A Guide to Pie Crusts

Tuesday, Nov 17th, 2015

pie-crust21-4750519My latest installment over at Lucky Peach is just in time for your holiday baking! A guide to pie crusts includes the in’s and outs of making pie crusts, or maybe it’s the why’s and how’s? I dare say, it’s quite explanatory, I’m not sure Ive ever written the word “fat” so much. Attached are my 4 go to recipes, a flaky butter crust perfect for double crust fruit pies, a tender lard crust that I love for blind baking single crusts , a sassy cream cheese crust that does a bang up job for decorative tops, and a enriched crust for savory pies, like the one you will want to make with all your thanksgiving leftovers! I’ll let the article do the rest of the talking, and leave you to your holiday baking!!!

Pie crust, fundamental and unique to American baking, is simultaneously one of the easiest and hardest recipes to master. The difficulty stems from the narrow boundaries within which flaky, tender, barely crispy pie crust exists. But once you understand those boundaries, pie crust becomes one of the simplest techniques in your repertoire.

At its most basic level, pie crust is made of very small pieces of fat, coated in flour, moistened with just enough water that the fat pieces stick together when pressed and rolled. It’s the treatment of these three ingredients that creates a range of textures, some more desirable than others.


Every pie begins with a bowl of flour. Fat is then “cut in,” or systematically broken up—and as each piece of fat is repeatedly divided into two smaller pieces, it gets coated with flour. As these chunks of fat get smaller and smaller—and their number grows exponentially—the surface area of the collective pieces of fat becomes large enough that most of the flour will be adhered to the fat. At this point, just enough water is added to moisten the flour into an adhesive that holds the fat bits into a single mass.

Simple enough, right? Cut fat into flour, add water and presto: pie crust! But…………….

Follow that thought here at Lucky Peach

and don’t forget to scroll down for the recipes!