Perfect Pie Pastry {Recipe}

I have been using this pastry recipe for as long as I can remember and it has never once let me down.  When I first started making this recipe I used shortening; but the last few years I have switched to butter as I prefer the taste, however, the choice is yours.

There are a couple tricks to making this pastry turn out perfectly each time:

  • Your water must be as cold as possible.  I put cold water in a small bowl, add a couple ice cubes and measure the water from the bowl.
  • Handle dough as gently and as little as possible.
  • When rolling your dough, be sure to always keep your rolling pin and your work surface lightly dusted with flour.
  • Pat the dough into a disk and roll from the centre out.
  • Chill your pie before baking…the key is to have the fat as cold as possible when it hits the heat from the hot oven.


This recipe makes enough pastry for two 9″crusts.  If you only need one crust, flatten the second ball into a disk, wrap well and freeze.  Thaw prior to using.


5.0 from 4 reviews
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup cold butter or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. ice water
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  1. Add flour and salt to large bowl, whisk to combine.
  2. Cut butter (shortening) into small cubes.
  3. Working quickly and using your hands crumble butter (shortening) and flour mixture together until uniformly crumbly and fat is roughly pea sized or smaller.
  4. In measuring cup or small bowl and using a fork beat egg until frothy, add ice water and vinegar, stir to combine.
  5. Pour liquid over flour, stir gently with fork to combine.
  6. Gather dough together to form one ball.
  7. Divide ball in two and flatten each ball to form a disc.


  1. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says:

    I feel like you let us in on a special secret! So thank you!

  2. Kelsey Apley says:

    Looks great, thanks for sharing! Will have to try it sometime!!

  3. Shannon says:

    Great recipe!!!

  4. Love this, I’m bookmarking it and I am def going to give it a try.

  5. I didn’t know you put vinegar in pie crust. I’ll have to try this recipe soon.

    • It is a bit of an unusual ingredient for sure Nickida, but you don’t taste it and it is supposed to promote tenderness.

  6. Annie @ It's just my life... says:

    looks the same as my recipe… oldschool is what I call mine. :)

    • Yes, this is definitely old school too Annie….I got it from my mom who probably got it from her mom…lol

  7. Looks yummy!

  8. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice says:

    This is definitely the type of recipe I use when I bake my own…… when I worked it was easier to …dare I say..”buy” a crust!!! I have used this recipe and it is “perfect”.

  9. Jessica Peterson says:

    How ironic, I stumbled upon your blog from the a-z challenge, but… I was looking for a pastry recipe to make some yummy creations with my kids the other day! Crazy how the world works sometimes! I do have a question though, is the vinegar necessary? I’ve looked at a lot of recipes and some have it and some don’t. Have you ever tried without it?

    • Hi Jessica, isn’t it funny how the world and life works sometimes! To answer your question, no, I have always used the vinegar. I understand it helps in making the crust flaky (which it is!). You really don’t taste the vinegar at all but if it’s an allergy you are concerned about you could try the recipe without the vinegar. Please let me know how it turns out if you decide to do that.
      It’s nice meeting you Jessica, are you all ready for the A to Z Challenge?

      • Jessica Peterson says:

        I was just asking because I don’t think I have any vinegar in the house :) I will try it one of these days and let you know.

        It’s nice meeting you too. I’m a little nervous about the A-Z challenge, I’d like to get some posts prepared ahead of time or at least decide on my topics for each letter. How about you?

        • I participated the last 2 years and had at least a few posts ready by this time. This year I’m being slack…have not started a thing, although I do have a theme in mind.

  10. Jeanette Jackson says:

    I’ve never tried to make a pie but with this recipe I think I will give it a try.


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