BAKE IT: Basic Pie Crust

What better way to make the most of the abundant summer fruit than a pie? Pies are scientifically proven to make you more popular (at least at picnics, potlucks, and breakfast time). You can make it super easy by buying a pie crust, or if you’ve got an itch to be in the kitchen, make your own.

If you’ve never made a pie crust before, don’t be afraid. Here’s a secret about pie crust making that no one ever tells you—even if it’s not perfect, it’s still pie! Really, you can’t go too far wrong.

Pie crust is made with four basic ingredients: flour, fat, liquid, and salt. We’ll give you a basic recipe, but don’t be afraid to vary the basic ingredients once you’re feeling comfortable.



Keep things cold! Chill your fat and liquid before you begin, and try to be expedient so things stay chilly.



2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup shortening

1 tsp. salt

½ cup water


  1. Stir your flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the fat with a pastry cutter, a food processor, or your hands. You’re aiming for things to be mixed well but not completely homogenous.
  2. Add your chilled liquid a spoonful at a time. Mix it in with a fork (don’t overmix!). Once you’ve got something that vaguely resembles dough, press it together gently.
  3. Split the dough in half. Wrap each half, and put it in the refrigerator. It needs to chill again for at least half an hour (up to overnight), so go do something else while you’re waiting.
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured counter, being efficient so that you don’t overwork the dough. Use according to your recipe.
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