Standard American Pie Crust



by Cat, August, 2007 (updated September, 2007, June 2008, May 2010)

(Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Includes: 1. Unbleached White Flour Pie Crust; 2. Whole Grain Pie Crust; 3. Modifications for different pan sizes

See also:  1.  Wheat/Spelt Yogurt Pie Crust; 2. Pastry Brisée (Short or Crumb Crust);  3. Rich Crumb Crust (French Pastry Brisée & Italian Pasta Frolla); 4. Sprouted Grain Pie Crust (Wheat or Spelt)

I don’t use this crust recipe much anymore, because I have learned to presoak my flour in acidic medium, to increase the nutrient value and make the grain more digestible. Instead, I use my Wheat/Spelt Yogurt Pie Crust (see above for link). But if you are in a hurry and can’t waist for an overnight soak, this does make a tasty and flaky crust.

The vinegar is important, as it helps with the flakiness. (Vinegar is not needed in the Yogurt Pie Crust recipe because the yogurt plays the same role as vinegar in this case).

Unbleached White Flour Pie Crust

Use the recipe below for Whole Grain Pie Crust, using all white flour, instead of a combination of white and whole grain flours.  This will probably require less water.

Also check out an interesting recipe from The Pie and Pastry Bible (1998), as reprinted on Epicurious (2), which specifies white pastry flour, and uses a rather complex method for preparing the pastry.

Whole Grain Pie Crust

This is a standard pie crust, using part white (wheat or spelt) and part whole grain flour (whole wheat pastry, whole spelt flour, or whole Kamut) which gives it a slightly sweet, nutty flavor (and more nutrients).  This recipe has been a standard in my kitchen for years.  If you want a whiter crust, choose a hard winter wheat flour for the whole wheat flour (such as Prairie Gold from Wheat Montana), but you will get the best result if you use pastry flour (spelt is a pastry flour).  For the white flour, use unbleached white flour rather than all-purpose flour.

NOTE: The ingredients amounts below are based on wheat, which should also work for Kamut. If you use spelt, use less water

To make ice-cold water, put some cold filtered water in a cup or bowl and add a couple ice cubes.  Let rest for a couple minutes before adding to the dough.  Many people swear by adding a dash of cider vinegar or lemon juice, for maximum flakiness.

Instead of sugar, your could add a tiny pinch of powdered stevia extract.  But whole wheat is so much sweeter than white flour, that I find I don’t need to add sweetener.

If you prefer, you can use all butter instead of the butter/lard combination.

Ingredients for 9 or 10 inch pan, one- or two-crusts

ww-spelt pie crust ingred

NOTE: see Unrefined sea salt for more about this type of salt.

Modifications for different size crusts

My small 7.5″ pie pan

2-Crust, use: 1 ⅓ cup wheat* flour, ½ tsp salt, ½ cup butter, 2 ½ – 4 Tbsp water with ⅛ tsp vinegar (*If using spelt, start with 1 ½ Tbsp cold water)

1-Crust, use: ¾ cup wheat* flour, ¼ tsp salt, 4 ½ Tbsp butter, 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp water with dash vinegar (* If using spelt, start with ½ Tbsp cold water)

10″ quiche pan (single-crust)

1 ⅓ cup wheat* flour (⅔ cup each white and whole wheat*), ½ tsp salt, ½ cup butter (or ⅓ c butter + 2 ½ Tbsp lard), 5 – 6 Tbsp ice cold water with dash vinegar. (* if using spelt, start with 4 Tbsp cold water)


  • pie pan, deep dish pie pan, or quiche pan
  • bowl
  • pastry fork, pastry cutter, or 2 knives
  • rolling pin with pastry sock and cloth


  1. Measure flours, sugar (if using) and salt into a sifter, then sift into a medium bowl.
  2. Add butter and lard and cut into flour with a pastry cutter, pastry fork, or 2 knives, to particles the size of small peas.  Let sit a few moments while you prepare the water.
  3. Put 1-2 ice cubes into a cup; add filtered water and vinegar (if using).  Let sit a few moments for the temperature to equilibrate, then sprinkle the lesser amount onto the flour-butter mixture.  Blend with pastry cutter and test to see if it will hold together into a ball.  If not, sprinkle on some more water (no more than 1 Tbsp at a time) and blend in.
  4. Gather dough into a ball, cover bowl with a cloth, and set in a cool place (or refrigerator) for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Lightly flour rolling surface and rolling pin.  I prefer to use a pastry cloth, and to cover my rolling pin with a pastry sock.
  6. Lay round of dough on floured surface and flatten slightly with palm of your hand.  Turn over the dough and flatten slightly again (this gets flour on both sides of the dough, for ease in rolling).  Then roll out with floured rolling pin to a circle 2″ larger than the size of the pan (11 inches for a 9″ pan; 12 inches for a 10″ pan).


  1. Cat’s recipe collection
  2. The Pie and Pastry Bible (1998), as reprinted on Epicurious (

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