homemade pie dough

Homemade Pie Dough

This fantastic homemade pie dough recipe was handed down from my mother-in-law. I find it versatile, flaky and delicious. It also delights me that it doesn’t require a chill in the fridge unless one wants to!

Homemade pie dough

I make this dough for most of my favourite pies. It’s the dough I use for making Peach Pie, Blackberry Pie and Old-fashioned Buttermilk Pie. But I also often whip a batch up in fruit season and use it for individual pies made in ramekins. This way I can use multiple fruits and everyone gets to choose their fave. Or I can just make single servings, instead of a full pie for two people. The dough stays well in the fridge wrapped in plastic for several days. It also makes tasty hand pies and when doubled, even a sheet pie for a crowd. I find one recipe will make 1, fold over style, crust for a standard pie or 8 individual 1-cup ramekin pies or 8 hand pies.

homemade pie dough
homemade pie dough

Yes, this recipe uses lard. Lard makes the best pie doughs. Well actually a combination of very cold lard and butter makes for the best and tastiest, not to mention flakiest pie dough. You can make a decent pie dough with just butter or shortening/butter (and this recipe can be made with either). But it won’t be the same. So far, I have found nothing gives a flaky, crispy crust like a little lard. I keep mine cold in the fridge as pie dough is the only thing I use it for.

Homemade Pie Dough Tips

This is an easy pie dough and terrific for making a rustic, homemade pie. There are a few tips that make all the difference when making pie dough however. Make sure the ingredients are COLD, the colder the dough (and especially the butter) the better. It is the cold butter combining with the hot oven that makes for a flaky dough. So if at anytime the dough is finished or left to sit (while working on filling or rolling out the top), make sure it does so in the fridge. Filled or not. Keep any lard and butter in the fridge for at least 24 hours ahead of making the recipe. Adding ice to the water and setting it aside makes a big difference, just make sure to measure from that cup a tablespoon at a time without getting actual ice in the dough.

homemade pie dough

Try to handle the dough as little as possible. Do not over process in the food processor, once its comes together, stop the machine. If the dough seems overly wet, sprinkle with some flour and work it in by hand. Your hands are warm, and you don’t want to over work the dough, so work quickly. This is a soft dough, so likely the board and rolling pin need to be liberally floured. Roll out the dough, but don’t stretch it. Once in the pie plate or ramekin, use a fork to prick the base so as to not get air bubbles, before adding the filling. Then prior to the oven, use a pastry brush to brush with milk or an egg wash for a golden crust.

Pie Dough

My mother-in-law's Rich Flaky Pastry

Course Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes


  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Very Cold Lard diced
  • 1/2 Cup Very Cold Butter diced
  • 9 Tablespoons Cold Ice Water


  1. Fill a measuring cup with ice and cold water.

  2. Next dice up the chilled lard and butter into tablespoon sized pieces (alternately they can be cut into pieces ahead of time and returned to the fridge to stay chilled).

  3. Using a food processor, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Pulse a few times until combined.

  4. Add the butter and lard to the food processor and pulse until the butter and lard resemble pea size pieces in the dough.

  5. With the food processor running, add the 9 tablespoons of cold water to the feed tube, where it should slowly drizzle into and mix with the dough. Otherwise add it one tablespoon at a time.

  6. Keep the food processor running until the dough comes together and forms a ball.

  7. Remove from the food processor onto a floured surface and work the dough into a ball with floured hands.

  8. Immediately roll out into pie dough or cut into 8 equal portions for individual pies on a floured surface. Otherwise wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge.

  9. Once dough is in the pie plate or ramekin, prick the bottom of the dough several times with a fork, before filling, to prevent air bubbles.

  10. Brush the top of the pie dough with eggwash, or milk, before the oven for a golden crust.

  11. Once pies are filled and ready to bake, bake in a 400 degree oven for 50 minutes or until cooked evenly and golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Place a sheet pan below the pie(s) in the oven to catch any drips.

homemade pie dough
homemade pie dough
homemade pie dough

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