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How to make pie crust or tart shell recipe

All Butter Pie Crust, Pate Brisee

Making your own pie crust or tart shell is easy. This is a recipe for a no fail butter pie crust.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 Pie Crusts
Calories 1433kcal


  • 4 1/2 ounces Cold water Approximately just over 1/2 cup. Add more if dough needs it
  • 1/2 ounce White vinegar 3 teaspoons
  • 12 ounces All Purpose Flour 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 8 ounces Butter Cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes


  • Combine the water and vinegar and place it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Put the flour, salt and cubed butter in a large bowl.
  • Mix with fingers using the sheeting method, until butter is broken into smaller pieces and still visible. How to use sheeting method: Begin sheeting the butter by pressing the cubes of butter between thumb and forefinger in a "snapping" motion, giving you long sheets of butter. You want these long sheets present in the final product.
  • Add cold water mixture a little at a time, gently mixing until dough comes together. Knead a few times for mixture to come together. Keeping adding a additional cold water, a little at a time so the dough will form into a sticky ball. 
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the dough has rested, divide dough roll into two equal parts. Lightly flour a surface and with a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/8" thickness. 
  • Place dough in pie pan or tart shell and trim edges. Dock the dough using a fork. Add filling and bake according to recipe directions.
  • If You Need to Blind Bake: If using a delicate pastry cream or custard type filling you will want to blind bake the crust. Once the dough is in the desired shell. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Dock the dough. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover the shell with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and continuing baking until crust is just turning golden.


Tips For Success:
  • To keep the water as cold as possible, I use water from the refrigerator water dispenser. Then I place it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • I also keep cubed butter in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • At my age, my hands aren't as strong as they used to be, so I start the butter/flour sheeting process using a pastry cutter. Just a few mixes will start the process of combing the butter and flour, then I proceed using my hands.
  • Don't skip the resting process: Letting the dough rest in the refrigerator makes it easier to roll out. If the dough is too warm, it will stick to your rolling pan, forcing you to use more flour, which will make the dough tougher in the long run.
    When rolling the dough out, place a little flour on your working surface and the rolling pin. Rotate the dough as you roll. And make sure when rolling that dough to even thickness. An even and consistent thickness makes for a professional looking end product.
This is a recipe that makes 2 pie crusts that will fit in a 9" pie dish or 9" tart shell.


Calories: 1433kcal | Carbohydrates: 130g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 94g | Saturated Fat: 59g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 1979mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2834IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 8mg