This 4-Ingredient Pie Crust Recipe is Sure to Impress Your Family During the Holidays

Every year around the holidays, my home begins to smell of warm buttery crust, toasting nuts, and holiday spices as I make my signature pecan pie. And, as is tradition, people squawk with the same exclamation of "You made this pie crust yourself?! That must be very difficult." Well, I have a secret– making pie crust is extremely easy. All you need is about 45 minutes of your time before pie making and a few simple ingredients for this pie crust recipe to wow your family and make all sorts of delicious goodies.  

Holiday Pie Crust

  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
  • Servings: 2
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar if sweet
  • 1 pinch salt if savory
  • Ice water as needed

Ian Joselow

Step 1

Chill your butter beforehand so that it is cold. This is essential as warm butter will be too sticky to work with and a proper flakiness cannot be achieved. This also goes for the water– if you don't have ice, water chilled in the fridge works just as well.

Ian Joselow

Step 2

Place your two cups of flour and salt or sugar into a mixing bowl. Chop the butter into small chunks and then also place in the bowl.

Ian Joselow

Step 3

Quickly push the butter into the flour with your hands, breaking the chunks into smaller pieces and incorporating the butter and flour mixture until the mixture begins to resemble small crumbs.

Ian Joselow

Step 4

Next, slowly add splashes of the ice water into the mixture and toss with your hands until the mixture starts to stick together.

Ian Joselow

Step 5

Split the dough mixture into two sections and press into disks. It's okay if chunks of butter are still present– they will help form layers for a flakier crust in the oven. Be careful not to overwork the dough, or it will become chewy. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or foil and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Ian Joselow

Step 6

When ready, remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap each disk. Heavily flour a surface before placing the dough out. If the dough falls apart or cracks, just add a splash of chilled water to re-hydrate the dough until it starts to stick together again. Now, there are two ways to do this next step. If one has a rolling pin, roll the dough in a clockwise motion from the center out at half-an inch at a time. If you prefer using your hands, press the dough out in sections until it keeps getting thinner and thinner. Keep re-flouring the surface as needed. Do not overwork the dough, as the dough can develop too much gluten and become tough to cut after baking.

Ian Joselow

Step 7

If rolling out dough is not your thing, another option is to place the disk directly onto the pie plate and, using your hands, mold the dough to fit the shape of the pan, patching as you go. Make sure to not overwork the dough or else the gluten will make the dough chewy.

Ian Joselow

Step 8

When your dough is the desired size and thickness, carefully place into your floured pie plate and press against the sides to mold to the shape of the plate. Don't stress if any cracks or rips happen in transfer– you can patch those up with excess dough from your plate.

Ian Joselow

Step 9

If doing a double-crusted pie (like a lattice, for example), use the other disk at this time, repeating steps 6-9 to either make a covered crust or cut into slices for any other sort of pattern. Make sure to have holes for ventilation in the top of the pie. If blind-baking the pie, poke fork holes lightly in the crust and weight it down with a weight before baking in the oven until golden– around 20 minutes.

Ian Joselow

Step 10

Pour filling and bake as directed.

Ian Joselow

From this point forward, store-bought pie crust will be a thing of the past. Now you can impress all your roommates, friends, and neighbors with your culinary genius. I guess you can have your pie and eat it too.

#SpoonTip: If you're not sure what to fill your pies with, there are endless great pie recipes. From the simple to the adventurous, be sure to try them all.