Easy No-Roll Pie Crust: help for the crust-o-phobic.

Do you suffer from crust-o-phobia?

Not the crackly-crisp crust of a baguette. Nor the shiny, whisper-thin crust atop a pan of brownies.

You know what crust I’m talking about: pie crust.

And when you think about it, it’s not so much the pie crust itself you fear. I mean, what’s so hard about combining flour and salt and butter and water?

No, it’s the rolling-out part that gets to you – right?

Dough sticking to the pin. And to the counter. A rolled-out “circle” that resembles Australia. Or maybe South America.

Oh, and just try to pick that delicate crust up and lay it into its waiting pan… it cracks in the middle, the edges fall off, and you end up furiously flinging the whole thing into the trash.

Been there? Done that? If this scenario sounds familiar, I’m about to make your Thanksgiving pie-baking a whole lot easier.

Pie crust-challenged reader – meet No-Roll Pie Crust.

I call this crust the easy-as-pie crust. Use a fork to stir a few simple ingredients together in a bowl, then dump the clumpy mass into your pan. From then on, it’s just like Play-Doh; simply press and mold the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of your pan. Remember to give it a nice crimp around the edge.

Add your favorite filling, and bake.

Trust me, it’s as simple as that. And, bonus: this crisp, tasty crust is vegan, and contains neither trans fats nor cholesterol – for those following a special diet.

Ready to have your pie crust-baking life transformed? Read on.

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Now, you have your choice of making a single or double pie crust here; I’m going to give you the ingredients for a double crust, but when you check out the recipe you’ll see the single-ingredient amounts, as well.

Whisk together the following:

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In a separate bowl, whisk together the following:

2/3 cup oil: canola, vegetable, olive, peanut, your choice; or melted butter
6 tablespoons cold water

Pour the oil mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir with a spatula or fork until the dough is evenly moistened.

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Dump 2/3 of the dough into a 9″ pie pan, reserving 1/3 for the top crust. If you have a scale, this is easy; if you don’t, just eyeball it.

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Pat the dough across the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides. A flat-bottomed measuring cup or glass helps smooth it out.

Crimp the edges of the crust, or flatten with the tines of a fork.

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You can choose to roll out the remaining dough to make a conventional top crust, if you like; yes, the dough is perfectly roll-able, for those comfortable with a pin.

But if you want to leave your rolling pin in the cupboard, simply crumble the remaining dough over the filling in the pan. Since I’m making an apple pie, I’ve added 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar to the topping dough, for extra flavor.

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Add your filling. Then either roll the remaining dough and lay it on top; or crumble it as is over the filling, like I’ve done here.

Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet, to catch any potential spills.

Bake.

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Pie-fection!

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How about that crust? Looks good, eh?

I decided to do a small experiment, to see the difference in taste between plain vegetable oil and peanut oil, which I use for deep-frying. Then, for the heck of it, I added melted butter as an option, as well.

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I preferred the flavor of the peanut oil crust to the one made with plain vegetable oil. But truth be told, the butter crust was the tastiest of all. Go with butter, if you like it and you’re not avoiding dairy/cholesterol.

How about canola oil? Or olive oil? I haven’t tried canola (just don’t like it), but mild olive oil makes a lovely crust, with only a hint of olive oil flavor.

But wait, there’s more –

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Even without the typical layers of solid fat/liquid that create steam, which in turn generates flakiness – these crusts actually exhibit a bit of flake, aside from being tender and yummy.

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I was experimenting with apple filling here and didn’t write anything down, so there’s no recipe – sorry!

Tender and tasty AND flaky, I give you no-roll apple pie.

Crust-o-phobia, begone!

Please read, rate, and review our recipe for No-Roll Pie Crust.

Print just the recipe.

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. Vesta

    I use this recipe using half pastry flour and half all purpose all the time but I roll it between 2 sheets of wax paper doing the following steps: gather dough decide if making 2 crust, shape into a ball place on sheet of wax paper cover with 2 sheet in a + design. I then flatten it with the bottom of the pie dish then proceed to roll it turn a quarter turn being carefully to not roll right to the edge until the last. Pick up the top sheet of wax paper but lay it back in same position and barely touch it just enough to see that it is attached, now flip all the layers, remove the top sheet which was the bottom sheet.
    I gently lift and place my hand under the bottom sheet and place my pie plate centering it then just flip the crust in the pie plate. Since it really isn’t really stuck hard to the crust it lifts off so just pull it away from the crust. Then shape the edge. Repeat with other crust using same paper. Since I weigh my ingredients and roll the crust in the paper there is very little mess to clean and I use my microwave when making the pudding.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’re welcome to refrigerate the crust for 2 to 3 days; consider adding a splash of vinegar to the crust to help prevent it from turning gray if you’re doing to be storing it in the fridge longer than overnight. You can also freeze the crust wrapped tightly in plastic for up to one month. In either case, you’ll want to make sure the crust comes to room temperature before pressing it into your pan. It might crack slightly, but you can patch the pieces together to make one cohesive crust. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  2. Bob

    I made this with vegetable oil and it is a great option for vegans! But It did seem pretty flavorless, is there anything that can add a little more flavor to the crust? Also I’m new to crust making, so how this kid should the crust In the pie dish me, and I’m going to make a second one for the top of the pie, how thick should that be?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Bob, consider using this article about making flavored pie dough for inspiration with your no-roll crusts. You can add cocoa powder, spices (like cinnamon), cream cheese, or even peanut butter. Check it out and see if that helps amp up the flavor of your pie dough. Kye@KAF

  3. Samantha Wong

    If we substitute the oil with butter then does the butter need to be completely cool first after melting before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients. And if we use regular all purpose flour then how much of what should we adjust

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Samantha, if you use melted butter, it can still be warm when you add it to the rest of the ingredients. You’ll want the butter to be in liquid form, so it should still be slightly warm to the touch. This recipe does call for our regular all-purpose flour, so you can use the amount listed in the recipe (2 cups, 8 1/2 ounces). If you use another brand of flour, you may have to experiment with the amount to use as other types tend to perform differently than ours. The dough should come together nicely and be cohesive when the right amount of flour and liquid is added. Kye@KAF

  4. Polar

    Your pictures show what looks like an apple crisp mixture on top of the pressed pie crust (fresh cut apples with likely sugar & cinnamon, and then topped with the crumb mixture). If I use an apple crisp recipe in this crust (raw, not blind-baked) and then bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes, will the crust be able to take that much baking?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      What you’re seeing here is actually even simpler! As we describe in a tip from our bakers on the recipe page itself, to make a double crust pie, “you can increase the recipe ingredients as follows: 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 6 tablespoons water. Press 2/3 of the resulting dough into the pie pan, then add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar to the remainder. After you fill the bottom crust, break the topping into small pieces, and spread them evenly over the filling. The topping will crisp up into something between streusel, and a typical top crust.” However you choose to top this pie, for maximum flakiness, we usually start our pies at a high heat like 425° for 15-20 minutes (allowing the flour/water flakes to set before the fat melts), then reduce the heat to 375°F, and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, or until the top is brown and filling is bubbly. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  5. Stephanie

    This is the worst pie crust I have ever made. Didn’t turn out at all and I was left with a big crumbly mess. I went ahead and baked it anyway. It was edible, but it didn’t taste all that great.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Stephanie, we’re sorry to hear you didn’t have a great experience with this pie crust. We’d love to help prevent this sort of disappointment from happening in the future, so we encourage you to give our friendly bakers on the hotline a call at 855-371-BAKE(2253) so we can troubleshoot further. Kye@KAF

  6. EfromPitt

    Dont forget to pre-bake this crust if you are using it for chocolate pudding, key lime, or some other sort of pie that only bakes in the oven for 10-12 minutes… Otherwise the crust will be raw…

    Reply

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