How to make pie crust in your stand mixer: easy does it

Is it a good idea to make pie crust using a stand mixer? Or is it really better to combine all of the ingredients — the flour and salt, fat and water — by hand?

The vast majority of pie crust recipes (including those here on our recipe site) direct you to combine the dry ingredients, then work the fat in using a pastry blender, pastry fork, two knives, or your hands.

As far as using one of your handy countertop appliances, some folks say you can make pie crust using a food processor. But never will you see anyone espousing the use of a stand mixer (or electric hand mixer) to make pie crust.

Why is that? We use our trusty stand mixers for everything from brownie batter to bread dough — why not pie crust?

Some say a mixer toughens crust. Others say it doesn’t flatten the fat in just the right way. And for some, I think it’s simply resistance to change: Great-Grandma didn’t use a mixer, and neither do I!

Well, I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve been using my stand mixer to make pie crust for years. Nay, decades, ever since I got my first mixer by saving S&H Green Stamps (and if you know what those are, you know how long ago that was!).

Truthfully, you may get marginally flakier pie crust by flattening each little piece of cold butter by hand as you work it into the flour. But these days, my aging hands, wrists, and shoulders — to say nothing of my patience — are sorely tried by the process.

I’ve used a stand mixer to make pie crust forever, and people have always raved about my crust. And I believe that using a stand mixer to make pie crust is a perfectly reasonable solution for those who don’t want to work fat and flour together by hand.

Can you make pie crust using a stand mixer? Yes indeed — and here's how. Click To Tweet

I’m using our recipe for Classic Double Pie Crust here, which combines both butter and shortening. The recipe yields crust with a textural combination of tender shortbread and flaky croissant — with a generous measure of crispness thrown in.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

To make pie crust, first combine flour, salt, and shortening

I put 2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 cup vegetable shortening into the bowl of my stand mixer. I then use the beater attachment at speed 2 to create an evenly crumbly mixture. (I’ve poured the mixture out onto a piece of parchment so you can see it clearly.)

This first step, thoroughly combining shortening with flour, is what produces a tender crust. Fat coats the flour, which helps prevent gluten from forming strong bonds. When you cut into your baked crust, it breaks easily — which registers as “tender.”

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Next, cut ice-cold butter into small cubes

This recipe uses 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter. A baker’s bench knife is very handy here. These butter cubes will separate from one another as you mix them into the flour.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Add the butter to the flour/shortening

Beat on a low setting (speed 2) until the mixture is unevenly crumbly. That’s unevenly crumbly: you want dime-sized chunks of butter to remain unmixed.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Like this.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Add ice-cold water as the mixer is running

The recipe I’m following calls for 6 to 10 tablespoons of water. However much water your recipe calls for, don’t add it all at once; drizzle it in slowly. When you see the mixture start to form larger clumps, stop adding water (and stop the mixer).

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Stop mixing when the dough becomes cohesive

Grab a handful of the crumbs and squeeze. Do they hold together? If not, continue to drizzle with water until the dough is cohesive when squeezed. When that happens, you’re ready to add enough of the remaining water to make a crust that comes together nicely, without any crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl.

You can add this last bit of water using the mixer — or try the following method, which requires a bit more effort but makes an outstandingly tender crust.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Try this method for extra-tender crust

Pour the somewhat cohesive crust crumbs onto a piece of parchment, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Spray with cold water, paying special attention to any dry/sandy spots. You don’t want to liberally soak everything; just moistening is good enough.

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Fold the crumbs over on themselves and press down, using the parchment as an aid.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

See how this crumbly mixture is coming together?

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Press the other side into the center. Even these couple of folds will help add layers of flakiness to  your crust.

The pastry may still look quite dry at this point, but don’t panic; as it rests in the fridge, the flour will absorb the water, and the pastry will solidify nicely.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Divide the dough

Shape the cohesive dough into two disks. For a double-crust pie, one disk should be about twice as large as the other. The larger piece will be the bottom crust, the smaller one the top crust.

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

Chill and roll

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or so, and you’re ready to roll. This short chill lets the flour absorb the water, as mentioned above, and solidifies the fats, making the crust a bit easier to roll.

See that white patch in the photo? That’s a flattened piece of butter, and that’s exactly what you want to see in your unbaked crust: flat chunks of butter, big and small. These butter chunks will translate to flakiness as the pie bakes.

So at the end of the day, how do you know if it’s really OK to make pie crust using a stand mixer?

Make pie crust via @kingarthurflour

The proof is in the pudding — er, pie!

I’m betting there aren’t many who’d turn down this slice of Apple Pie, made with the crust you saw prepared above.

Now remember, there’s no such thing as baking police; if you’ve always made your wonderfully flaky and delicious pie crust using a pastry blender, food processor, or your hands, keep on keeping on. If your pie crust prep ain’t broke – don’t fix it!

But if you hesitate to make pie crust because you’re unsure of your hand-blending technique, or your arms and hands can’t take it, or you simply love the convenience of your electric mixer — go for it. Put away that pastry fork for good — no one will ever be the wiser!

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Isaboe Renoir

    Julia Child demonstrated pie crust/ tart crust in a stand mixer on The French Chef – sometimes sponsored by S&H green stamps! I’ve been using the mixer this way since I first saw the episode (in reruns, I admit.) So you’re in good company…

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Oh, well, I’m pleased as punch to be in Julia Child’s company — if only peripherally! Thanks for sharing that, Isaboe. PJH

    2. Julie Goodwin

      I’ve been making pie crust ONLY in my Kitchenaid for decades, and it’s perfect every time…I like being able to see and feel the dough as it comes together, which I can’t do using a food processor.

    3. Frederick Souza

      I use my food processor which has always worked well, but I find this method worthy of a try. However, I hate using my stand mixer for almost everything because it spits flour and liquids all over the place. I used to have a “shield” thing for it, but found that more work than it is worth.

      Does this problem happen with that initial butter and flour mixing? It seems like it would since that cold butter is going to take a while to mix in.

    4. The Baker's Hotline

      As long as you keep the mixer at a low speed (PJ suggests speed 2 here), this is a small amount of dough for a standard 5-7 quart mixer that you shouldn’t experience much spitting, Freferick. If you do decide to give this technique a try, let us know what you think! Mollie@KAF

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Just goes to show, Susan, you can’t always believe the “baking truths” passed on by books or friends or moms. You need to try something yourself to see how it works in your kitchen, using your equipment and ingredients, and compared to your standards. Glad your mixer is a good companion, including for pie crust! PJH

    2. J Richards

      I have been using my kitchen aid mixer for 30 + years to make my pie crust. I also add a small amount of lemon juice to my water for a flakier crust.

    1. SHERRY

      well I haven’t ‘always’ used a mixer …but … AFTER I SAW JULIA CHILDS USE ONE I TRIED IT AND HAVE EVER SINCE …. HUMMM LIKE 45YEARS …. only slightly different than how it is suggested still works and super flakey

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Colleen, I’ve actually just been testing sugar finishes on pie crusts, with that blog post due to go up in a month or so. The sugar I used on this pie is our coarse white sparkling sugar. I’ve found that regular granulated sugar doesn’t stay granular, but does form pretty crystalline shards, like broken glass, so give that a try. Spray the crust with water first, as this helps the sugar adhere. Good luck — PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Lois, I’d stick with the beater. The dough hook is more likely to just push the fat around in circles without working it into the flour. PJH

    2. Jessica

      I’ve always use the dough hook for my pastry crusts and never have a problem. But I use lard instead of butter. Not sure if that makes a difference.

    3. Crystal

      I use a combination of half frozen and grated lard and half frozen butter. Perfection. My family prefers .when I leave a large crust edging rather than trim it all pretty-like.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      You bet, Anita. Work half the butter in first, like shortening; then add the rest, leaving it in larger chunks. PJH

  2. Sonya

    Fantastic article! I would like to try a few things read here, such as blending with shortening first. This article caught my attention because my favorite pie crust calls for using a mixer (from The Mixer Bible) – it’s an all butter crust, and can be quite flaky and tender – it all depends on not mixing it too far – keeping those nice chunks like you said. I love the photos in this post – very helpful! Happy baking to you!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Thanks so much, Sonya. I hear you about mixing too far; I’ve done that more than once, ending up with a big wad of dough before I was ready for that to happen… 🙂 PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Yes, Allison. Work in half the butter as you would shortening, and leave the other half in larger chunks. Good luck – PJH

    2. Connie Peterson

      Thank you for asking that. I don’t use shortening either. Would the first half of the butter be room temperature to match the shortening temperature?

    3. PJ Hamel, post author

      Yes, Connie, have the butter at “pliable” room temperature; not too soft, but not rock-hard, either. Good luck — PJH

  3. Susan Sentman

    What a wonderful instruction on making pie crust in a stand mixer. As someone who has NEVER been able to produce a tender, moist and flaky piecrust, this will hopefully help me to accomplish this goal. Thank you so much.

    I came to this site (King Arthur) initially to learn how to make a sourdough starter. I have found it so very informative, in so many ways, that I am now a loyal follower! Thank You!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Susan, thanks so much for connecting here — we’re so glad you found us! Best of luck with your crust. Remember — the absolute key is the right amount of water. if you don’t nail it first time out, keep trying; the sign of too much water is a hard, leathery crust, so keep that in mind as you practice. — PJH

  4. Susan McCarthy

    I have trouble getting my bottom crust to cook nicely what am I doing wrong? My mother won a medal for her pastry, and yes she used a fork. Would not use her hands and she started work at 14 as a housekeeper for the local doctor and family. Picture current 14 year old young lady cooking, washing, cleaning in a household of 4. Mother, Father and 2 daughters only slightly younger than her. Wish I could call heaven on my cell. Miss you Mum.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Susan, thanks for sharing your sweet memories. I’ll bet your mum wishes she could answer your call. 🙂 I find I get a good bottom crust by baking in a metal pan (not glass or ceramic); and baking on either a pizza stone top choice), or the bottom rack of the oven. You want that bottom crust as close to the heat source as possible. Also, be sure to bake the pie thoroughly; any fruit filling should be bubbling for a good 10 minutes before you take the pie out, and the crust should be a rich, deep golden brown. Good luck — PJH

    2. Linda Stewart

      I watched them judge pies at my county fair this year. The judge made the comment to bake your pie in a tin/metal pan, but to set it inside a glass pie pan when you put it in the oven. I never thought of using the pizza stone either. I know my Mom made the most fabulous apple pie and always put it on the bottom rack and she always used a glass pyrex pie pan. As you say…..whatever works for you !

  5. MaryArden

    I’ve shied away from making pie crust forever because it was too complicated & messy. However, today you came to my rescue! I’m so excited to try! Thank you for this post and for your colorful honest writing! Please tell me what kind of shortening you use.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      MaryArden, so glad I could inspire you to make pie crust! I’ve tried different types of shortening, and honestly finde that Crisco is a cut above the rest, so that’s what I stick with — either butter-flavored or plain is fine. Good luck — PJH

  6. Helen Johnson

    I have been using my food processor forever when making my pie crust and have had very good results however, I am going to give this method a try. Just one note, for the water, I use 1/2 vodka. This helps increase the flakiness of the crust as the vodka evaporates quickly and completely leaving less moisture in the crust. (Not to worry, there is no vodka flavor in the crust.)

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Helen, I’ve found using a “nip” of vodka is the perfect amount of liquid for a single crust recipe. I like to use the flavored ones; can’t say I can taste the difference, but they smell good as you’re rolling out the dough! 🙂 PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Absolutely true, Pat — that’s why I like to pour the crust out onto a piece of parchment and add the last little bit of water by hand. I goofed the other day and splashed too much water into my crust with the mixer running. While it was OK in the finished pie, I could definitely tell I’d added too much water. PJH

  7. Cindy Young

    Thanks so much PJ! Perfect timing with the holidays just around the corner. I am just getting ready to make all of my crusts to freeze for the season and couldn’t be happier to use this method! I hear ya about hand rubbing in the butter – my joints rebel at the thought 😂. Thanks for all that you do and for sharing your wisdom.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Thanks for your kind words, Cindy. We all have to make certain “concessions” as we get older, and this one is very easy to make. I love having a stash of frozen crusts; so nice to take one out whenever you need it. Right now I’m experimenting with “pie crumbs,” where you combine flour, salt, and fat and store in a bag in the freezer. When you want pie, pour out however much you need, mix in the water, and roll: everything’s already ice cold, so no waiting for ingredients to firm. Just a slightly different twist on the frozen crust disks, which I’ve relied on for years… Enjoy your holiday pie baking! PJH

  8. Lyn

    Hi I find I would like to flavor my crust for a pumpkin pie with pumpkin spice or a different flavor I just find the pie it self is so dull please give me some different suggestions and quantity.

    Reply
    1. Kayce McCarty

      If I understood the question, Lyn was asking about adding spices to her crust. How much and which ones. Interesting idea!

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      It is indeed, and the possibilities are nearly endless! Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all-spice, a touch of our Pumpkin Pie Spice (http://bit.ly/2dvCtBL) or Apple Pie Spice (http://bit.ly/2eoC6xC)? How much you use will depend on the strength of the spice (less nutmeg than cinnamon, for example) and your tastes, but we’d aim for somewhere between 1/4 tsp-1/2 tsp per cup of flour when you’re first experimenting. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

    3. Sue Montgomery

      I like to add a touch of rum flavoring in mine. And while I am on here, I keep my rolling pin and pastry cloth in the freezer. Works good. I put in a plastic bread sack and take out just as i am ready to roll.

  9. Suzan Romiti

    Years ago, I found my processor went too fast and made the chunks too small. I turned to my mixer and was delighted in the results. Your pictures confirmed my results.

    Reply
  10. Robert G

    Goodness! I hadn’t thought about Green stamps in so long. The moment I read that I was flooded with memories of old grocery stores and the taste of stamp glue and a stack of stamp books… I do miss those simpler times. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      I agree, Robert — I still remember licking strip after strip of stamps before finally wising up and using a wet sponge… But what fun when we got to redeem them, right? 🙂 PJH

  11. Marti

    I am a vegan so would use all Earth Balance in the stick form. Since it doesn’t have the firmness of butter, should I freeze it? I also wondered about using King Arthur unbleached flour. Have I totally changed your tried and true recipe? I am so excited about making pie crust in my mixer.

    Reply
  12. Chris W

    I started using this method in the 90’s when I was a baker at a Bay Area university & had to make large batches. Still use it at home & turns out great.

    Reply
  13. Heide Bailey

    My mother used her green stamps for my first set of stainless steel pots and pans.
    I am convinced that your mixer pie crust recipe will make a better crust than my usual food processor method. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  14. patsy messer

    I am shocked & amazed by this! I can’t wait to try it.
    thank you so much for his very informative article!

    Reply
  15. Therese Poutre

    One lady mention the bottom crust not cooking putput the pie on a cookie sheet and it will turn our beautiful and crunchy, I have done this for years a tip from a Grammy who could a lot of pie with a wood stove for cooking, it also catch the drippings Terri

    Reply
  16. SK

    I enjoy your posts! Thank you for the tips on “butter-size” in the pastry. I always see “pea-sized”, but am too lazy to be that particular. It is good to see that having different sizes in the dough is actually better!

    I see in one of the comments that you have crusts on hand in the freezer. Any tips on wrapping them, defrosting them, or any differences one may find in the way the work or bake when used?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      I form crusts into 3/4″ thick disks, wrap in plastic, then put in a sealed plastic bag. I defrost them in the fridge overnight, right in the plastic. I find that leaving them in the freezer longer than about 6 weeks isn’t a great idea, as they start to get freezer burned and can pick up some off odors. Hope this helps — PJH

  17. sandy

    I love posts about making pie crusts almost as much as about bread baking so I was happy to see this one. Question… I have been having trouble lately with the edges of my pie crust cracking as I roll it out. I seem to have to do a lot more patching of the edges than I ever did before. The dough It doesn’t seem dry, but I have reduced the water in my recipe lately because I was concerned that too much water was making my crusts tough. Any guidance about the water to flour ratio I should be following?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Sandy, the exact liquid to flour ratio is hard to nail down, since people measure flour differently, and flour itself can be moist or dry, depending on the season. May I suggest cracks aren’t necessarily bad? I think a crust that never cracks at the edges might have a bit too much water. My crust routinely cracks around the edges; I simply roll it out larger than the pan, and fold those cracks under to make a crimp. If the cracks are more significant, I go ahead and patch them because, really, once the pie is filled, who’ll ever notice? I’d rather have a crust that’s delicate, prone to crack, and tender/flaky than one that rolls out beautifully and is somewhat tough. Now, you can also avoid cracks by adding fat, but then you run the risk of a greasy crust. So never mind the cracks! P.S. Readers who make crust that rolls out beautifully, no cracks, and is wonderfully tender/flaky, keep up the good work! PJH

    2. Romila

      My aunt Sybil was the go-to baker in our family when growing up! Her pastry would also “crack” we used to call that “short”! Not always the easiest to work with but made beautiful pies with a flaky melt in your mouth crust!

  18. Betty N

    p.j. hamel..thank you so much for your wonderful baking tips. I cant wait to try your method with a stand mixer. I enjoy those pictures of the process

    Reply
  19. Susan

    This looks like an easier method for making pie crust that I will try. Thank you so much for including the pictures!!! Like many other novice bakers, i’m sure, i am daunted by judging the stages of readiness of the dough. Seeing what it should look like at each step really helps!

    Reply
  20. Yoshimi Miyazaki

    Wow! Thanks so much. I’ve tried every pie crust recipe in my 40+ years of baking and despite my success in other baking homemade pies were never part of my repetoire. I sincerely hope to chang this with your recipe!

    Reply
  21. Janet G Griffin

    I just made an apple crostada using my mixer. Loved the way I saw the chunks of butter when I rolled the pastry out. The tip about baking the filled pie on the bottom rack for a great bottom crust is a good one.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      That’s key, Janet, seeing those butter spots. I’d like to be enjoying a piece of that crostada right now! PJH

  22. Linda Sepeda

    I’ve used my stand mixer for ages to make pie crust. Just don’t mix too fast, and STOP when the dough suddenly comes together. How do I define “ages?” I used those green stamps you mentioned for a number of household items when I was a newlywed.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      HA, Linda, since Green Stamps went out in the late 1980s, I guess we know at least how long you’ve successfully been making pie crust in your mixer! And your advice is spot on — thanks for sharing. PJH

  23. Judy B

    I love to bake but have never succeeded making a good, much less an excellent pie crust. Ive resorted to the Ready Made kind :(. I’ve never read such a great explanation or seen such clear explicit training pictures. I’m anxious to try your method and share with my daughters. (ps: I remember pasting the Green stamps in all the books for my mom!)

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Judy, do give this a try; it can be a bit messy when you turn the crumbs out onto parchment, but totally worth it. Remember, too much liquid and too much mixing is what makes a tough crust. And if at first you don’t succeed… really, try again. Eventually you’ll hit on the exact balance of liquid and flour you need to make the pie crust of your dreams — and in the meantime, your results will still be pretty decent. PJH

  24. Sherri Morino

    I was taught how to make pie crust in Home Economics in High School over 50 years ago, using the old fashioned method by hand. I immediately went home to make a pie crust as my homework, whipped out my moms stand mixer whipped up a perfect pie crust, turned it in and got an A and never looked back, and I never told my Home Economics teacher what I did. The only thing I would caution anyone using this method is to not over mix. Have Fun.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Sherri, I had to laugh at this story — getting an A in home ec. wasn’t easy! I always did well in the cooking part and totally flubbed sewing… Kids today must laugh at us having taken courses like that instead of all the “serious” subjects they take today. But I did learn (somewhat) how to mend a seam and make biscuits! 🙂 Thanks for the memories — and the important tip about not over-mixing. PJH

    2. Romila

      That’s so funny!! I used to come last or next to last in both cooking and sewing class! Not because I was bad more because I ran out of time! Guess what, I had a 30 year career in catering and now my hobby is baking/cooking for the holidays and quilting, crafting, machine and hand sewing for gifts! 😼

    3. PJ Hamel, post author

      Romila, clearly it took some time for your talent to reveal itself! My sewing “talent” NEVER did, but I actually became a pretty good baker — despite junior high indications to the contrary. 🙂 PJH

  25. Carol

    PJ I love the way you write. In this post I LOVE that you told me what speed to use on my stand mixer. Too often I am not sure what speed to use. I have never made pie crust in my stand mixer, but I will try your recipe for sure. Thank you so very much!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Glad to help, Carol, and thank you VERY much for the kind words. I’m a devil for details — so helpful when you’re approaching a new/unfamiliar subject, eh? Take care — PJH

  26. Beth Walsh

    PJ I have always used Crisco shortening in my pie crust and have had great success but I have always mixed it by hand. If I try this recipe do I have to use butter for the flakiness or can I stick to all shortening??

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Beth, you can definitely use all Crisco; just mix half of it in thoroughly, and leave some of the rest in larger pieces. It helps to chill the part you’re going to leave in bigger pieces. Good luck — PJH

  27. Susan Mautz

    Thank you so much for these instructions. I love making homemade pie,but if the pie crust does not turn out tasting wonderful, it is a big disappointment.

    Reply
  28. Toni

    I have been using a mixer for years after finding a recipe in a magazine. Always get rave reviews about my crust & pies, wouldn’t use any other method.

    Reply
  29. Shirley

    I made homemade crusts when I was younger but got “lazy” & started using the refrigerator store-bought ones. Your mixer method encourages me to start making my own again. P.S., I still have & use wine glasses I got at the S & H Green Stamp store as a newly married woman almost 40 years ago. Every time I use them I think of my dear mom who gave me a couple of stamp books so I could get the glasses.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Shirley, please do try your own crusts again; I think the flavor is so much better than store-bought. And kudos to you for keeping wine glasses “alive” 40 years later — that’s an accomplishment! PJH

  30. Maria

    I am excited to try this! I have good luck making pie crust with my pastry blender, but since we just got a chest freezer yesterday I am hoping to freeze a bunch of pies, and I will see if this method simplifies things. And by the way, my mother still uses the vacuum cleaner that she got with Green Stamps!! And packed away in a box at her house are the model horses she got me for Christmas one year, using Green Stamps she had saved up. Good memories!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Nice memories, Maria – now, rev up that mixer and make a freezer full of pie crusts! You’ll be so glad you did when the holidays roll around… PJH

  31. Amanda

    Darn! The secret is out! I have been making pie crust in my mixer for a long time. My hands stay clean, and everything comes together so quickly! I even put my bowl and mixing blade (with my ingredients) in the fridge beforehand to keep things nicely chilled!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Amanda, great idea putting the bowl,beaters, and all into the fridge — thanks for sharing. PJH

  32. Mimi

    Such a great explanation of making pie crust! The most helpful tip for me was that too much water makes a tough crust; and to use a spray bottle at the end of mixing! What a great idea! Thanks so much..

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      You’re welcome, Mimi. Always happy to help people along with their pie crust journey! 🙂 PJH

  33. Charlene

    My mixer is from the 1940’s. So it has the old beaters. Can the pie crust be made with this mixer or only with the newer mixers.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Charlene, not sure what “the old beaters” style might be, but if they’re good enough for cake batter and cookie dough, I suspect they’ll work just fine with pie crust. Good luck — PJH

  34. Judy

    Could I substitute organic coconut oil in place of the crisco? I have been replacing half butter or vegetable oil in many of my recipes with the coconut oil and have had great results. My thinking is that the coconut oil would be a healthier option?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Judy, you might do better making a no-roll vegetable oil crust, as coconut oil is liquid at room temperature and rock-hard refrigerated (yes?), so it never really has the right consistency for pie crust. As for health — can’t comment directly, but this is what Wiki says about coconut oil: “Due to its high levels of saturated fat, the World Health Organization, United States Food and Drug Administration, International College of Nutrition, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, British National Health Service, British Nutrition Foundation and Dietitians of Canada advise against regular consumption of coconut oil.” PJH

  35. Eric

    PJ, great article, as an old professional baker, when you’re making enough dough for 50 or 100 pies, you definitely use a mixer 😉 This technique is perfect.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Thanks, Eric — high praise indeed when it comes from a pro! And I can see it wouldn’t be practical to use a pastry fork to make 100 pies… 🙂 PJH

  36. Carolyn Taitt

    What a wonderful tutorial on pie crust! Thank you! I have made pies for almost 50 years using Crisco but in attempting to get away from so many preservatives, have turned to a combination of lard & butter or straight butter. I have made crust with coconut oil which was very rich. Coconut oil should not be refrigerated. I used the coconut oil in the solid form not liquid. Plus coconut oil is wonderful for your skin. In recent years I have been rolling pie dough out on a pastry cloth & sock on the rolling pin. My current challenge is now living @ 4600 ft altitude in the southwest I need to learn adjustments in amounts of flour, water & baking temp. Looking forward to making dough in the mixer!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re glad to hear you’re eager to give this method a try, Carolyn! It sounds like you’re an eager baker, and you may find our High-Altitude Baking Guide helpful. It has tips for baking everything from cakes to cookies to bread at high-altitude. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  37. Peggi

    Perfect pie crust using a mixer……..absolutely! I’ve done it for decades (not sure if green stamps were involved, but my KitchenAid mixer can apply for social security before long!). I usually use the mixing tool you show, but the wire egg-beating tool works well. It’s similar to the pastry-cutter usually recommended. In either case, a light hand works best. I love my mixer for scones, too.

    Reply
  38. Joyce

    PJ; I loved reading all of the comments on pie baking and your responses. I stopped using vegetable shortenings years ago because of the harmful fats in them. I have turned to oil for my pie crusts. However, I miss the flaky crusts. I feel that I could compromise and use some butter. (while that has saturated fat it at least has now transfats). Have you or any one with King Arthur done much on using the healthier fats and still getting more of a flaky pie crust ?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Joyce, which fats would you consider healthier? I love our all-butter pie crust; it’s both flaky and flavorful. And I imagine you could get mostly the same effect with Earth Balance or similar. But an oil crust won’t yield flakes. It’ll be tender, yes, and tasty, yes, just not flaky. I’d suggest experimenting and see which type of fat you like best. PJH

  39. Aimee

    Absolutely great post, PJ!

    When I was in culinary school, we learned to make pie crust in the mixer. Like Eric said above, when you are making dough for multiple pies, you aren’t going to break out the pastry blender or RoboCoup!

    As a home baker, I have either made them by hand (how I learned originally) or used a food processor (my current favorite technique).

    I will definitely be trying the mixer next time I make pie.

    Thanks for adding (re-adding?) another technique to my pie making toolbox!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re glad to hear you’re eager to give this method a try, Joyce! While there’s no print option for full blog posts, you should be able to highlight the text and photos you want to copy and then paste them into a Word Document to print. The linked recipes always have printer-friendly versions available, but it sounds like you might want the photos shown here. We hope that helps! Kye@KAF

    2. BLSM

      I have been printing them alot.. I copy the blog or article to Word, drag the photos smaller , adjust the margins to save paper and keep groups together. Then preview to
      make sure it looks like I want it. Some times I have to change the font because it prints in green instead of black. I use Arial Black. And if you have the option of duplex printing use it since these use are 6-8 pages even with the reducing. I printed this Using what I just told you, and it came out great. I like to have a paper copy because my desktop is on a different floor from my kitchen and I can’t read my tablet and cook or bake too. And the print is too small for my old eyes.
      I am going to try this. I quit doing lard/butter because it wouldn’t work for me. I went to oil pastry but that is messy.

  40. Anita Orsino

    My Dad was a professional baker. He always told me that your fingertips are the perfect temperature to incorporate butter or shortening into flour. I have always made my pie crust by hand; however, I am definitely going to try this method.

    My job as a tween and teenager was to put the S&H Green Stamps into the book.

    Reply
  41. Jody

    I use Crisco. So using this method, would the first half of the Crisco be room temperature and the second half frozen? I use the processor but would like to give this method a try.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jody, we haven’t tested this method using an all-shortening crust recipe, but you’re welcome to give it a go. Freezing the second half of the shortening is a good idea; try to keep the pieces between the size of a pea and a dime for extra flakiness. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  42. Jen B

    I will have to try this. my kids keep losing/breaking my pastry cutter so if I can make something quickly and not as messy that would be great.

    Reply
  43. Nino Esposito

    What is your opinion of first combining the shortening with the flour but keeping a small amount of the mixture aside and combining that with the liquid then mixing the two together before proceeding. My mother always used this method and her crust was to die for.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Nino, I’ve never heard of doing this, but if your mom did it and it worked — go for it! It sounds like that might be a good way to combine the water with the flour more evenly, rather than just sprinkling it on. Let us know how it comes out, OK? PJH

  44. EllenE

    This is the first time I’ve ever seen the shortening blended first, then followed by the butter. I’ll have to try it, and since I never used my mixer to make crust, I’m going to try that, too. This is the first original thing I’ve seen about pie crusts since vodka has become the newest “secret ingredient”.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Baking is a constant learning experience if you’re open to change, isn’t it, Ellen? I hope you try this new method and enjoy the result. Good luck! PJH

  45. margaret higgs

    I have loved reading all the comments by every one. I too have mixer that is ready to collect SS# . Still working for now. I will be trying this method also.Just took two chocolate pies out of the oven, but it’s crust was store bought.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’ll find bakers who swear by both, Louisa, and we find both to be great techniques. Grating frozen butter helps to keep the butter cold, while using chopped cubes makes it easier to maintain some larger chunks of butter in your dough. We’d encourage you to try both methods to see which you prefer. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Michael, yup, the same principles apply – you want the cold butter to remain in small chunks, not to add more liquid than you need, and not to mix more than necessary. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  46. Kevin McKone

    I don’t know if the gentle process of perfectly moistening & folding the dough with parchment was an original idea of yours, but it’s definitely ingenious! Thank you for the well-illustrated piece of advice.

    Reply
  47. Sue Conrad

    Ah, yes, good ole S&H Green Stamps!! Hubby still has a ship model that he purchased with them (back in the ’60’s)!

    Have never tried making pie crust in my Kitchen Aid, nor have I ever used anything but Crisco; have used a pastry blender for years although in 7th-grade Home Ec, we were taught to use two knives in scissor fashion. And you and I are on the same page when it comes to the sewing half of Home Ec ~ I somehow managed to pass but dreaded every minute of that class. Cooking, on the other hand, was a joy from the get-go! And how long ago did all this take place? Let’s just say that dirt was young!!!

    Reply
  48. Lorraine Robinson

    I’ve been known to throw raw “pie crust” across the kitchen into the sink. I vowed to never make it again. I’ll break my vow and give this a try. Wish me luck!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      GOOD LUCK, Lorraine!! Let us know if we can help. The bakers on our Baker’s Hotline (855-371-BAKE) are here seven days a week and always happy to offer tips, tricks, or an extra bit of encouragement. You can do this! Mollie@KAF

  49. Alissa

    Thank you! I haven’t made pie crust (or pie for that matter) for years. Even though my family raved about my pies, I could never get the right amount of water to make it perfect. I have been wanting to try a food processor recipe but, alas, I don’t have a food processor. I do have a stand mixer. Can’t wait to try this recipe with some of the apples that are in season (Cortland, maybe Honeycrisp). Will try Nino’s tip, too.
    I’m also considering putting ice packs on my Baking Steel to chill it and then rolling the dough out on that. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re happy to hear you’re getting back to pie making, Alissa. We like the sound of the ice packs for keeping your rolling surface cool, as long as your baking stone sits securely on your counter. Safety first! Mollie@KAF

  50. Donna

    I do it the old way and the machine way. Which ever mood I am in and how much time I have. I have made it in the food processor, with great results. And in my KA bowl mixer. They both work very well.

    Reply
  51. Mary

    I have always used my mom’s recipe for pie crusts using lard😬 I never have any problems. But, I’ve been wanting to try a new recipe so…this will be it:)

    Reply
  52. Barbara Goulet

    PJ, I love your instructions, so easy to follow. I have a problem with single pie crusts when baking, shrink away from the edge. I make a nice fluted edge and after baking it too has shrunk and doesn’t look good. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Barbara, it sounds like perhaps the crust needs to chill and relax before you bake the pie. Try adding the filling, and then giving it at least an hour in the fridge before baking. This will relax the gluten, and hopefully will reduce that shrinkage too. Good luck — PJH

  53. Karen

    Thank you for the article! One of the few things I don’t bake is pie…as the crust was intimidating to me. Going to give this a whirl!! Love my stand mixer!!

    Reply
  54. Dana

    I’m living at a high elevation. How would I alter this pie crust recipe to mitigate the elevation? Thanks, I’m so excited to try this!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Dana, the good news is that pie crusts aren’t usually too dramatically affected by changes in elevation. You may just find that you need additional water to bring the dough together. We aren’t at elevation ourselves, so it’s difficult for us to provide tested adjustments for our recipes, but we do have a handy guide to baking at high elevation that you might refer to for more detail: http://bit.ly/1Q8EFzZ Happy pie making! Mollie@KAF

  55. Rose

    Hello! I’m going to be cooking for a large crowd, 60-70, and want to make a caramelized onion tart. However, I want to bake it in a full sheet pan and then cut it into squares. I saw your recipe for Easy No-Roll Pie Crust and wondered if you could give me a general idea of how many batches it would take for a pan that size? I greatly appreciate your help!

    Reply
  56. Kat

    I have also Been using my stand mixer for pie crust for over 30 years. I add the shortening along with the butter. Always great.

    Reply
  57. Louise McClain

    Good evening I have always wanted to make a homemade pie crust but has been scared. Not knowing how long to mix with hands and the amount of water.But I think that I will be trying it using my mixer. I have been reading all the comments wish me luck I also remember the green stamps Thank PJ

    Reply
  58. Aline Miller

    Love this article. The pictures were wonderful. I’ve been using my kitchen aid for making pie crust for years. A tip for unsoggy pie crust when making fruit pies, sprinkle a small amt of plain bread crumbs in the bottom crust before filling with fruit. You don’t taste the bread crumbs at all. I’ve never had a soggy crust using this method. Thanks for all your tips, tricks and pictures!!

    Reply
  59. Peggy

    I have been making pie dough in the mixer for quite a while. I always get rave reviews. I usually make dough for three double crust pies at a time. About six years ago I bought a book that suggested the method of adding the fat in two steps. I am really glad to find out WHY it works. Thanks do much.

    Reply
  60. Leslee

    What about using all vegetable shortening instead of butter? Or coconut oil? I’m lactose intolerant and try to cut out dairy when I can. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Leslee, all vegetable shortening would work just fine. I’d stay away from coconut oil; it’s not the best texture for pie crust. Good luck — PJH

    2. Marge

      I would steer clear of vegetable shortening as it is a trans fat. I like using as it gives a great texture and very mild flavor. 🙂

  61. Nlowe

    I just threw out my old beat-up pastry blender the other day. And, I was wondering about using the good old Kitchenaid mixer! I’m going to give it a try. I’ve been using a tablespoon of white vinegar as part of the ice cold water addition and find it also helps for a flakier crust.

    Reply
  62. Marilyn Zearbaugh

    When I made pie shells in our restaurant I would mix shortening and flour in a large quantity in our tabletop commercial mixer. Then I would store it in a container in the walk-in cooler. When I needed to make pie shells I could scoop out some ‘mix’ and add cold water and have wonderfully flakey pie shells.
    The secret to not having them shrink in the pie tin was to not stretch the dough. Rather ease it gently inward and leave about 1 inch overhang. Then I could fold it under and crimp.
    I never measured the water since the humidity of the day made a difference. I didn’t measure the mix either. Just made shells till it was used up or baked the leftover with butter and cinnamon for a treat!

    Reply
  63. Pamela Robinson

    I’ve been using my stand mixer to make pie crust for several years. Rather than the beater, I use the whisk to cut in the shortening and switch to the dough hook when I’m ready to add the cold water. I tried using the food processor, but it was messier and less effective.

    Reply
  64. Ken Meltsner

    Thanks —
    Way long ago (before the 50s, I think), Hobart/KitchenAid used to sell a pastry knife attachment for their mixers. It was essentially a long flat piece of metal bent to have the same shape as the outside of a regular mixer beater. Always wondered why they stopped and whether it would have worked better than a beater. May just have been unnecessary based on this article.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Ken, that’s really interesting. Bet a lot more people were making pies at home back then, thus the perceived need for it compared to now. And I imagine it might work better, too, depending on exactly what it did to the fat. Thanks for sharing – PJH

  65. LuAnn Briggs

    I’ve used my stand mixer for years when our church gets together to make 60 apple pies! Much quicker and always been wonderful crust!!

    Reply
  66. Paula Turcotte

    PJ, I have been reading all these comments and your outstanding instructions for making piecrust in the mixer. However, I read somewhere, and I don’t remember where, that when you make a batch of piecrusts to freeze, for instance, wrapped well, etc., it is better to use bleached all-purpose flour because the unbleached-flour crusts turn dark, toward black. I only read that after mine had turned so dark that I didn’t want to use them. I actually went out and bought that flour the next time I made piecrust, because I always use KA Unbleached. Have you ever heard of that?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Paula,
      While it doesn’t generally happen in the freezer, pie dough left in the fridge can oxidize and turn gray/black after a few days. Susan Reid from our test kitchen says adding a tablespoon of vodka to the dough will prevent this from happening. Hope this helps! ~ MJ

  67. Clair Smith

    I’ve always used my pastry cutter or food processor but hate the mess and cleaning since I always make many batches and freeze. I’ll be trying this for sure thanks. Love reading your articles

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Larae, if you like using half lard and half butter to make your crust, use your mixer to incorporate the lard into the flour first. Mix it slowly until it’s a fine meal, similar to what is shown in the photos above. You might consider doing the next step, adding the butter, by hand to create little sheets or flakes of butter for a flaky crust. Kye@KAF

  68. Teresa

    Thank you for such detailed & easy sounding instructions!! My hands & shoulders greatly appreciate your efforts!!!! Please keep sharing!!

    Reply
  69. Kay Arnold

    Since I am now 88 and my husband is 90, we no longer take those wonderful trips to New England and I certainly miss visiting King Arthur’s store in Norwich. Still making all my pies by hand and had delicious apple pie today for Sunday dinner. Can’t wait to try the Kitchen Aid method.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Joyce, you can substitute vegetable shortening for the butter in your recipe. If you’re not following a recipe, I like to use enough fat (shortening and/or butter) to equal 75% of the flour BY WEIGHT. So if I use 2 1/2 cups flour (10 1/2 ounces), I use about 8 ounces of fat. Hope this helps — PJH

  70. Angie M

    There is a recipe for pie crust in the little spiral-bound cookbook that came with my Kitchenaid mixer 25 years ago. I’d forgotten all about it until seeing your recipe! I’ll try it!

    Also, after baking for 40 years this is the FIRST TIME I’ve ever had a recipe say to divide the dough and make one bigger than the other so you have adequate bottom crust! That’s such a revelation to me LOL!!

    Reply
  71. Suzan

    Thank you PJ for this. I am a terrible baker, don’t have the “touch”. My pie crust was terrible and tough. (which I had heard was the outcome in the mixer) I hate to admit, Pillsbury was so much better I gave up wasting flour and butter.

    I am going to make a pie today.

    PS: Will fried pie dough be good in the mixer as well?

    THANKS AGAIN!!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Suzan, does fried pie dough differ than regular pie dough? Any kind of pie dough can be made in the mixer; you just have to be careful not to over-mix, and to not add too much water. Good luck — I hope you’ll be switching back to homemade crusts soon! PJH

  72. H Waddell

    Informative post and comments. A few questions: 1) My mixer can handle just over 6 cups of flour when mixing bread dough, so could I get by doubling this recipe or would the fats/water not properly incorporate throughout before getting tough? 2) Wondering about using 100% lard – same measurements and method of splitting? 3) When freezing whole pies, do you find it best to freeze raw or bake (fully or partially?), then freeze? And what is the best way to thaw/bake to serve? We have a humorous story about S&H Green Stamps but won’t take up the time or space to share it here. Thanks for the grins.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      I think you should be able to make this 5-cup-flour recipe using your mixer. Be sure to keep your eye on it, and give it a hand by pushing ingredients down from the sides of the bowl, if necessary. 100% lard should work fine; yes, mix half in completely, half less completely. I like to freeze whole pies without baking them first. Here are the complete instructions for freeze and bake fruit pie. And — I’ll smile at your S & H story, even untold, just because! 🙂 PJH

  73. Janet Arnold

    Instead of chopping cold butter into little squares, I freeze the butter and with my food processor and the shredding disc shred the butter. It mixes very nicely with the flour.

    Reply
  74. sharon strickland

    Love all the comments about the green stamps. My mom and mil were fantastic pie pastry makers. I was so intimidated because of the labor intensiveness that I relied on frozen. No more! Finally a recipe in my wheelhouse. Hubby’s birthday is tomorrow and he’s getting a genuine homemade apple pie!

    Reply
  75. Genevieve Mansfield

    My favorite pie crust is the most healthful if allergies are not a problem. I do use a food processor but the mixer is a possibility. It makes two crusts but I make mine thinner and get three nine inch crusts. It does not require refrigeration so saves time. Put 2 cups of flour into processor. Cut 1stick of butter into pieces. Add to flour. Put 1/3 cup water in a 1 c.measuring cup. Add 1 t. Cider vinegar. Add 1 egg and mix all with a fork. Start processor and almost immediately add liquid. Process til ball forms. If ball doesn’t form, add more flour. Save a couple of t. of egg white from the egg to paint top crust for a lovely color if desired.

    Reply
  76. shirley Hassler

    this is great, wish I had enough ink to print the whole thing. Checked the old book that came with my KA stand mixer, but very abbreviated version is all there is. Is there another place to find it?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re so glad you’re finding this post helpful, Shirley! There are links in the post to the recipes referenced (Classic Double Pie Crust and Apple Pie), but the specific instructions for using your stand mixer are only included as part of this post. Many people find that it works to copy the content of the article to a word document and delete the images, so that you only print the text of the article – less ink and less paper. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  77. Karin McAleenan

    Thanks for sharing this method of making pie crusts. I have to make many pies this season. Is it possible to double or triple this recipe for large batch baking?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Karin, absolutely, triple away! I do that all the time. You do have to watch the mixer more closely, to make sure it’s getting to all of the crumbly mixture, and not leaving anything on the sides or along the bottom. Good luck — PJH

    2. Rachael P.

      I made 20 pies for a wedding using similar technique – I used a full pound of butter and 7 cups of flour for each batch which made 8 crusts. I simply cut all the butter into 1 tbsp. chunks and added them to the flour one at a time. I used the balloon whisk to cut the butter in and by the time I added the last chunks, the first ones were fully incorporated, and there were many different sized chunks. I probably let the whisk go around another 30-40 seconds after adding the last bits. Then I switched to the paddle, drizzled in the ice water and when it started to form up, I turned off the mixer, formed a ball in the mixing bowl using my hands, and then took it out and divided it into 8 disks. It worked really, really well.

  78. Carol Johns

    Try everything. Get your hands in it. Once you’ve done a kitchen chore 100 times, you can feel it in your hands. You’ll be great!

    Reply
  79. Vera McKinley

    I have a kitchen aid mixer from back in the 50’s. It has the regular mixer type of beaters, not the paddle type. Will this type of beaters work to make pie dough? Thank you very much!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Vera, give it a try — I think it should work just fine. You want the shortening blended in entirely, and the butter blended just enough that it’s in pea-sized pieces, or pieces that are flattened and about the size of a dime. Either/both is the size you’re after; so when you see that your mixer has produced these results, stop mixing and drizzle in the water, mixing just enough to distribute it thoroughly. Good luck — PJH

  80. Jody Wallace

    I also use a pastry blender….3 c..flour, 1 t., salt and 1 1/4 cups Crisco…then mix 2T vinegar with 3 T.cold water and an egg……pour into flour and stir together with a fork. This makes enough dough for a double crust fruit pie and two single crust pies if you roll it thin. I makes four buttermilk pies at a time. Dough is very forgiving…..can roll and re roll. Everyone says it is best, most tender crust ever. Doing it for fifty years now!

    Reply
  81. Mary

    Ever since we were little my sister made pie crust and I made cardboard. I have been buying store bought pie crust because I didn’t think I had it in my genes to make a pie. I’ve always been the seamstress and my sister the baker. I am excited by this procedure enough to trample 40 yrs of frustration in the dust and give it a try this Saturday. 🙂

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’ll be rooting for you, Mary, and our Baker’s Hotline is here to help if you need us: 855-371-BAKE. We have faith that you can do it! Mollie@KAF

  82. Alice

    Thank you for this article. I’ve only made pie crust twice and trying it this way gives me hope, I’ll do it more often, with great results.

    Reply
  83. Kristi

    I love to bake, and while my 15 year old daughter enjoys the results, she told me she doesn’t ‘get’ the appeal of it. I saw this wonderful post, and set out to make a cranberry apple pie. As I was peeling apples, she wandered in and started telling me about her day. I was following your directions on my laptop and soon she was reading along and helping me weigh flour and chop ice cold butter. She began asking questions about how to crimp or lattice a crust, and I let her take the lead. Before we knew it, we had a beautiful (and delish) pie bubbling in the oven. She was so proud when she presented that pie after dinner! It was a really special moment, and this morning there was a recipe for pumpkin pie on the counter with a note that she wants us to make it for Thanksgiving. You are a wonderful teacher and writer, and I am grateful to you PJ for helping me strengthen my connection to my daughter. Oh, and this pie crust method is my new fave!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Kristi, you just made my day (and upcoming weekend, and following week…) Thank you DO much for sharing this special time with your daughter. This is exactly what I want to accomplish, and what all of us strive for at King Arthur: to make baking an opportunity to connect with family, friends, and those in the community who could use a helping hand. Your daughter will remember this as long as you do, I’m sure. Plus, it sounds like she may have caught the “baking bug,” and has discovered what can turn out to be a lifelong passion for many of us. I started baking in college, when I discovered the smell of warm brownies could bring boys in the dorm into the kitchen… well, maybe don’t share that with her yet. 🙂 But baking is all about interacting with those around you. I mean, who ever bakes a batch of cookies and eats every single one, without sharing? It’s a great skill to develop. And the rewards — both emotional, and actual (pie!), are substantial. Good luck with that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie! PJH

  84. Edna Long

    I have never been able to make a good pie crust, so buy the store bought ones. I have a problem with my bottom crust of a fruit pie being soggy. How can I overcome this? Thanks

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Edna, try baking your pie in a metal pan on either your oven floor, or the lowest rack of your oven. If you have a pizza stone, bake on the pizza stone. Getting a brown bottom crust is all about applying as much heat as possible to the bottom of the pan; all of these techniques help. Good luck! PJH

  85. Sandy Williams

    I have a pie crust recipe from an elderly lady ( in her 90s) who says take 1 cup boiling water, mix in 1 pound lard, mix till fluffy, add 2 1/2 tsp salt. Add 5 cups AP flour. Chill this mixture in covered bowl in refrig for 2 hours or overnight. Roll out. Makes enough for 4 doubles plus 1 crust. Bake pie 350 degree oven for 1 hour. I have used this recipe and is very easy to roll out and is flaky. Sometimes I use half lard and half butter. What do you think of this process?
    Thank you.
    Sandy

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Sandy, this is definitely a tried-and-true process that I’ve heard many older ladies refer to. The flour/fat ratio is very close to what I typically use, though I use less water. I admit I could never roll a crust thin enough to get 9 single crusts (four doubles and a single) from 5 cups of flour; my crusts take about 1 1/4 cups of flour each. Sounds like you’ve got a recipe and method you love, so stick with it! PJH

  86. Diane Lonergan

    What would be the measurements for a single crust pie? Halving the double crust doesn’t seem to yield quite enough. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Diane, a generous single crust is 2/3 the size of a double crust; so simply multiply the double crust amount by 2/3, OK? PJH

  87. Lee

    I hadn’t made my own pie crust in years, but seeing this post inspired me to give it a try, and it came out great! I used organic lard in place of the shortening, and blended equal weights of KAF all purpose and pastry flour I had on hand to get around a 10% protein level like your perfect pastry blend called for in the recipe. I made the dough and refrigerated the disks the day before, then the next day rolled out the dough and made an apple pie.
    It came out perfect, the crust was flaky, tender, and very tasty. Will try again for pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. Thanks for a great technique PJ!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Lee, welcome (back) to the wonderful world of pie! So glad you decided to give this a try; and hope you now feel confident making pie regularly. Happy Thanksgiving! PJH

  88. Richard Wexelblat

    Oh joy! my arthritic hands love you and so does the rest of me. (My wife will understand.) I found a little over 4 Tbsp water sufficient even though I used “regular” KA AP flour.

    Reply
  89. Dee

    I don’t like to make pie crust from scratch. I’m just not good at it so I usually buy the kind in the dairy isle in the box. Saw this post in November and thought maybe I could do this successfully. Mine didn’t look exactly like the picture but it was the best pie crust I have ever made. Very tender. None of my homemade have ever been tender. Froze the other half, thawed it on New Years day and it was even better than the first. Wow! (Made KAF pumpkin pie both times-Yum!) Thanks for a great & easy recipe!

    Reply
  90. Barb Cuchta

    I finally got my first (and last Im sure) Kitchen Aid mixer….OMG..I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I mainly wanted to make pasta (and yes, I ordered pasta attachments and have made 2 times this week….LOVE those too!) My next project is pie crust..and I wanted to know if anyone has used the pasta roller for the dough? I know its not big enough for a pie, so I thought I would roll out two identical sheets. Any suggestions??

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Barb, we haven’t tried it, but it sounds like it would work. We’d suggest trying not to roll the dough through the rollers too many time as this develops the gluten in the dough. While more gluten development (think strength, elasticity) is ideal for pasta, it’s not so ideal in tender pie crust. Mollie@KAF

  91. DisabledCook

    Oh I’m so glad I found this! Thanks for posting! I can’t cook or bake daily anymore. When I do get the very rare “good day”, I need every tool possible to be able to make homemade crust.

    Reply
  92. Kathleen Albrecht

    Thank you for your instructions to make pie crust! I was getting these results but thought I was doing wrong so quit making pie crusts. I am now retired and want to make my own baked goods. Want to make beef and chicken pot pies.

    Reply
  93. Gail M Miles

    I’ve loved reading all the comments. I just turned 65 and have been buying pie crusts forever. I found a recipe using a food processor, and the dough turned out hard as a rock. I will be forever grateful to KAF for showing me even at my age I can learn something new. Oh and I do really miss Green Stamp shopping . That was always so much fun.I still have a slow cooker from that bygone era. Still works. Thanks for all your help.

    Reply
  94. Rabbi

    hi PJ
    you are good instructor. though i can’t cook that much but I will sure give this an honest try.

    Reply
  95. D. Gail

    Thank you for this, Ms. Hamel! I am just learning to make pies (I’m not much of a baker) my food processor is broke, and most all pie crust recipes call for one! This looks like something I can do. I’ll try the first version w/the handy dandy Kitchen Aid & hopefully come out with a tasty crust for my first ever peach pie! I’m sure I’ll refer to your instructions often!!!

    Be well,
    D. Gail

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Becky, you can use this process to make your own baking mix. You might want to use this recipe for Quick Mix, which can then be used to make Quick Mix Scones, Quick Mix Biscuits, Quick Mix Pancakes or Waffles, Quick Mix Muffins, and Quick Mix No-Knead Cinnamon Rolls. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  96. Cyanite Inn

    Hi there!
    I was looking for a pie crust recipe and came across your blog. I have enjoyed reading the comments, however, I did not read them all. I hope this is not a repeat. I am wondering if this recipe can be used for fried pies as well. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The recipe that’s featured here, our Classic Double Pie Crust recipe, makes a fabulous all-purpose pie dough. It’s sturdy enough to be folded into a galette or used to make rustic pies, while still imparting a tender texture in the finished product. If you typically use a standard pie crust recipe in your fried pies, then you can expect similar results using this recipe prepared in the mixer. It doesn’t hurt to experiment! Kye@KAF

  97. Carmine

    Thank you PJ, best friend my stand mixer. Will whip up an apple pear pie,we have both on trees now and we put a little apple butter into the apple pear filling. Also time to make our fall favorite “pumpkin pie” using our home grown butter nut squash, try it. My fillings are superb, now to conquer the crust.

    Reply
  98. Bree

    I notice both additions of fat are done on Speed 2 – is the addition of water done on the same speed or a slower one? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Bree, speed 1 or 2 will be fine for incorporating the water. You don’t want to over-mix the crust; sometimes working slowly is best. You’ll get a feel for the right speed as you work with the ingredients. Stop mixing once the dough becomes cohesive. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  99. Barbara J. Smith

    Have you tried using the whisk attachment to cut in the fats? Sorry if this has been asked already. The whisk seems more like the pastry blender in design. Just wondering if it might work better than the flat beater. I absolutely love your posts.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Barbara, our thought is that the whisk attachment might not be sturdy enough to cut icy cold butter into smaller chunks and/or it might get stuck in the tines. We like the way the paddle attachment distributes the fat, but you’re more than welcome to give it a shot if you’d like. If you like the results, please feel encouraged to let us know! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That’s a great question, Judy! So good, we actually wrote a full article about what kind of butter to use for baking. The answer short and sweet: use Grade AA, unsalted butter for baking unless otherwise specified in the recipe. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  100. Jessica Dion

    Here we are in pie season again.

    Another tip: I grate the butter into the flour mixture with a cheese grater. For multiple pies, I use the food processor to grate cups of butter in seconds. The shredded butter is perfectly ‘flaked’ and incorporates in with the flour easily, whether in a mixer or by hand. I do this for biscuits too, and they come out flaky and delicious.

    Reply
  101. Alice Friend

    Just want to say how much I always enjoy PJ’s pieces! I’m a 35 yr old Californian/Alaskan/Mainer. I didn’t grow up baking so I need the instruction and LOVE PJ’s recipe tests! Thanks to King Arthur for providing us PJ. I use & enjoy your products!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’ve heard that vinegar can tenderize the gluten in pie crust, which helps the dough to relax. We’re a little wary of the flavor it might impart if added in large enough quantities to actually change the texture, though. Enough bakers have reported impressive results that it’s certainly worth experimenting with, perhaps the next time you bake a pie? Kye@KAF

    2. Erin

      My mother’s standard pie crust recipe calls for 1/2 tsp. vinegar. It’s taste can’t be detected at all in the finished crust.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Richard, our Classic Double Pie Crust recipe will make enough crust for a double 9″ pie. If your pan is 10″ you may want to increase the recipe by 1.5x to ensure you have plenty of crust to work with (which will also make creating a pretty design around the edge easier). Happy pie baking! Kye@KAF

  102. Chris

    I think you forgot to mention a couple things about making pie crusts using a mixer. First, your recipe. For years I struggled with the recipes from the NY Times and the Joy of Cooking. Some good, some awful. This recipe works. Every. Single. Time. Second, the quality of your flour. I’ve just stopped using anything except your flour for any kind of pastry. I will still use mass-market stuff for most breads, but KAF makes a huge difference in more delicate foods. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for the double vote of confidence, Chris! It makes us happy to know that you’ve found pie baking success using our flour and our recipe! We hope you’ll give us a chance in bread sometime too – we think you’ll be equally pleased. Mollie@KAF

  103. Z

    Can’t wait to try using a mixer for pie dough! I have a recipe that is similar that I use when I want to use “a tupperware bowl” to mix/shake instead of a fork to mix the dough. I’ve tried a food processor and don’t care for the results. The “tupperware bowl” method is easier than the fork, (learned this trick in my 20’s when I was a consultant, it works superbly). I can’t wait to try a mixer! Thanks so much!

    Reply
  104. Janice Hamman

    I make pie crust in my bread machine, and it turns out great. The recipe booklet that comes with the machine tells how.

    Reply
  105. Gerry

    Isn’t the whole idea to blend in the butter with the flower as evenly as possible? If so, why can’t you melt the butter and slowly add it in until completely and evenly blended? Why do have to deal with chunks of butter?

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      Gerry, it depends on the texture you want for the finished dough. If you coat the flour with melted fat, the crust will be mealy, not flaky at all. Which is fine if that’s what you want. But if you like a flaky crust, the chunks of butter are the thing that makes that happen. The water that’s suspended in the chunks of butter turns to steam in the heat of the oven, which expands, and separates the layers of dough. That’s how a flaky crust happens. Susan

  106. Janet Arnold

    I did not read all the comments, so if this is a repeat feel free to dump it. I freeze my butter and shred it in the food processor with the coarse shredding disc. Works like a charm. I also use half water and half unflavored vodka for the liquid. The vodka gives the same moisture, but does not activate the gluten. Therefore you get that tender flaky crust and the vodka evaporates in the oven,

    Reply
  107. Bert Hansell

    Foolproof pie crust, room temperature recipe; no mixer needed.

    1 stick butter (or 1/4 pound lard)
    1 and 1/4 cups flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup water.

    put butter, salt, water and half of the flour into a bowl.
    mix into a paste with a fork.
    Work in the rest of the flour..

    roll out on a well floured board.

    Reply
  108. Nancy Viviani

    Thank you for yet again demystifing another baking process!
    Is there a way or place to save your Flourish entries? I am a member and save recipes, but not sure how to save Your great info without printing.

    Thanks again
    Nancy in Oklahoma

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for your interest in saving our blog entries, Nancy. Our site doesn’t currently support saving these as part of your “recipe box”, but we do offer the option to email an article to yourself or to save it to Pinterest with the social sharing bar. Where you see these options will depend on the kind of device you’re using. On a PC, the sharing bar will show up on the left hand side of your screen, while on a mobile device it typically shows up in a collapsible form at the bottom of your page. Hopefully one of these options will be of help! Mollie@KAF

  109. Julie

    I always have trouble when I roll my pie dough out. It cracks and falls apart then when I try to lift it. What am I doing wrong? The crust is usually flaky after baking, but so frustrating rolling it!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Julie, it sounds like you might want to try adding just a bit more liquid next time to help the dough hold together. However, beware that adding additional liquid can make the crust less flaky. Usually a crust that’s hard to work with is the one that tastes best, so keep that in mind while you’re working with your dough. (Dealing with the cracks pays off!) Additionally, be sure you’re using King Arthur All-Purpose Flour if you’re not already doing so. Our flour has a slightly higher protein content, which can help hold the dough together more so than other brands with less gluten. We hope that helps, and happy baking! Kye@KAF

  110. patricia reed

    read everything written today couldn’t find temp and how long to bake fruit pie or pumpkin Thank you for the recipe and your perfect way of showing me how to make pie crust happy student pat old one.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Patricia, the recipes that you’re working from should have baking times and temperatures listed within them. If you’re not sure, you can use our recipes for comparison. For example, our recipe for Pumpkin Pie calls for baking at 400°F for 45 to 50 minutes, until the filling is set 2″ in from the edge. (The center should still be wobbly.) Fruit pies vary based on what’s in the filling, but you can search for the kind of pie you’re baking and use our recipes as a guide. Happy pie baking! Kye@KAF

  111. Alayne Rasmussen

    I’m curious what would happen if you used your whisk attachment to incorporate the shortening into the flour. It seems to me the whisk would resemble the tool you use to incorporate flour into shortening. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Alayne, this might work if you’re using only shortening as the fat in your pie crust. We’ve found that cold butter doesn’t tend to incorporate well with the whisk attachment. (It can even break the whisk if you’re using super cold or frozen butter.) Shortening is a bit softer though, so you’re welcome to give it a try. You may need to use a spatula to scrape off the shortening periodically. Good luck! Kye@KAF

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