a specific section. Already have mixing the dough handled and need a little guide on crimping the edges? Don’t worry, I have a link for that. Pretty sure you know how to roll it out just right but don’t know how to get it into the pie plate? There’s a link for that. Is trimming the edges a breeze but you’d like a little peek into blind baking? Link, link, link.

I am hoping that by sharing this tutorial and no-fail pie crust recipe now, it will instill in you a feverish desire to become a Great Pie Master (so I’m not alone in my obsession).

I’m a pie-making machine now that I’ve found this recipe. Seriously, I can’t be stopped. In fact, I have an unbaked pie crust all pretty and crimped sitting in a pie plate in the refrigerator just waiting to be used even though I have no specific plans for it yet. Never any harm in keeping a pie crust ready to be used in an instant, I always say. I make pie crusts now when I’m bored. Just because I can. With this pie crust recipe and tutorial under your belt, you’ll be good to go for the holiday season. And now that I’ve shared it with you, my life is officially complete.

Update:ย a few extra notes: be careful not to measure the flour with a heavy hand (I use the spoon-and-sweep method, don’t shake the cup to level!) and it’s ok if you have to add more sour cream just do so gradually so you don’t end up with too much as it will make a gummy/dense crust. Also, keep in mind that the real key to ending up with a light, flaky pie crust instead of a tough pie crust is minimal handling of the dough in every step – from mixing to rolling. The more the dough is handled, the more those butter pieces break down which means they won’t create those lovely pockets of steam while baking which creates the flakiness.ย 

The Perfect Pie Crust

Yield: Makes 1 single 9-inch pie crust

The Perfect Pie Crust

This recipe can be easily doubled for a double crust pie. As I mentioned in the blog post above, be careful not to overmeasure the flour. I use the spoon and sweep method (normally I use the dip and sweep method for cookies and other recipes but it's very important in this recipe to not overflour or you'll have a bit of trouble with the recipe). I'll make sure I weigh the flour the next time I make it and report back for a more accurate measure.


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (see note above)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (not lowfat or light), plus an additional tablespoon or three if needed


  1. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients.
  3. With a fork, toss the butter and flour mixture until the butter pieces are all evenly coated with flour. Don't break down the butter pieces in this step, just lightly toss until they are coated with flour.
  4. Spoon the sour cream into the bowl. Using the same fork, mix the sour cream into the butter/flour mixture by pressing the fork down into the sour cream in order to mash the large clumps of sour cream into the flour and butter. A commenter suggested using a pastry blender which will help incorporate the sour cream a bit better. The sour cream won't mix in like a traditional pie crust with ice water. But take care not to overwork the dough trying to get the sour cream mixed in - if the butter pieces get too small and overprocessed, the crust will be tough.
  5. After a few turns with the fork, it is easiest to use your hands to pull the dough together. It will look a bit shaggy but as you press it together (quickly and firmly so the the butter pieces don't melt), it should start to form a cohesive ball.
  6. If it still seems overly dry, add a teaspoon or so of sour cream at a time until it comes together.
  7. It's ok if there are still a few dry spots or cracks in the dough. The mixture should not be overly wet or sticky. At the same time, it shouldn't be falling apart either. It should hold together when pressed (see the pictures below). Many of you have had to add quite a bit more sour cream. That's ok as long as the crust isn't overly saturated (then it will be dense and gummy). Much of that depends on how you measure flour - if you pack the flour into your measuring cup, you'll obviously need more sour cream (try to measure the flour with a light hand).
  8. At this point the dough can be rolled out on a lightly floured counter or it can also be pressed into a flat disc and wrapped in plastic to be refrigerated for 1-2 days or frozen for up to a month.
  9. To roll out, lightly flour your countertop and using firm, even strokes, roll from the center outward, turning the dough a quarter turn every few strokes. The less you mess with the dough the better - even rolling - so try not to overwork it. Roll it out to a thin crust as quickly as possible.
  10. Roll the dough over the rolling pin and unroll it onto the pie plate. Gently lift up the edges of the pie crust and settle it into the bottom of the pie plate without pressing or smushing.
  11. Trim the edges to within 1/4-inch. Fold the short overhang underneath the top edge of the pie plate and crimp all the way around.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using. To blind bake (prebake the pie crust), line the refrigerated crust with foil and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Gently remove the foil and beans/weights and return to the oven to bake for another 10-12 minutes until nicely golden.

Recipe Source: tested and perfected by me (Mel) after seeing the idea for it on The Kitchn

Mixing the Pie Dough | Rolling Out the Pie Crust | Putting the Pie Crust in the Pie Plate | Trimming and Crimping the Edge of the Pie Crust | Baking and Blind Baking |

Mixing the Pie Dough

The Only Pie Crust Recipe and Tutorial You'll Ever Need

Mixing the Pie Dough | Rolling Out the Pie Crust | Putting the Pie Crust in the Pie Plate | Trimming and Crimping the Edge of the Pie Crust | Baking and Blind Baking |

Rolling Out the Pie Crust

The Only Pie Crust Recipe and Tutorial You'll Ever Need

Mixing the Pie Dough | Rolling Out the Pie Crust | Putting the Pie Crust in the Pie Plate | Trimming and Crimping the Edge of the Pie Crust | Baking and Blind Baking |

Putting the Pie Crust in the Pie Plate

The Only Pie Crust Recipe and Tutorial You'll Ever Need

Mixing the Pie Dough | Rolling Out the Pie Crust | Putting the Pie Crust in the Pie Plate | Trimming and Crimping the Edge of the Pie Crust | Baking and Blind Baking |

Trimming and Crimping the Edge of the Pie Crust

The Only Pie Crust Recipe and Tutorial You'll Ever Need

Mixing the Pie Dough | Rolling Out the Pie Crust | Putting the Pie Crust in the Pie Plate | Trimming and Crimping the Edge of the Pie Crust | Baking and Blind Baking |

Baking and Blind Baking

The Only Pie Crust Recipe and Tutorial You'll Ever Need

Mixing the Pie Dough | Rolling Out the Pie Crust | Putting the Pie Crust in the Pie Plate | Trimming and Crimping the Edge of the Pie Crust | Baking and Blind Baking |

203 Responses to The Best and Only Pie Crust Recipe {& Tutorial} You’ll Ever Need

  1. Teresa R. says:

    This is one of your best posts ever! I usually buy pie crusts, but no more bought crusts for me! I plan to make several this week and freeze them till Thanksgiving. The picture tutorial is a great help since I need all the help I can get when it comes to baking! Thank you again for making life a little easier and a lot more delicious.

    • Nicole says:

      I tried this twice and each time it shrank down to nothing. I had to throw it away. Any idea why?

      • Mel says:

        I’m sorry this is happening, Nicole. Pie crusts have a tendency to shrink if the dough has been overworked (too much processing in the food processor or by hand) or if they aren’t refrigerated prior to baking. The gluten in the pie dough needs to relax before it is baked otherwise it can shrink.

  2. Cathy says:

    You must have read my mind or atleast felt my pie crust anxiety I always have this time of year. I make everything from scratch EXCEPT pie crusts, I hate making pie crusts, way to futzy for me and they never turn out great.I cant wait to try this one. Thanks Mel!

  3. Wendy says:

    LOVE this post!! Awesome tutorial! Thank you Thank you Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Wow. I’m impressed. You make a pretty pie crust. I’ve finally conquered making a good crust but it never looks perfect. Oh well. Always something to strive for. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Soonhee says:

    I’ve always been intimidated by pie crusts so I’ve always bought them, even though I know that homemade tastes better. I think that I will try to make them this year! Thank you for the great pictures and instructions.

  6. It’s a little embarrassing how excited I am to try this crust. I am LOVING all the step by step photos!!

  7. Brinestone says:

    Okay, I’m intrigued. I’m trying to decide whether to try it or not because I had at one point sworn off all pie crust recipes other than my mom’s. When I was a newlywed, I made my husband an apple pie using his mom’s recipe, and despite my doubts, used her pie crust recipe as well. It was one with ice water and refrigeration and whatnot. Well, I ended up re-rolling it about 8 times, giving up in tears, and starting over with my mom’s recipe, which was finished and in the pie tin within 15 minutes. Anyway, like I said, I’d sworn never to try anyone else’s “no-fail” crust because they all claim to be, and they are all difficult to work with. Have you ever tried a 7-Up crust, and how does it compare to this one?

  8. Beautiful! This is the best pie crust tutorial ever. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Mel!

  9. Nikeva says:

    Great recipe Mel. I’ve never made pie crust but I’ll try it this year! Can whole wheat flour be subbed for the all purpose flour?

    • Mel says:

      Nikeva – you’ll have to experiment with the whole wheat flour. In my experience, it creates a much denser crust so I always stick with all-purpose flour. It’s pie – I might as well splurge a bit, right?

  10. This is so helpful! Thanks for sharing, Mel! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Danae says:

    Okay, so your banana cream pie recipe is my most favorite pie EVER!!! I make it using your graham cracker coated pie crust. I’m wondering if you would choose this pie crust over that one for this particular pie?

    • Mel says:

      Danae – great question! I actually used this sour cream pie crust recipe for that very same pie a few weeks ago (that and the coconut cream pie) and simply rolled it out in graham cracker crumbs. It was phenomenal. Seriously, I don’t know that I’ll ever use another pie crust recipe again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Larissa says:

    Thank you!! I recently made some pie crust using sour cream and it was delicious! I made it into hand pies. I’ve not tried it for a full pie, yet. Now, I have your inspiration! Thanksgiving pies, look out! Your crusts are going to be more amazing than ever!
    (Do you think I could still use my food processor to mix up the crust, though? I hate getting it all up in my fingernails/rings which I can’t remove.)
    I’ll be trying this soon!

    • Mel says:

      Larissa – yes, you could probably still use your food processor, although you probably wouldn’t want to grate the butter because processing it will break the butter up into very tiny pieces so I’d keep the butter in chunks before using a food processor so there are still nubbins of butter to create that flakiness.

  13. Jackie says:

    Oh, of course! Great idea to use the foil between the crust and beans while blind baking. Whenever I prebaked crusts my edges would fall into the center. Then I read you could fill it with rice before baking. While that did keep the edges from falling in, I then had little pieces of rice baked into the crust. Foil totally would have prevented that. You are a genius!

  14. Karla says:

    Your pie crust is so pretty ๐Ÿ™‚ I usually make a 7-up pie crust with a pastry blender, but I will have to try this!

  15. Shannon says:

    I have become a pie crust-phobe since having so many failures. I can hardly wait to try this–it’s almost pumpkin pie time and my family will be expecting it. I want to be able to eat the crust on this year’s pies! Thanks for all your research to help me be successful!

  16. Kate says:

    Can this be used for savory pies (like chicken pot pie)?

  17. Heather says:

    I make my scones the same way…grating the butter into the flour mixture. I will never do it any other way, so easy!

  18. Erika says:

    Hi! Have you tried to freeze it? I like to make about 4 at a time so I can pull when needed. What do you think? Personally, I don’t see a reason why not, but would like to see what you thought before I whip up a extra large batch ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mel says:

      Hi Erika – I haven’t frozen the rolled out pie crust but I’ve frozen the disc of pie dough and it’s thawed and rolled out just fine.

  19. Lori says:

    Does this double well? For a two crust pie?

  20. Jen T says:

    Thank you! I always have trouble with pie crusts and shy away from them, but this looks like I could do it! Thanks!! and all your pictures are wonderful and so helpful!

  21. Brinestone says:

    The reason I ask is that your crust is much prettier than the 7-Up crusts tend to be (that’s their one downfall). And your descriptions of the flavor were amazing. So now I may have to break my own rule and try it . . . for science!

  22. Eileen says:

    This is fascinating. I’ve seen sour cream in some interesting things lately, and it really does lend an excellent flavor/texture to baked goods. My friend swears by a recipe that uses VODKA of all things in the crust because it lends moisture while you’re rolling, and then cooks out. I never actually tried it, because I can’t stand the smell of vodka, but I can’t wait to try this.
    Have you doubled this to make a 2 crust pie?

  23. Beth says:

    I definitely will try this the next time I need to make a pie. The method I use also calls for grating the butter, but no sour cream. There is something about making pie (and bread), that makes me feel like– I am a salt-of-the-earth woman, and I can do ANYTHING. Well now it feels silly to type that out, but these are the things that go through my mind when making pie.

  24. Rachel says:

    ANYONE that can promise perfect pie crust WITHOUT shortening…is my hero. Perfect timing. I’m trying it out.

  25. Carlyn says:

    I have never been successful making pie crusts so I gave up a long time ago. I think I might try it again so wish me luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Alice Sears says:

    I am also curious if this will work well with Chicken Pot Pie (one of my favorite meals). Just FYI, there is a typo I believe in step 7 of your instructions for the pie recipe. I was thinking it should read “it SHOULDN’T be falling apart either.”

    • Mel says:

      Alice – thanks for the heads up! I just fixed the typo. As for your question (and others that asked about a savory application), yes this could definitely be used for pot pie or savory recipes (some people omit the sugar when using a pie crust for savory recipes but I leave it in).

  27. Sarah says:

    This crust looks great! I regularly make a regular butter/shortening crust by cutting the fat into the flour with the s-blade of my food processor (and love that method!). Do you think it will work to cut in to butter with the food processor until crumbly, or does the grated butter make an important difference? Thanks!

  28. Sarah says:

    oops! by the time I sat down to type my question, someone else had already asked it. I will grate the butter!

  29. Rachel says:

    Didn’t you say you’d be sharing a pie crust recipe with part coconut oil? Pretty please? I’ve never gotten it to work.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rachel – I DID say that, actually, and I’ll be posting those tips soon. I haven’t posted about it yet because this sour cream pie crust takes the cake for all other pie crusts in my opinion. But in case you want to try the coconut oil version, I’ve subbed in coconut oil for pie crust recipes that use half butter/half shortening (I sub in the coconut oil for the shortening). I chill the coconut oil just slightly and then add it in according to the recipe. It’s definitely not rocket science but I love not using shortening and still getting a decent pie crust.

  30. JoAnn says:

    Thanks, Mel! Pie crusts hate me but I’ll have to try this! I would love to master this so I can make pie without going out and buying a crust every time!

  31. Mary A. says:

    Looks great! I have a question that I’ve always wondering about using dry beans as a baking weight. Can you still use the beans for cooking or do you only use them for a baking weight once you have used them that way once?

    Thanks – we (my girls and I) look forward to trying your recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Mary A. – after I use them for prebaking a pie crust, I don’t use them in other “bean” recipes. I have about 100 pounds of dry beans in my food storage so I just reserve these in a ziploc bag and their new role in life is to help me with pie crusts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Jen says:

    I don’t know Mel…your apple pie crust is pretty much fail proof already! It has turned me into a pie maker, even when I tried using other “fail proof” recipes. I am excited to try this recipe as well. Thanks for making my life so much more tasty!

  33. karina says:

    I’m excited to try this! Do you know if there’s something special about the sour cream, or could I substitute plain greek yogurt instead?

    • Mel says:

      Karina – I’m all about experimenting in recipes but for this pie crust recipe, I’ve only ever used full-fat sour cream so if you want to try Greek yogurt, you’ll have to try it out.
      Good luck!

  34. Lisa Rose says:

    Mel, this is my first time commenting, but I have been following your blog for a couple of years and I adore it! Your recipes are on our table every week! I always have trouble with my pie crusts shrinking. I hope that makes sense. Does this one shrink when baked or does it stay put? Thanks for all your awesome recipes and tips:)

  35. Gary says:

    Using the box grater box grater on the frozen butter (lard, whatever) is a great method! Got that tip passed down from a relative but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it on a food blog recipe.

  36. Paulette says:

    sounds wonderful……wonder if you can use Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream?

  37. Beth says:

    Could you use lard instead? Would you have to freeze it?

    • Mel says:

      Beth – I’ve only ever made this pie crust with butter and is what I recommend using – if you want to try lard, you’ll have to experiment. Good luck!

  38. tj says:

    …Thank you. I love you. :o)

    …Peace & blessings.

  39. Teresa says:

    This is a great tutorial for making pie crusts especially for anyone not used to making them on a regular basis. I have to admit you’ve peaked my curiosity. I love my mom’s homemade pie crust recipe and I can practically make it in my sleep, but using sour cream? ahhhh, that sounds different but intriguing. I’d love to taste some of your pie crust!

  40. I made this tonight and it turned out AWESOME!!! Thanks for all the hard work putting this tutorial together. I have NEVER made a pie crust before and tonight I made my husband and son an apple pie and it turned out AWESOME! Thank you so much. I linked to you blog from my recipe blog.


  41. Deborah says:

    I am totally blown away here. Sour cream? I have never seen this, and you can bet that I will be trying it!!

  42. Thank you, it will help me to make a perfect pie ๐Ÿ˜€

  43. Jaka says:

    Do you need to pre-bake your pie crust before adding the filling, or can you cook it all at the same time?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jaka – it totally depends on the pie recipe you are using. Many fruit pies call for filling the unbaked crust and baking all together (same with pumkin) but cream pies are usually prebaked. Each pie recipe should specify.

  44. Colleen says:

    I made your piecrust yesterday since I had to take a pumpkin pie to an activity. I found it was still dry after I added the 1/2 c sour cream so I added a couple more tablespoons but it still seemed dry. I finally added a little ice water to get it to come together. Do you add a lot more sour cream when you make it? It didn’t turn out quite as flaky as I was hoping though. Do you think it was because I added some water? Also even though I covered the crust around the edges after 20 minutes it still browned quite a lot. I love your blog and I am always trying out your recipes. Your pretzel rolls were amazing and every time I make them I get rave reviews. I love to see what new recipes you post – keep up the great work!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Colleen – a lot can depend on how the flour is measured. I measure with a pretty light hand (the dip and sweep method after fluffing the flour a bit) so it may be that you had more flour in the dough than I do. The texture will probably change by adding other ingredients (like ice water) so that may be why it wasn’t as flaky as you were hoping. I’m sorry it didn’t work out! I hope if you give it another try it will work out better for you (try measuring the flour more lightly and don’t be concerned if it’s still a bit crumbly after mixing in the sour cream – it will come together as you roll it out).

  45. Susan says:

    You can use whole wheat pastry flour, it can be found in most super markets in the health food or baking aisles. We used to bake with it in a bakery I worked at long ago with great results.

    This recipe looks amazing. Thanks.

  46. Christine says:

    Loved this post! I have a recipe I’ve stuck with since college. It comes out perfect for every pie I’ve made. This is the first time in many, many years that I’m tempted to try a new one. Love the frozen butter/box grater idea.

  47. Katherine says:

    You can use a Salad Shooter to grade your butter. It works really good

  48. Adelina says:

    Wow! This is a great and comprehensive post. Thanks for putting it all together with the photos.

  49. Audrey Mueller says:

    Just how frozen does the butter need to be? Say I wanted to make this pie crust and didn’t have any frozen butter on hand, how long would I need to stick it in the freezer before it’s technically frozen enough? ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Marci says:

    Sorry if you already answered this but I’ve got babies waking up, and I gotta be quick. I can make this dough now and freeze it for thanksgiving, right? And any idea if I can make your recently posted apple pie and stick that uncooked in the freezer for thanksgiving?

    • Mel says:

      Marci – yes, you can make this and freeze it until the big day. I haven’t tried actually freezing the filling in the unbaked pie crust but it’s worth a try (sorry I can’t tell you if that will work out 100% for sure or not).

  51. Annie says:

    Mel! I love your recipes, girl. Seriously, I trust you 100% so I was willing to give the butter/sour cream combo a go since you know what you’re talking about. Well, I loved the flavor and texture of this pie crust (very buttery without being greasy and very flaky) but I had some major shrinkage when I blind baked the crust. Grrr…I was careful not to press the pie in when I put it in the pie pan. I just sort of placed it in there, then I put my foil and beans on and I thought I was good to go. All my crimping efforts were wasted when I took it out of the oven and the edges were all slumped down. So sad! I’m all about food that tastes good, even if it’s not very pretty, but with pies, you really want them to look pretty! I would love your opinions on how to prevent future crust slumpage! Should I freeze my crust before I bake it? I’ve heard you can blind bake with an empty pie pan sitting in the crust- your thoughts? Pleeeease help meeeee! Thanks a ton, Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Annie – did you refrigerate the crust prior to blind baking? Refrigerating helps the gluten to relax and is really important so the crust doesn’t shrink.

  52. Megan Lemon says:

    thanks for this amazing post, Mel! I made two of these babies today (one I made with a spinach quiche for dinner and the other I put in the fridge to roll out for a chocolate pie tomorrow) and they were fantastic! Not only is the crust delicious, it is so easy to work with. In the past, I have felt so discouraged with how my crusts and shaping the outer edges. Following your tutorial worked like a charm. I made my husband take a picture of my crust before we devoured it since I was so proud. You are wonderful!

  53. Hilary says:

    I hate making pie crusts. I decided to try this with a sweet potato pie for my husband. The entire pie was gone within hours, and my husband … who claims to be a “crust expert,” said it was delicious. It was so easy to make and roll out, and it really looked beautiful. Honestly, it’s the only pie crust I have ever made that didn’t burn! Can you say… excited?!?! I am!!!! It will now be the ONLY crust recipe I ever use.

  54. Sarah G says:

    I didn’t go through all your pie crust recipes in the archives to see what ‘versions’ you have made before, but, thought I’d mention the added ingredient that revolutionized my traditional flour/butter/water/salt pie crust I’ve always made.

    What is the ingredient that has made my crust turn to my beloved? Apple cider vinegar. Just a teaspoon. It seems to have given it the same effect as using shortening but still made with butter. Love it!

    Now, I’ll have to try the sour cream version to compare…sounds intriguing! Thanks for sharing. I love any suggestion to improve on the (already) fail-proof.

  55. Karen says:

    I’m so so proud of my very first homemade pie! My children think I am a superhero now. I had to double the sour cream to get anywhere with the dough but it still turned out wonderful. I used your apple crumble pie recipe, mmmmmmm. I saw your previous comment about this and will try measuring with a lighter hand next time. Thanks Mel!

  56. Anissa says:

    So sad, this recipe was a complete failure for me. Very rare to have something from your site not work, so I was surprised. It was so dry that I had to keep adding sour cream. when it finally started to come together I feel like I had already overworked it so I knew I was in trouble. and then it just didn’t roll out thin at all. It was way too thick and the bottom of the pie crust never cooked all the way, even though the pumpkin filling was done. ๐Ÿ™

  57. Lisa says:

    I just made this pie crust for a chicken pot pie for dinner… whoa, Nelly. It was AMAZING. My husband, who hates pie crust with a vengeance and usually just eats the filling of pot pies and leaves the crust for me, ate more crust than I did! So deliciously flaky. Thanks for revolutionizing my pies!

  58. Stacie A. says:

    I used this crust to make mini apple pies tonight and they turned out fabulous! Flaky but still substantial and easy to work with! Yay! Totally my crust for Thanksgiving this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. Jackie says:


    Do you have a 10 inch version of this pie recipe.

  60. Jackie says:

    Can this dough be rolled out straight from the refrigerator or do it have to sit for 10-15 minutes before rolling.

    • Mel says:

      Jackie – I usually roll it out without refrigerating. If you have refrigerated then yes, it will be much easier to roll it out after letting it rest for 10-20 minutes.

  61. Canda says:

    Hi Mel,

    I have never really made pie crust before…ah! I am going to try this one though, you’ve convinced me :). I have “bleached” flour instead of “unbleached” in my cupboard right now. Is it vital to have unbleached? Thanks and happy baking this week!

    • Mel says:

      Canda – unbleached flour is preferred since it doesn’t give off a chemical taste but no reason to run to the store if you don’t already have plans. Bleached should work out ok.

  62. Pat Corcoran says:

    I made this piecrust over the weekend and put it in the pie pan to be used at Thanksgiving. It was very easy to do by following your directions. How long should the crust be thawed before I add the pumpkin pie filling? I sure looks like a delicious crust.
    Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for another great recipe, Mel.

    • Mel says:

      Pat – I think you could use the pie crust already frozen. If you’d like to thaw, I’d put it in the fridge overnight and defrost it that way (or on the counter at room temp for an hour or so).

  63. Beth says:

    Mel, help!! I am doing something wrong. I was so excited to try this recipe because I am always disappointed with my pie crusts. I always do butter-based pie crusts and they always taste good, but they are ALWAYS rather tough. I was hoping this time would be different. I’ve tried it twice since you posted it. It’s helped me achieve new heights of flavor and flakiness, but they are still tough, and the process of rolling out the dough leaves me frustrated almost to tears (literally). I never can get it round, it always sticks horribly, and I have to patch it grotesquely. And it’s not like I’m new to pie-making. I make them several times a year at least. The first time I tried this recipe I thought maybe I was adding too much sour cream so I made sure it was still pretty dry. But it still stuck when I rolled it out. I have tried so many different things–chilling before rolling out, using waxed paper, using plastic wrap, using plenty of flour, and my crusts are always the same–hard to roll out and on the tough side. Would you ever consider at some point doing a video tutorial? I wish I could see the actual process of mixing and rolling out (which is assume where my fatal problem comes in). I too have an obsession with becoming a great pie master but I feel completely thwarted and almost ready to give up. Any advice would be great. Thank you!!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Beth – good idea on the video tutorial; don’t know when I’ll get to it but I’ll definitely put it on my list of things to include on my site. In the meantime, I think you are right that the tough crust is coming from handling it too much while rolling it out. I’m sorry this one isn’t working out! If you dare try it again, I would add a bit more sour cream (you don’t want it super, super dry) and make sure it is pliable before rolling (not too chilled from the refrigerator). Have you ever tried one of those canvas-covered boards? I have one for making lefse and people swear that it is the best thing for pies too (although I haven’t tried it yet).

  64. Tanyia says:

    Hi Mel. I just have to say thank you for this recipe. Homemade pie is my favorite thing! I have tried to make my own crust in the past and it never worked out! It was so frustrating! I tried your crust recipe for the first time the other day and it came out great! I was so thrilled. I actually made a chocolate bourbon walnut pie and it was yummy :). I was so proud of my homemade crust! So, thank you for a great, easy recipe. I look forward to all the pie making I will be doing over the holidays! I love all your recipesโ€ฆ.My son’s 2 favorite recipes are yours: the sweet and sour chicken (ridiculously good), and the oven baked chimichangas! Happy Holidays ๐Ÿ™‚

  65. Beth says:

    Thanks for the response, Mel. I’ll give it a try again ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Thanksgiving!

  66. Sequoia says:

    I made this today (I’m eating a warm piece of pumpkin pie now, as an American living in Belgium I can start my solitary celebration early =) and had some difficulty. First it was way too dry and crumbly with 1/2 cup of sour cream, then it was way too wet and sticky with just a couple more spoonfuls added. I rolled it out between parchment because it was so gloopy, way overworked it, was scraping it off the paper and patching it together with my hands, then the butter/fat in the crust bubbled up and over and filled my oven and eventually the whole downstairs with smoke during baking.

    I was worried it would be inedible, but somehow (probably my mama’s prayers!) it turned out delicious and flaky and the most successful pie crust I’ve ever made. It tastes very rich and has a texture almost like a croissant. It browned nicely and lightly and the sweetness is perfect. I don’t understand how it isn’t a blackened crisp, or how its texture is so light when I did everything wrong.

    I will try it again in the future, adding the extra sour cream a little slower, and refrigerating it prior to rolling it out may also help. It’s also possible my sour cream is fattier than American style (it’s somewhere between Breakstone’s and crรจme fraรฎche).

    Thank you for the recipe!

  67. Laura says:

    Hi Mel,
    I love your site! I have a quick question for you. My pie crusts always stick to the bottom of the pie plate, your directions didn’t specify if I should spray the pie plate before putting the crust in. I always spray my pie plates but the crust still sticks horribly. Should I be using a different method other than cooking spray?? Thanks for the help!

  68. Lachelle says:

    I’m making the dough tonight and experiencing problems that other commenter’s had about dryness. After adding the sour cream and then another teaspoon, it is still so incredibly dry. I use and trust your site and recipes 100% because I know you test them before posting, but something must be missing for several people to have the same results. Back to my old trusty recipe after all. Dinner is in 12 hours!

  69. Lachelle says:

    Okay – before I tossed out my dough, I decided to try one last thing: my pastry blender. Instant fix! It came together beautifully the way a fork could never achieve and without adding extra sour cream. I should have used it earlier but thought I’d follow the directions ๐Ÿ˜‰ Excited to taste it now!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lachelle – glad you were able to rescue the pie dough.

      Just a note about this pie dough, there isn’t anything missing from the recipe – I’ve made this dozens of times and it really truly does turn out the flakiest, best pie crust I’ve ever made. However, I really do want to help those who are struggling with the recipe (take note, though, that many have also had great success so it is working for a lot of us!). I’ve responded to a few comments in the thread, but a lot of this will depend on how you measure the flour. My plan is to make this next time and weigh the flour to know exactly how much is there, but those who have too dry of a mixture may be measuring the flour with a heavy hand. I’ve talked about measuring flour here, but I always fluff up my bucket of flour, then scoop in my measuring cup and level off with a knife. Flour amounts will make a huge difference. Also, your idea of using a pastry blender is a great one. I made three of these pie crusts for Thanksgiving and agree that in a tripled recipe, the sour cream didn’t mix in quite as well and I wish I would have gone for my pastry blender too. Thanks for that tip! Also, for those who have had tough crusts, that will happen anytime a pie crust is overworked. It is really, really important that each step is done with minimal mixing/rolling of the dough. I’ll add some notes to the recipe and feel free to chime in (anyone) with your experiences. I made a caramel apple pie with this pie crust for Thanksgiving and again, it was reconfirmed to me that this truly is the only pie crust recipe I’ll ever use. I hope you have great success if you try it! Don’t be afraid to add more sour cream like I indicate in the recipe. Like I mentioned, if you have more flour from measuring, you’ll need a bit more sour cream.

  70. Stevie Evans says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This recipe has finally made my pies legitimately “from scratch”. I love to bake but pie crust have always been my nemesis. Thanks to you I have conquered them and my Thanksgiving apple pie turned out beautifully. You are awesome!! Next up – your pretzel buns recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  71. Jenn A says:

    I am a pie crust making drop-out. I’ve never had success with regular pie crust so I just gave up and started buying it all the time. BUT, I made this crust for my Thanksgiving pies. I must have measured my flour to heavily because I had to use some extra sour cream, but I was so pleased with the results. The crust didn’t get tough and it actually tastes really good. I had extra pastry so my son cut out shapes. We sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar and baked them for mini pastry cookies. I am so pleased to have found a recipe that works for me!

  72. jacqui says:

    I took a cooking class in college and we spent weeks on pie crusts. I love the tip here about grating in the butter-that is so much easier! My pie crusts were amazing the first few years after taking the class. But the last few years I’ve had a ton of trouble with dry crusts. I figured it was changes in humidity as I’ve moved. So when asked to make pies this year for Thanksgiving, I decided to look for a new recipe and tutorial. I found this one and decided to give it a go. I tried it twice, very carefully measuring the flour and knifing off the top to make sure there was no excess. The dough was so dry, so I added an extra TBSP of sour cream. I followed the directions to a t and didn’t over mix – I could see the butter swirls in the crust just a my instructor taught us to ensure a flaky crust. I just tried my coconut creme and banana creme pies with this crust. And the bottom of the crust is thick and tough and not good! I’m really disappointed in this! It was the easiest time I’ve ever had rolling out crusts before though, but all that matters is the final product and this wasn’t it for me. Thanks for the tips and I’m glad it works for some people but it is not for me.

  73. Donna Ferris says:

    Measure flour lightly by spooning it into the measuring cup. It works for me

  74. Amanda says:

    This is the first Thanksgiving that I didn’t have to use my back up Pilsbury crust in the fridge. Thanks for a no fail recipe for those who struggle rolling out dough ๐Ÿ™‚

  75. Emma says:

    The pie dough was backbreaking work. When I ate it, it worst gross. The store bought dough was better.

  76. Lindsay says:

    Most of Mel’s recipes that I’ve tried have been awesome, but MAN, this pie crust was an epic fail.

    “The mixture should not be overly wet or sticky. At the same time, it shouldn’t be falling apart either.”

    Somehow, my pie crust was overly wet and sticky AND falling apart. It was horrible. I probably added in twice as much sour cream as it called for to combat the dryness, but it was too much and not enough at the same time. I tried to thoroughly mix it without over-handling the dough, but that’s nearly impossible as sour cream naturally just globs together. When I rolled it out, it was a sticky, crumbly mess. On the upside, my mom and sister (who were helping make pies) laughed so hard and for so long this will be a Thanksgiving memory for years to come (I joined in, too). Both my dad and my husband came over and commented it didn’t look normal (duh). It took 6 hands and some grotesque patching to get the crust into the plate. I added more sour cream to the other half of the dough for the top crust, and it stuck together better, but still had soggy parts. The final product wasn’t bad–it wasn’t the best or the worst crust I’ve made–but it took more work and stress than any other recipe I’ve tried. The next day, my grandma came over and coached me and my sister through making her recipe (good old Crisco), and it was the BEST crust I’ve ever had. I’m not a Crisco fan, but I guess you can’t beat tried and true.

    I post this not to criticize Mel (because looks like this recipe works great for her and many others), but to give some comfort and a laugh to anyone else out there who failed the fool-proof recipe :).

    • Mel says:

      Lindsay – ack! I’m sorry your experience was less than wonderful. I admire you for laughing (instead of wanting to kill me). What DOES kill me is that this recipe is causing people so many issues. I literally have made it countless times and every time I’m in awe of it’s perfection. I don’t blame you for never wanting to try it again, but I do wonder if using a pastry blender to mix in the sour cream would help (another commenter suggested that and I’ve used it too lately to help with those globs of sour cream). Thanks for the comment – I’m still hopeful that it will continue to revolutionize pie-making lives (I know it did mine!) and thanks for having a good attitude despite the experience. Kudos to you!

  77. Michele says:

    I love your site Mel and use your recipes all the time. But I have to say that I did not like this pie crust at all. I made it with your apple crumb pie recipe and the pie crust was crunchy and tough on the bottom and it didn’t have a good flavor. The thing I missed most is that this crust wasn’t flaky at all. The apple pie filling and the crumb topping was delicious though! I also thought the dough was a nightmare to work with and I am an an award winning baker and accomplished pie maker. This recipe just didn’t work for me and I will go back to my old pie recipe. Thank for posting wonderful recipes, Mel! Eventhough this recipe is not a keeper for me, I still enjoying trying new recipes!

  78. Peggy says:

    To help with pre-baking, after it’s in the pan let it rest at least an hour in the fridge (overnight is best) with plastic wrap loosely covering it. Then move it to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Then either use foil, parchment or industrial-sized coffee filters and dried beans or rice. (Don’t use the dried beans for anything else besides pies again, but rice can actually still be cooked.) Preheat oven to 425ยฐ and place on lowest rack. Cook for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ยฐ and cook for 10 minutes. Remove foil/beans then cook another 10 minutes. During this last bit check for bubbles after 3 or 4 minutes and poke with fork lightly. (Don’t poke all the way through.)

    Haven’t tried this recipe yet. Too be honest, I like my Crisco pie crusts and as long as people don’t know it’s Crisco, it gets rave reviews.

  79. Sophie says:

    Im excited to try this. I have some chicken pot pie filling in my freezer that I plan on making this week. My mouth is watering!

  80. Janine says:

    I made this pie crust and absolutely loved it. Last week I made mini chocolate and blueberry pies with my Mia Maid class and they all learned how to make this crust. It was so much fun. The girls were able to each take home a mini pie and then we took some around to some of our neighbors. It was a hit and the girls made beautiful, tasty crusts. This crust is now my favorite.

  81. Rhonda Noether says:

    This comment is a day late and a dollar short, so not sure if I will get any feed back but here it goes: Do you think you could grate the frozen butter ahead of time and keep it in the freezer in individual bags?
    I make 6 pies/week for our farm study come this May and I would like to offer some butter crust ones…plus I prefer butter personally for myself. I try get as many steps done ahead of time as possible. Thanks..from a mom and grammy in Western NY!

    • Mel says:

      Rhonda – That could work just fine, if it were me, I’d toss the butter with a tablespoon of flour to help it keep from sticking in the freezer. Good luck!

  82. Rhonda Noether says:

    Farm Stand…not farm study.!

  83. Cassandra says:

    This is an excellent tutorial. Probably the best I have seen. I am an experienced cook and love the website.

  84. Katelyn says:

    I know you’ve had about a million and a half questions about this pie crust but I have just one more… do you ever have a problem with the crust coming off the top edge and falling down the sides while baking? This has happened to me twice with this recipe… once with a pot pie and once with quiche. Both times the crust still tasted great… just looked goofy. Am I leaving too much crust on the perimeter so the weight makes it fall down? Let me know what you think!

    p.s. any luck with those Beacon Hill cookies?? (:

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katelyn! Haven’t figured out the beacon hill cookies but definitely on my list of things I will get to before I die! Thanks for the reminder. ๐Ÿ™‚ So about your pie crust, usually a crust will slip and sink into the pie plate like that if a) it’s been stretched to fit the pie plate instead of being gently lifted into the creases (make sense)?, b) if it hasn’t chilled for enough time or c) because the pie gods don’t shine down that day. Ok, kidding on the last one (kind of) but generally that type of thing happens because the pie crust is shrinking up again – if it was stretched and pulled too much or isn’t cold enough.

  85. Bryan says:

    I tried your pie crust recipe and it was a great success. I prepared it with another pie using a butter rich recipe and presented both as a taste test. Five out of five chose your recipe. If you count myself then that will be six. I am by now means a pie master and that was why I was successful. Not being proficient at making pie crust I had to trust what you wrote as I had no experience to draw from. Do you have an apple pie recipe?

  86. Bryan says:

    I made three crawfish double crust pies with your pie recipe and want to share some information that might help others having problems. But first, my second shot at this resulted in a flakier and lighter crust than the first one I made which was a double crust chicken pot pie. Being a chemist, I would rather deal with mass rather than volume so I fluffed the flour and took three consecutive measurements of 1 1/2 cups of flour. The average for 1 1/2 cups of flour was 195g. I repeated the same process for the sour cream and the average was 124g. I made a double batch and it was the perfect ratios of flour to sour cream but it took a little longer to work than I thought it should; however the final product was light and flaky. The second and third pies, I made six single batches and found it much easier to work with. Again, it was the perfect ratios of flour to sour cream. I was able to work it in quicker but did not see where a little more work on the double batch was any flakier or lighter. Both ways produced excellent texture. I like making the bottom crust first and while it is chilling them I make the top layer. I find this is easier to work the sour cream in while killing time waiting for the bottom to chill. Either way one choose to make their crust, I hope the mass measurement help some of your visitors make a difference. I think everyone should experience what this crust offers. Remember visitors, trust in what Mel is telling you and throw out any experience your might have using water…….

    • Mel says:

      Bryan – you are awesome! Thank you so much for your detailed comment and review of this recipe. You have no idea how much that helps others (and me!). I’m thrilled you like this pie crust so much and am excited to take your “test” work into the kitchen with me next time I make it. Thank you!!

  87. Amanda says:

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for this recipe. I did a fundraiser selling pies this past weekend and I AM SO SORE AND CAN BARELY MOVE but this pie dough was the best ever to work with. I made 62 Pie crusts and each one was easy to put together and baked beautifully. I had so many people tell me it was the best pies they have ever had…so between this crust and my filling I know I will be busy selling pies for a long time!

    Thanks again!!!

    • Mel says:

      Amanda – I cannot believe you really made 62 pies. That is…seriously…I don’t know. I have no words. Well, I do: I’m so impressed and officially think you are superwoman! Thank you so much for reporting back. I am so, so happy this pie crust worked out so well. Amazing!

  88. Susan says:

    I am very grateful for this recipe, and plan to try it with my next pie. Can you tell me if altitude could affect the process? It certainly has had an impact on my candy making exercises. I am at 3000 feet. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Susan – You might try googling high altitude baking for pie crusts but to my knowledge, pie crusts shouldn’t be affected like candy or cakes. Good luck!

  89. Jenny park says:

    I used this pie crust recipe and added 1 tablespoon extra sour cream…it’s dry here in Utah. I used some canned apricot filling I had made and baked it 375F for 55 min in a 9 inch glass Pyrex dish…perfection. I must add this is my first crust ever…so yummy! I am a convert to homemade pie crust made with sour cream. Thanks so much!

  90. Rachel says:

    Not only is this the best pie crust I’ve ever made but the best I’ve ever eaten! Amazing!! I used it to make quiche last night and it was a hit.

  91. Ann D. says:

    Hi Mel! I hope you are getting adjusted after your move! I have made this crust two times. The first time it was amazing and perfect for my chicken pot pie. The second time I made it, it was kind of tough…think I added too much sour cream. Today I am making it again for my chicken pot pie. I doubled the recipe, and I had so much trouble grating the butter…It was getting all melty and hard to hold on to because it was double the amount. After I was done, I put the bowl with grated butter and dry ingredients back in the freezer to harden it up again. Do you think it would work to grate all of the frozen butter in the food processor with the grater attachment? I am awful at making pie crust and I am determined to have success again with this recipe. Thanks!!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Ann! That’s actually a good idea about grating the frozen butter with the food processor. I’d say definitely try it (maybe even keep each stick of butter frozen until grating it so that it doesn’t soften even the slightest). I hope this go-round works out for you!

  92. yalon says:

    Help my crusts fell in.I made a double batch and that was hard to get all the flour mixed in. But I added more sour cream that worked out great but, FORGOT to chill the first one so I chilled the second one and put beans in both of them but they both fell in HELP what do I need to do different. I made a extra one to give to some family but what now ?

    • Mel says:

      yalon – I’m sorry this pie crust recipe didn’t work out for you. Sometimes a baked pie crust will shrink if the dough has been overworked. Try handling it as little as possible. Good luck if you try it again!

  93. Desha says:

    Hi Mel! I just have to say that I’ve tried this crust multiple times and it is AMAZING. I’ve never ventured too much into pie – but this crust is so easy and so delicious. I’ve got a batch chilling in the fridge as I type this! So, thank you!

  94. […] found the perfect pie crust recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. She has an in-depth tutorial for those wishing to seek further pastry wisdom, but the rules are […]

  95. Maria L. Nino says:

    Mel I can’t wait to try this pie crust because I’m pretty bad at it. I have one problem though, where I come from we can’t get sour cream. Would it be possible to try putting vinegar in heavy cream to substitute?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Maria – I think that could work, just keep an eye on the consistency of the pie dough because the heavy cream + vinegar mixture will be quite a bit runnier than the sour cream. You may not need quite as much.

  96. Marge says:

    Hi Mel,
    I love your blog and of course your recipes. Your writing style is so honest and friendly, like we’re in the kitchen with you. I just read all the comments about this pie crust and I just have to say that you are a total sweetheart! You are so gracious even when the comments aren’t the nicest. And your smile is beautiful!! Thanks for all your hard work.

  97. Jill says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’m with Bryan on preferring to use mass rather than volume. Would you be able to provide a weight for the butter?
    Thank you!

  98. Emily Halterman says:

    I first made this crust as a double batch and it failed miserably. I then made it again using the measurements for just one pie crust and yet again it failed miserably so I am going to try yet again and use Mel’s sweep method to measure the flour. Fingers crossed.

  99. I was taught the spoon-and-sweep method a million years ago in Home Ec. We also learned to tap the side of the measuring cup after sweeping. If properly measured, you should see the flour settle down probably an 1/8th of an inch or so. This lets you know that you’re good to go. If the flour doesn’t settle, then you’ve packed it too heavily; and you need to dump it out and remeasure. To this day, after whisking my flour to lighten it so it’s not packed down, I spoon, sweep and tap. And to clarify, you absolutely do NOT add more flour to the measuring cup after tapping! The tapping is just to make sure you’ve measured properly. Of course, weighing your flour is the professional way to go, but I rarely do that ’cause I’m lazy. My baking results have been pretty darned good through the years–so, my motto is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *