Basic Pie Crust Recipe

Based on Karen Barker’s pie crust recipe in her book Sweet Stuff: Karen Barker’s American Desserts.  This is not the pastry recipe that we use (we don’t include any shortening in our pastry), but it is a good recipe for beginners as the addition of shortening makes it much more forgiving to work with!

Makes enough for 2 single crust pies or 1 double crust or lattice topped pie.


2 2/3 Cups flour

¾ tsp salt

¾ TBL sugar (optional)

¼ tsp baking powder

4 ounces (8 TBL) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces

4 ounces (½ Cup + 1 TBL + 2 tsp) vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into pieces

1 TBL apple cider vinegar

1/3 to ½ Cup cold water, as needed


Place flour, salt, optional sugar, and baking powder in food processor with a steel blade.  Pulse to combine.

Add the chilled butter and shortening, pulse until it is even mixed and the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Remove to a mixing bowl.

Working quickly, add enough cold water, while tossing mixture with a fork, until dough just begins to come together.  Don’t squeeze the pastry as you don’t want to melt the butter!  Divide into 2 equal portions, wrap in plastic, and chill for several hours or overnight.

This can be frozen for up to 1 month – defrost in refrigerator overnight before using.

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