Let’s get one thing out of the way, yes you can make flaky homemade pie crust in the food processor. In fact, this pie crust recipe might convince you to toss the pastry cutter out the window.

A perfect pie crust made with the food processor.

Believe it or not, a pie crust can make or break a pie recipe. It’s sad but true.

I’ve eaten a lot of pie in my 25+ years of life and I can honestly say, this crust is top notch! In fact, it’s the best I’ve tasted.

One contributing factor to this amazing crust is the flavor.  This recipe uses butter for the fat; no shortening, no lard, no sour cream, no vodka (I guess that’s an ingredient people use in their pie dough🤔). It’s back to the basics for this recipe!

Making an all butter pie crust has its’ pros and cons. Butter melts at a lower temperature than shortening and lard making it difficult to work with. An upside to using butter is the unbeatable flavor and the ease in browning when baked.

I wanted an all butter pie crust without sacrificing the layers and flakiness every pie crust should have. I’m happy to report you can have both. Flavor and flaky. There’s so much buttery flavor AND this recipe produces an insane amount of tender flaky crust. It’s beautiful, really.

Note: You can replace some of the butter for shortening. Having both fats will give you a little flavor (from the butter) with some added flake (due to the shortening). How much more flake? I don’t know. If, by chance, you make it with shortening come back and let me know how it goes!

But I will say this… I don’t plan on ever replacing shortening for the butter. I was beyond thrilled with how many flaky layers this crust delivered. It’s remarkable!

A fluted pie crust prior to baking.

Pie dough ingredients

When making pie dough, it’s important to keep the ingredients cold.

  • All purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt – if you don’t have kosher salt you can use table salt, just reduce the amount by 1/4 tsp.
  • Unsalted butter – COLD
  • Ice water – this will help bring the dough together.

How to make Pie Crust in a food processor

Turns out you can make the BEST pie crust recipe in the food processor. Let me show you how.

Step 1: Combine ingredients

In the bowl of a food processor combine 1 2/3 cups of flour, the sugar, and kosher salt.

Pulse 2-3 times to combine.

A food processor with the dry ingredients for making a pie crust.

Step 2: Add the cold butter.

Spread the butter chunks evenly over the surface of the dry ingredients. Pulse until the dough begins to collect in clumps, about 23-25 short pulses.

A food processor with cubed butter atop of the dry ingredients for making pie crust.

The mixture should look similar to the photo below. You’ll be able to see a few larger butter chunks and some small ones as well.

A food processor with dry ingredients for making a pie crust recipe.

Step 3:  Add remaining flour.

Use a spoon or a spatula to spread the mixture in an even layer along the bottom of the food processor. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the mixture and pulse 5-7 times or until the dough is just broken up.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl.

Dry ingredients in a food processor, for making pie crust.

Step 4: Add ice water

Sprinkle the cold water over the ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, press and fold the dough until it comes together and forms a ball.

A bowl full of pie crust dough.

Step 5: Form ball then divide in half.

Once the dough comes together, divide the dough in half. My pie crust dough weighed a total of 714 grams; yours will be in that same ball park. Each dough half will weigh around 357 grams.

Pie crust dough in a glass bowl.

Step 6: Shape into disks and chill.

Shape each half of dough into a disk, about 6 inches in diameter.

Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling it out and baking it. It’s important the dough chills before rolling it out as this allows time for the gluten strands to relax. The gluten relaxing is a really good thing, it ensures a tender crust rather than a dense one.

Two pie crust disks wrapped in plastic wrap.

Step 7: Roll out and bake.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough several inches bigger than your pie plate.

Transfer the dough to the pie plate and fit it gently into the bottom and sides of the plate. Use kitchen shears or a knife to trim dough to a 1″ overhang; fold under and seal to form a rim.

Flute the edges of the rim and then use the tines of a fork to pierce the bottom and sides of the pie crust.

Place the pie crust in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes and then in the freezer until firm about 15-20 minutes. This will prevent the pie crust from shrinking during baking.

Fill/bake as desired!

A fluted pie crust in a pie pan.

Pie Dough FAQ and tips

Can you use a pastry cutter for this recipe? Sure! Results will vary as there are different factors at play when making the dough by hand (think temperature of hands etc). The upside to making pie crust in a food processor is that it’s fast, easy, and there’s temperature control.  If you have hot hands, a food processor will be your best friend when it comes to pie making.

Why do you need to chill pie dough before rolling it and before baking? Chilling the dough gives the gluten strands time to settle down and relax.

You should chill pie dough before rolling it and before baking!

What kind of blade should you use when making pie dough in a food processor? I use a regular food processor blade and it works great!

Can you add the water to the food processor? Yes you can. However, this specific recipe doesn’t ask for you to do that. The simple step of mixing the water into the dough by hand prevents the butter from being cut up too small.

Can you overmix this pie crust recipe? Yes, hence the detailed instructions on how many pulses to do.

Food Processor Pie Crust

We love this pie crust! The buttery, tender, and super flaky crust is the perfect accompaniment to any pie!
prep time 15 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
total time 2 hrs 15 mins
servings: 2 single pie crusts
author: Whitney Wright

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour divided
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks of butter) cut into 2 tablespoon increments for a total of 10 pieces
  • 6 tablespoon ice water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In the bowl of a food processor combine 1 2/3 cups of flour, granulated sugar, and kosher salt. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. 
  • Spread the butter chunks evenly over the surface. Pulse until the dough begins to collect in clumps, about 25 short pulses. 
  • Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mixture in an even layer along the bottom of the food processor. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the mixture and pulse 5-7 times or until the dough is just broken up. Transfer the dough to a large bowl. 
  • Sprinkle the water over the dough. Using a rubber spatula, press and fold the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. 
  • Once the dough comes together, divide the dough in half. (Each dough half should weigh about 357 grams). Shape each half into a disk, about 6 inches in diameter. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling it out and baking it. 
  • When ready to bake, roll the dough out on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough a few inches bigger than your pie plate. Transfer the dough to the pie plate and fit gently into the bottom and sides of the plate. Use kitchen shears or a knife to trim dough to a 1" overhang; fold under and seal to form a rim.
  • Flute the edges of the rim. Use the tines of a fork to pierce the bottom and sides of the pie crust.
  • Place the pie crust in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes and then in the freezer until firm, about 15-20 minutes. This will prevent the pie crust from shrinking during baking.
  •  Bake as desired. *see notes

RECIPE NOTES

Note: when par baking a pie crust I place a piece of parchment paper in pie crust, and then fill the pie with pie weights. I use about 2 cups of pie weights (or 2 lbs worth). Using more pie weights does 2 things:
  1. Prevents the sides from puffing out. 
  2. Prevents the sides from shriveling.
Recipe source: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Suggested Equipment

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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