Hands down, the best pie crust recipe on planet Earth is a Crisco pie crust made with shortening and a splash of vinegar. See why below!
One taste of this dough and you will be saving the scraps for stuffing with leftovers and freezing for snacks later. (Think leftover sloppy joes, leftover taco meat and cheese, etc.)
This is the best, most versatile and definitely the most delicious pie crust recipe.
The secret to this pie crust is shortening. Some people swear by butter, which I usually do... except when it comes to biscuits and pie crust. Then it's all about the shortening.
This Crisco pie crust recipe can be made with any type of shortening, I've had great results with all sorts of brands.
The vinegar in the recipe makes the pie crust more tender, but the taste cooks out. However, it does leave behind a certain depth of flavor that will have you hooked on vinegar pie crust forever. And no, it doesn't "taste like vinegar".
The pie crust can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to three days, or the freezer for up to 6 months if sealed well.
Loosely combine the flour and salt, just to make sure it's evenly dispersed. Then, using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in the shortening until the the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Finally, add the vinegar and cold water and combine until a smooth dough forms.
If the dough appears too wet, sprinkle in more flour one tablespoon at a time.
If it appears too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water, mixing until it comes together.
Once the dough is formed, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for 20 to 60 minutes.
You can also chill it for up to two days in the fridge to roll out and use later in a pie.
Once chilled, the glutens have relaxed and the crust will now be more tender.
If the dough has been chilled longer than one hour, allow it to come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes on the counter top before unwrapping.
Be sure to preheat the oven if you plan to bake the pie now.
Divide the dough into 2 portions.
The portions should be mostly equal, but use the larger portion for the bottom crust since it needs to also go up the sides of the pie pan.
Reserve the smaller portion for the top of the pie crust.
Sprinkle a small bit of flour over your work place.
Roll out the larger portion of dough into a circle that is approximately 4 inches larger than the diameter of your pie pan. It will come out to about ⅛th inch thick.
Carefully transfer that circular sheet of dough onto the pie pan, and allow it to settle into place. Use your finger tips to gently press it into the bottom of the pan.
Fill the bottom crust of the pie pan with your desired pie filling.
Roll out the other portion of dough the same way as the first, and transfer it over the top of the pie filling.
Trim the edges of excess dough, pinch together all the way around the pie pan to seal.
Pierce holes into the top crust several times with a fork, or slit with a knife.
Brush the top pie crust with a beaten egg, which will make the crust shiny, golden and beautiful.
Bake the pie according to the recipe you are using. For a fruit or berry pie, this typically means 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pie crusts made with shortening are more tender and hold their shape better than butter pie crusts which tend to be more brittle. The shortening pie crust dough is also easier to work with because it avoids cracking.
Adding a small amount of vinegar to pie crust dough helps to keep it from oxidizing and turning gray if you don't bake it right away. It also makes the dough easier to work with, and decorative cutouts hold their shape and detail far better than a pie crust without vinegar.
You might be interested in these similar recipes below; keep scrolling to get to the recipe card for shortening pie crust.
If you tried this pie crust recipe, leave a rating using the stars in the recipe card below, or leave a comment for others!
Crisco Pie Crust
- 2 cups flour plus more for dusting
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 egg beaten, for brushing
- In a large bowl, or standing mixer, combine flour, salt and shortening until mixture is crumbly.
- Add remaining ingredients until combine just until dough ball forms. Don't overwork the dough. (At this point, the dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.)
- Divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other, as the bottom crust will take slightly more dough to go up the sides of the pan.
- On a generously floured surface, roll both sections out with a rolling pin, working from the center of the dough and pushing outwards.
- Proceed to filling your pie as your recipe calls for.
- Place the larger, rolled out portion into a greased pie pan and press up the sides.
- Roll the smaller portion (the top crust) and lay over filled pie. Pinch edges together and cut/discard excess dough from the circumference of the pie.
- Poke holes for steam to escape, using a knife or a fork in any pattern you like.
- Brush with a beaten egg before baking for a shiny, golden finish.
- Pie crust recipe is to be used with any prepared pie filling, or pie filling recipe that calls for pie crust.
- Pie dough can be made ahead of time, and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days uncooked.
- Brushing with a beaten egg before baking, makes the crust golden and shiny.