Make it Yourself...Butter Pie Crusts

 There is another popular pie crust that is all butter. Sue and I make them on occasion, Sue does more than I do. They are easy to handle, the most you have to do is keep the dough chilled. It needs to be cold, but still easy to roll out. If it seems to be getting too warm, simply put back in the refrigerator to chill again. 
  Almost all of the recipes will call for you to cut the butter in using your hands. I have done this, but find that I can use the processor if I do not over pulse it. It should just come together and than gather it up into a disc and refrigerate it till cold. Either way, this will give you a nice flavored crust. Do not use margarine in place of the butter. You want the butter flavor or else I would just use a pie crust with lard or shortening.
  I prefer a crust with part butter and part shortening as the shortening will give you a flakey crust. The Barefoot Contessa and My Fanny Farmer Baking Book both do it this way. Here are two recipes for a butter crust one with shortening added and one with all butter. 
Sue likes this Land O Lakes recipe.
Land O Lakes Butter Pie Crust for 2 Crust Pie
2  Cups  Flour, All-purpose -- sifted
1/4  Teaspoon  Salt
2/3  Cup  Butter -- Cold
4 to 5 tablespoons Ice Water
Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in enough water with the form just until the flour is moistened.  Shape into a ball and flatten slightly.
Refrigerate, well wrapped, for an hour before rolling out.
Makes crust for 1 (8-9" double crust pie), 2 (8-9" pie shells), 8 (4" tart shells), 1 (9" or 10" lattice top pie)
For apple pie, add 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to flour.

BareFoot Contessa

Butter and Shortening Pie Crust
For 9 to 11 inch pan
12 Tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) cold butter
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup cold shortening
½ cup ice water 
 Dice the butter in small pieces and return to refrigerator. Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor with steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the very cold butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. Add slowly as you might not need all the water. When the dough starts to form a ball dump out onto a floured board and roll into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
Cut dough in half, refrigerate the half you are not using so it stays cold. Roll each piece on a well-floured board turning and flouring the dough so it doesn’t stick. Fold the dough in half and ease into pan. Finish for what ever pie you are making. If you do not need the top crust, freeze it well wrapped for another time.
*You can store the prepared pie crust in the refrigerator for up to a day.

*Chilling the flour before making will help keep this cold also. Just put your flour in to chill the night before you are ready to use it.
*I keep my Crisco, the only shortening I will use in the refrigerator all the time. I find the cold shortening will make a flakier crust.


  1. Well that's a great idea, chilling the flour and the Crisco! I use lard for my pie crusts, I will have to try chilling the lard and see if it works ok.

    1. Chilling your lard will definitely work OK...I keep mine refrigerated all the time so it works better in both pie crust and biscuits.

  2. I've used the Land 'O Lakes recipe several times and we like it. I'm pretty new to making pastry, and plan to try some other recipes too.

  3. Never thought about keeping my Crisco in the fridge. Will have to do that. I use so little of it that I get the small can. Thanks for the tip! I use half butter & half Crisco for my pie crust also. My recipe is from an old Grand Diplome cookbook.

  4. Glad to hear you are planning on trying some other pastry recipes also. Once you get started they are much easier than people think.

  5. Hi Nadine, I do think keeping the Crisco in the fridge helps. Keeps longer also. I must say I have never bought the small can size I just make too many pie crusts for that to last long at our house.

  6. Just used your pie crust recipe to make Yooper Pasties (upper peninsula Michigan) left the sugar out, anxious to see how they turn out. I'm not much of a pastry maker and hope this works for me so I can switch from the red box stuff 😃

    1. How did your pie crust turn out? And just have to know what is in your Yoooper Pasties, they sound good?


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