Homemade Pie Crust Recipe for Two Crust Pie
I’m not sure whether or not the world needs another pie crust recipe, but to be honest, every time I post a picture of one of my pies, whether on Facebook, Instagram, or some homesteading group, at least one person asks for my recipe. Nine times out of ten my pies are made with all butter crusts, and so, here is my pie crust recipe made with all butter.
Why All Butter Pie Crust?
My reasons for making pie crust with all butter (as opposed to shortening or another fat) are simple.
I have a cow.
And so, I make a lot of butter and do what I can to maximize the use of her dairy.
But there are other great reasons for making an all-butter pie crust, too:
- FLAVOR! It’s butter. Enough said.
- Flakiness. Butter makes one of the flakiest crusts. it’s why French Croissants are nothing but layered, “laminated” sheets of butter and flour (well, just about).
- It’s natural. Butter is a natural fat, as opposed to vegetable shortening, which is hydrogenated vegetable oil. Shortening is actually higher in trans fats and calories. Butter has a lower total fat count and contains good percentages of essential vitamins, too. These are mostly fat-soluble vitamins which need good natural fats in order to be absorbed in the body.
That said, no doubt what you really want is the recipe. So here it is. If you care to read on after the recipe, you’ll find a few more tidbits of information (including fat substitutions for this all-butter pie crust).
All-Butter Pie Crust
Makes one two-crust pie crust
- 2 C all-purpose flour
- 3/4 C cold butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 C cold milk* (more as needed)
- Measure the flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt evenly over the top.
- Stir through to combine.
- Cut the butter into chunks and add to the flour and salt mixture.
- Cut in the butter until a coarse, even meal-like mixture is formed.
- Add cold milk, pouring evenly through the flour mixture.
- Press and fold with a rubber spatula or large spoon until the dough comes together. Add more milk in small amounts if needed. Do not overmix; stop when dough forms a ball.
- Split dough into two even balls. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in sealed container and refrigerate for one half to one hour (or overnight) before rolling.
- When working dough, whether mixing or rolling, work only as long as you need to. This will make your crust flakier, and help avoid toughness.
*May substitute cold ice water for cold milk if desired.
The Only (Kind of, Not Really) “Downside” to All-Butter Pie Crust
If there is a downside to an all-butter pie crust, it’s only that crusts made with only butter lose their shape a little more than crusts made with shortening or lard. It’s not an issue for the crust itself, it’s really just around the edges and the crimping where this tends to happen.
One way to minimize this and help keep the shape a little better is to return the prepared, crimped pie to the refrigerator or freezer for a half hour to an hour before baking. Then go directly from fridge to oven. That will stiffen the butter and allow it to cook before it melts (that’s the condensed version) and the crimping won’t be quite as lost. It’s truly aesthetic, though, and as you can see from the pictures it certainly does not mean you get a bad-looking pie!
Fat Substitutions for the All-Butter Pie Crust Recipe
I always think it’s a little funny when someone asks me if I have a recipe for a pie crust with just butter in it. Because there truly is no mystery here.
Any pie crust recipe can be made with butter. All you do is use an equal measure of butter in place of whatever fat is called for in the recipe you have (no matter if it’s lard or shortening). Everything else stays the same.
One thing I do often do, though, is to cut the fat in the recipe and use half lard, half butter. This gives me another natural fat option (one I also tend to have around as we frequently raise pigs and render fresh lard for cooking and baking). A lard and butter crust will hold its shape better than an all-butter crust, and also lends a robust, savory flavor to the pies. It is an especially nice flavor for pot pies and meat pies. Lard is a lot healthier than we’ve been led to believe, too. It’s definitely worth your while to learn a little more about this not-so-unhealthy natural fat in its pure form.