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Perfect Pie Dough

By: Gillian McLennan
This image courtesy of

Instead of using a pre-made pie crust, know exactly what you're eating and learn how to make pie dough. This Perfect Pie Dough recipe from Gillian McLennan is a basic pie dough tutorial to use for any baking application.


Gillian writes the food blog Eat My Words (

For more recipes from and information about Gillian, be sure to check out her Featured Foodies profile page.

If you liked this pie recipe you'll love this collection that will help you Bake a Perfect Pie for Thanksgiving - 38 Recipes to Try.


Yields1 pie crust


  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water


  1. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl (if you are making a savory crust, you can omit the sugar).
  2. Cut one stick of butter into 1/2-inch sized cubes. Add butter to flour mixture and cut in using a pastry blender. If you don’t have a pastry blender you can use a fork here. You are just looking to break up the pieces of butter into the flour until they are about the size of a pea. Do not use your hands here as the butter needs to stay very cold so that it does not melt. The little pieces of butter are what makes the dough light and flaky!
  3. Next, add the ice water one tablespoon at a time until it just comes together. Once the majority of the dough is clustering together, press it together with your hands to form a ball. Immediately wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until it is time to bake.
  4. When you are ready, take the dough of the refrigerator, unwrap and place onto a floured surface. Roll out until about 1/4-inch thick, lie into a pie pan or tart shell and add your favorite filling!

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