How to Make Perfect Pie Crust

With pie season nearly upon us (or for those who live in a world where pie season never ends, best world ever), it was about time I added a video tutorial for my favorite pie crust in all the world.

Pie crust can seem intimidating and sometimes unnecessary, especially since in this very non-Pioneerish day and age, you can snag a premade pie crust from the freezer section of the grocery store. While there is absolutely no shame in doing that, I submit there’s nothing that can make you feel like a rock star as quickly in the kitchen as making homemade pie crust. Bonus: it’s easy. And I’m not just saying that. This pie crust is simple and flaky and perfect. Many, many of you have wanted a video tutorial to accompany the step-by-step pictures in the pie crust post and Cam and I were more than happy to oblige (ok, I was happy to oblige…just disregard her nearly falling asleep whilst I rolled out the pie crust; apparently pie crust isn’t quite as exciting to a 3-year old).

A few notes:

Yes, you can make this pie crust in a food processor. I’m demonstrating making it by hand because a) it’s so easy, it’s not worth cleaning the food processor and b) I’m guessing most people have access to a bowl and fork while not as many have a food processor. If you do use a food processor, I’d recommend cubing the butter and freezing and not grating it like demonstrated in the video (the food processor will obliterate the strands of butter and your pie crust won’t be as flaky).

There are a few tools/kitchen items I’m using in the video that I forgot to mention while filming (I was hurrying through the video thanks to the cute little sous chef who needed a potty break, snack and a nap):

-my favorite classic no-frills rolling pin (<–link is to a newer version of the one I’ve had for years, love it, I also have a French-style rolling pin which I like pretty well but find I usually grab the classic style most of the time)

-my go-to 9-inch pie plate

-the pastry cloth and board that actually makes me look forward to rolling out pie crust (and tortillas and flatbread and sugar cookies)

-trusty kitchen shears for trimming the pie crust

Remember all of the videos can be seen on my Video Tips page as well as on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe You Tube channel where you can subscribe for immediate video updates.

{As always, this post is unsponsored and the few affiliate links above are to products I’ve bought myself and loved from Amazon.}

47 Responses to Video Tip: How to Make Perfect Pie Crust

  1. Phyllis says:

    Thank you for the video! I recently came across a recipe that called for a pie crust to make little “tacos” for my kid’s lunches. It’s a make-a-head recipe so I can freeze some. Is this crust freezer friendly? My recipe calls for pie crust bought at the store but I prefer make it at home.

  2. Emily says:

    Finally a video on making pie crust! This is the ONLY recipe of yours that has given me fits. Last year I tried it about a dozen times and I gave up in tears. I wont let it get the best of me and I’m excited to try again (using your video alongside me of course). Thanks Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Emily – don’t hesitate to ask questions if you still have issues. I think the key to this recipe is not over measuring the flour (I use the spoon and sweep method and will post a weight measure soon for the flour) and obviously not overworking the dough like any pie crust. Good luck!

  3. Teresa says:

    I loved the video. I will have to watch the technique again because I could not stop watching Cam. She is adorable.

  4. Liz says:

    As always – so much fun! I can’t be a complete spoiler, but the part that starts with Cam all excited: “I’m making pie crust !! …” – priceless!

    The recipe, well – I have to try it because it is a Mel “no fail”. If I’m a bit famous for anything, it is pie and so is my mom and we laugh because we make crust from Betty Crocker circa 1965 cookbook and compared to a cake, pie is easy-peasy, but people just go nuts over our pies. Anyway, I am going to give this a whirl and test it out on a neighbor who waxes poetic about my cherry pie.

    • Mel says:

      I know, Liz, isn’t that part so funny? And now I’m a bit nervous for you to try this, especially since you are famous for pie (I’m not surprised!).

      • Liz says:

        No need for the nervous – I love trying new recipes and new techniques. I can always go back to the familiar, but “nothing ventured, nothing gained”!

        I’m also going to give yogurt a try if I like the sour cream. It seems like there is plenty of “fat” from the butter, i.e. I’m not sure what sour cream brings that yogurt would not ??

        • Liz says:

          I made the crust and filled it with your Apple Crumb Pie recipe. I didn’t have problems with the crust and it was probably the prettiest crust I’ve ever rolled out! Usually my crust looks pretty ugly going into the oven, but comes out fine, delicious and flaky.

          Taste of this – was ok and probably the Apple Crumb wasn’t the best “test” filling as it would be great on cardboard I think 🙂 – actually doesn’t even need a crust. I did bake some of the extra pieces separate. Bottom line, I like my original for flavor and texture as well as for a lot less fat. I use less butter/shortening for a 2 crust and then water vs sour cream. In baking, it seemed like the amount of butter somewhat “fried” the crust. BUT, the Apple Crumb topping also has a lot of butter so again, maybe not the best filling to test.

          I learned a lot from the tutorial: incorporating the fat stages made a huge difference, also some rest/frig time.

          As you know, I tend to go read a lot and I did because I was curious about the amount of butter. Wow – read many recipes as well as comments and pie crust recipes are all over the map as far as type of fat and how much. And I really like trying things so no regrets, Mel!

        • Mel says:

          Thanks for checking back, Liz! Love reading what you thought about it and I agree there are so, so many recipes and variations for pie crust – it’s kind of fun to test out new ones.

  5. Wendy says:

    Thank you for demonstrating this pie crust. I have made many pie crusts using other recipes that turned out great, but was intrigued a while back by your recipe using sour cream. Since I am an avid MKC user and we have loved everything else that I cook from your site, I gave it a try. It was a total failure. After watching how you worked with this recipe, though, I am willing to give it another try. Thanks again! (And Cam is simply adorable — almost makes me want to try again to see if we would get a girl to add to our 4 boys too.) 😉

  6. 50% of the reason I watch your videos is to learn from a great like you. The other 50% is to see that sweet little Cameron! Gosh, Mel! I can’t believe I’m going to have one of those in a few years. Right now, she’s on the counter just watching me cook. She reaches for things. I let her suck on melon and bell pepper strips. But one day, she’ll help me make pie! <3

  7. Allison says:

    Great video! I literally laughed out loud when Cam said, “We’re making pie?!” It was so cute. 🙂 This video came at the perfect time for me. I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year and haven’t been brave enough in the past to make my own pie crusts. I will definitely try your recipe for pie crusts and watch this video at least a few more times. Love your blog so much, thanks for sharing your recipes and life with us!

    • Mel says:

      Good luck, Allison – you can do it! Depending on how you measure the flour, you might need to add a tablespoon or more of sour cream (I didn’t in the video but I probably err on the side of undermeasuring flour just slightly).

  8. AnnMarie says:

    Sour cream! How amazing, I’ve never seen a pie crust recipe using sour cream. I’m going to have to try this at Thanksgiving this year. (Perhaps over my father’s dead body — he’s pretty set on his own recipes.)

    And may I just say, I loved seeing Cam with you in this video. I don’t have kids myself, but I know many do (and one day I hope to have them, too!) and it’s refreshing to see the “silent partners” of the blog here with you. ^_^

  9. Kelsey says:

    Wow this is so helpful! I’ve never made a pie crust with sour cream in it. I will have to give this one a try! Thanks Mel and Cam!

  10. Kattie says:

    I remember being frustrated by this recipe last year because I could not get it to work!!! I continued with my trusty crisco/ice water recipe which I love…..however I am going to give this another attempt and I hope I can be successful;);) along with Wendy Your family makes me wonder if I tried just one more time maybe I could get a little lady to go along with my 4 boys. I just don’t think I could risk having 5 boys!

    • Mel says:

      Keep in mind that my main philosophy is if you have a recipe that works – keep using it!! Don’t give up your tried-and-true pie crust if you love it. Although a vote in favor of this sour cream one is that it rocks. 🙂 And I remember when I was pregnant with this baby girl wondering what I was going to do when it ended up being twin boys. I didn’t believe she was a girl until she was actually here.

  11. Helen says:

    I’m going to make pie … I haven’t tried pie crust in years and it is high time I did !!! This video was just the inspiration I needed. On a side note, my 3 year old son couldn’t take his eyes off Cam.. He kept pushing me out of the way so he could watch her. Guess he already has good taste in girls. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your expertise and yourself (and your adorable assistant ). Great video !!

  12. Mollie says:

    Add me to the list that was excited to see this video because I haven’t been successful with your sour cream pie crust yet. I’m willing to give it another shot after watching this!

  13. Sheila says:

    Very well done and informative video. And Cam can not get any more adorable.

  14. Jodi says:

    Great video Mel, thanks! With all the baking I do, I have made very few pie crusts in my life. I always take the easy way out and buy the pre-made ones. I will definitely have to try this. By the way, Cam is adorable. I love my 5 boys, but I would have loved a “little Cam” too!!

  15. Kim in MD says:

    I absolutely love your video tutorials, and if I had Camryn as my assistant she would never be optional!

  16. Stacey says:

    Great tutorial! Love your sous chef. So adorable!!! I feel like I can make anything but I’ll have to give this a try!

  17. Jana says:

    Do you mind sharing where you bought that fabulous blouse? I think I just “must” have one! 😉

    Great tutorial – I’m excited to try! I’ve really had a hard time with pie crust lately (my father-in-law loves pie, and I’ve had to resort to running to the store for the already made crusts when mine fail… boo) so I’m thinking this just might be my ticket back to pie glory. 🙂 Thanks!

  18. Caroline says:

    Great tutorial, Mel! I can’t wait to try it!

    I don’t know how I missed this pie crust that you posted almost 2 years ago! But I’ve never ever heard of putting sour cream in the crust. And seriously?! It sounds amazing.

    Thanks so much!!!

  19. Hollie says:


    Genius about the frozen butter shredded. Thanks, Wonder Woman!

  20. Heather bell says:

    What a cute girl! And she obviously knows how to cook with mom:) I’ve made this crust before and it turned out great. So glad you brought it to my attention agsin

  21. Courtenay says:

    First off, I love your blog! I’ve been following for many years and every one of your recipes is delicious! When I try a new recipe that’s a hit my kids will ask, “Did you get this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe?” They know I love your blog. Everyone I refer to your blog loves it too.

    One questions, what should I use if I don’t have a pastry cloth and board to roll the dough out?

    Thanks for your blog!

  22. Ashley says:

    Mel, I LOVE your recipes! Whenever I make a delicious dinner my husband always asks “Is this a Mel recipe?” (And it always is!)

    I’ve made this pie crust a few times and every time I have had trouble with the rolling out part. It either sticks to the surface, or if I add flour to the surface, it becomes crumbly and breaks apart when I try to move it from the rolling pin to the pie plate. I’ve ended up just putting the pieces together in the pie place like a puzzle…do you have any advice?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ashley – any chance you might be overflouring when rolling it out? It seems to me like there might be a fine line between the times when it’s been too sticky and the other extreme of having it crumble. You might try adding another tablespoon of sour cream to the dough and then using a light dusting of flour on the rolling pin and counter (the extra tablespoon of sour cream may help account for the flour). Another option would be to roll it between two sheets of wax or parchment paper. Have you tried that?

      • Ashley says:

        The idea of rolling it out between parchment paper sounds like it would solve my problem! Thank you!! I will try it!

  23. Ruth says:

    Another great video! Thank you, Mel and Cam.

  24. Cindy says:

    Thank you for your amazing website. Your tutorials are always so informative. I have yet to try one of your recipes that my family didn’t love. Pie crust has always been difficult for me; this tutorial should help. Questions. Where did you get the pastry sheet you rolled the pie crust out on and what is your opinion on the best type of rolling pin? The video seemed to show you not adding additional flour when rolling the dough on the pastry sheet. The dough always sticks to my counter and the rolling pin if I don’t use extra flour on both. Is that because of the cook or the cook’s tools?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Cindy – I linked to the pastry sheet above in the post – it’s the Bethany brand and I have the cloth and the board (from Amazon). I just have an old-fashioned classic rolling pin. I seriously think it was $7 when I bought it almost 15 years ago. It’s not perfect but it works really well. The pastry cloth definitely helps so you don’t overflour – I sprinkle the rolling pin with flour too as I go along, depending on how sticky the dough is.

  25. Jackie says:

    I must “smash” instead of “lift and press” because my crust ALWAYS shrinks! I’ll have to pay attention next time. When I was a kid my mom would always give me the extra dough she trimmed off the edge and I would roll it out and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it and then bake it. It was my favorite!

  26. Andie Kjar says:

    WHO REJECTS CUPCAKES!!!!!?????!?!?!?

    my name is Andie and I’m 10. i love using your recipies! 🙂
    I love potatoes.
    like, LOVE potatoes.

  27. Anona says:

    Thanks! That tutorial was so helpful! I’m excited to use that recipe! =)

  28. Dana says:

    Hey! I just watched this video just ’cause I miss you. I don’t see myself ever making pie crust. LOL You and Cam are SO cute! Love you guys!!

  29. I always love your videos!! Full of great tips, and I love the sour cream in there too! Will try soon!

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