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Pate Brisee

The pie dough may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, well wrapped in plastic, or frozen up to 1 month.

  • Yield: Makes two 8- to 10-inch single-crust pies or one 8- to 10-inch double-crust pie
Pate Brisee

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2008


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


  1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two discs. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.

Reviews (75)

  • beky4021 11 May, 2014

    Delicious! So easy to make, works well with whole wheat pastry flour as well.

  • lilianae8199 21 Oct, 2013

    To me, this is the very best crust recipe ever. Not only it is very easy to make, but it tastes great and it does not bubble.. simply amazing.

  • stephaniekilbride1 29 Jul, 2013

    One word for this recipe. DELICOUS! and its easy to make. I just hope its not one of those that sticks to the hips!!!
    Hackett and Hackett London Chauffeur

  • kittylaloo 26 Jul, 2013

    Love this recipe, my daughter had originally starting using it a number of years ago when she took over "Pecan Pie" duty at the holidays using Martha's "Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie" recipe. I change one small item though as my Mother taught me to make pie dough many years ago using shortening only so I use 1/2 & 1/2 unsalted butter and shortening (not Crisco, organic non-hydrogenated) and it is super flaky!

  • emilymagnuson 3 Feb, 2013

    This Bate Brisse is great! Love the buttery flavor!

  • lillize 22 Nov, 2012

    This recipe made the most tender, flaky, melt-in-your mouth pie crust I have ever made. I chilled the butter and cut it in with a pastry cutter, let the crust chill for several hours after rolling it out, added a touch of cornstarch (supposedly makes the crust flakier) and used a mix of wheat and white flour (that was all that was on hand). I used salted butter by accident so it was a little salty but other than that it was perfect. From now on this is the only pie crust recipe I will be using!

  • arthurb3 9 Aug, 2012

    This is a great recipe. I use it for anything that is baked and requires a crust: pies, chicken pot pie, and galettes.

  • TexasKid 26 Nov, 2011

    Perfect pie crust.

  • mmgomes7 24 Nov, 2011

    why can I not see the recipe?

  • mclaughlin chelsea 4 Jul, 2011

    I have a second disk in the freezer because I made a crumb topping on my last pie. I plan on putting it in the refrigerator a day before I make a pie so it can "defrost". My grandmother used to roll out many crusts and freeze them in the pie tins so she'd always have a crust ready to go. I don't make that many pies but hers were always delicious.

  • mclaughlin chelsea 4 Jul, 2011

    I have made this recipe a few times. The first time I made it, it was my first time making a pie crust from scratch and it was great. The second time I made it, I followed instructions from another website that said to freeze the butter cubes and flour ahead of time for at least an hour. This time it turned out flakier and super tasty. I also froze my large cutting board before rolling it out because I don't have a granite/marble surface. This made rolling it out fast and easy.

  • damiensmom 13 Jun, 2011

    I want to make this, but does anyone know if you can make ahead of time and freeze? It would be nice to have them ready to go.

  • lovey123 27 May, 2011

    great recipe

  • jeancamp123 8 Jan, 2011

    Seems like this receipe would make TWO 9" ie crusts.

  • cynock 25 Nov, 2010

    Made a mistake--discovered I had only whole wheat flour. Made it anyway, using a little extra butter. Cinnamon swirls I made with the extra dough were not bad, but the pastry was a little bitter. Apple pie is in the oven--we'll see what happens.
    Anyone ever tried this with ww flour? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • bonniebrownhair 25 Nov, 2010

    This is my favorite pie crust recipe. I love that it uses butter instead of shortening, so it's natural and healthier. If you don't have a food processor (as I didn't for years), you can absolutely make this by hand, but I recommend cutting in the butter with a pastry cutter instead of your fingertips as butter melts more readily than shortening. (And melted butter = bad pie crust.) I finally got a food process this year, though, and I'm amazed at how quick this crust is to make now.

  • Me3656 24 Nov, 2010


  • TraciLynne 23 Nov, 2010

    I used to purchase pie crust and "doctor" it up, but no more! This recipe is easy and turns out wonderfully everytime I make it. It comes together quickly, by the time I prepare my filling, the dough is chilled and ready to go. Try it, you'll never buy pie crust again.

  • Lizziern 20 Nov, 2010

    No one should ever use margarine in a crust and if possible, no crisco or shortening of any kind.
    I always use a pastry blender (even though I love my cuisinart) to combine my crust dough, this ensures I never wind up with a tough crust.
    Happy baking to all!

  • mandasquiltingcorner 20 Nov, 2010

    i have always been terrified of making a pie crust from scratch. Now, not so much. I am actually looking forward to attempting this for the upcoming Thanksgiving.

  • shirley97128 18 Nov, 2010

    Dear Glutenfreechef, You can use 1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco, then you have the good butter flavor. I freeze my butter first, cube cut it and add to flour in my food processor, then pulse to mix. So fast and easy.

  • smokeysmom71 11 Nov, 2010

    I have never made a pie crust with butter. I have used Crisco solid for 50 years and my crusts are light and fluffy and everyone loves them. I am going to try the butter recipe just so I can sample the taste. If Martha says it, I'll try it. Thanks.

  • tartletbaker 16 Oct, 2010

    Inikiolic, a vegan, asked if Fleischmann's margarine could replace pate brise's butter. Fleischmann's margarine is PERFECT for recipe;however company reduced fat content of Fleischmann's margarine from 80% to 65% early in 2010 making it unsuitable for all baking. Website still pictures word margarine on box. New formula doesn't meet standards for margarine.I've used Fleisch. Marg. With this recipe for 22 yrs.Please join me in asking ConAgra to bring back real MARGARINE. My recipes are suffering.

  • tartletbaker 16 Oct, 2010

    Inikiolic, a vegan, asked if Fleischmann?

  • sheryll_rufus 12 Oct, 2010

    I learned to to make a pie crust (Pate Brisee) from Joy Of Cooking, sorry Martha but you weren't here then. I 'm NOT a baker, never been, never will be. Stupid me, never thought of flattening it into two disc's. Great Idea. I suggests refrigerating it longer, let it rest longer than an hour for sure. More like 3 hours at least. I always end up using a bit more water, but that is why I am not a baker, it depends on the flour.

  • inikolic 22 Sep, 2010

    I'm Vegan. Can I use the vegan friendly Fleishman's unsalted margarine instead of the butter in this recipe?

  • CanadianCupcake 10 Sep, 2010

    Perfect results! This was my first time making a crust from scratch. I don't have a food processor, so instead froze my butter sticks for a couple hours, then cut them in half and grated them by hand. I used a pastry-blending hand tool to bring the dough together, and used just a touch more than the 1/2 c. water. Perhaps mixing it by hand makes it harder to use less water, but the results were delicious! I made the apple raspberry pie.

  • mamatwo 8 Jun, 2010

    does anyone know if this can be done with vegan butter sticks (earth balance)r? it's not unsalted, but it's the only thing i've got that my son can have.

  • craftyshak 19 Apr, 2010

    not much difference.. if you have a favourite one you have use it... or use this and leave out the water and the food processor and just us a pastry cutter..... I use my old pie receipe for all my pies... or for some i use Phylo.... this pie is not that good.... take out the peel that will stop the bitter taste....

  • klzk 9 Apr, 2010

    2LL: I had the same problem, but I figured out what we did wrong. We made the recipe correctly, but when you bake a pie crust "blind", you have to fill the empty space. Otherwise the fat melts before the sides solidify. I now line the crust inside with parchment and fill with dry beans, bake for 15-20 minutes, take the beans out, dock the bottom, and bake for another 5 minutes until the bottom is browned.

  • 2LL 2 Apr, 2010

    I both love and hate this recpie, making the dough and rolling it out was easy but I needed to bake it unfilled for a lemon pie. In the oven the sides of the pie slid down to the bottom of the pie pan making a huge mess! What went wrong? I had chilled the dough for at least an hour and kept the crust in the fridge until the oven was ready. I am not a novice baker and have never seen a pie crust do this

  • NickieB3 25 Nov, 2009

    LISALO: You don't need to bake the crust before you fill it. It will all bake together. It's a fabulous crust! Just be sure, as with all crusts, to not over work the dough.

  • lisalo1979 25 Nov, 2009

    I'm using this dough recipe to make a cheesecake fruit tart type dish as well as a traditional pumpkin pie. Do I need to cook the dough a little before adding filling or does it not matter? Any help is appreciated...I'm definitely a beginner with this but so far the crust has turned out great, it's chilling overnight in the fridge :-)

  • Saragrace 10 May, 2009

    This is a beautiful and sturdy pie dough that can stand to be a little moist. Keep it as cold as possible and this dough is a classic. Perfect for rhubarb pie!
    The absolute best homemade crust

  • cdj535 15 Mar, 2009

    I have a very old cookbook (white house from 1907) and the pie dough is almost identical to this one except it calls for a heaping tsp of baking powder. not sure what the results would be but that book hasnt failed me yet.

  • cdj535 15 Mar, 2009

    i have a very old cookbook (white house cookbook from 1907) and the pie crust is almost identical except it calls for 1 heaping tsp baking powder. not sure what this would do for it. I have found however recipies from this book always turn out great.

  • yayamar85 3 Mar, 2009

    I have used this recipe several times and have had both messes and successes. I have found that the squeeze test is not full proof. The dough may hold together when you squeeze it but be too crumbly when you roll it out. Adding more water in small amounts fixes the problem easily. Once I got the consistency down it was perfect. This is definately a keeper!

  • code3kid 6 Dec, 2008

    Don't use a blender! That would be a terrible mess. Freeze your two sticks of butter. Then use a cheese grater to grate the butter into your flour mix. Two butter knives can be used to further incorporate the butter completely. I have found this to be a good replacement for a food processor. May sound a little crazy, but it works great. Enjoy your pie.!!! :) -Chris (Fresno, CA)

  • alia_abdhalim 4 Dec, 2008

    hi, does anyone know if using a blender would have the same results? thank you!

  • maurabrigham 26 Nov, 2008

    Use your chopping blade to cut the butter in. For those who don't have a food processor, just use two knives to cut it in. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • IMAQTPIE 26 Nov, 2008

    TEXAS BAKER: My cuisnart instructions use the chopping blade. DIVAWANBE: My Grandma used crisco and her fingers! Use 2 knives and cross cutting motion in bowl or pastry blender tool to cut shortening into flour.

  • TexasBaker 25 Nov, 2008

    Does anyone know if i should use my chopping blade or the dough blade in my food processor? Thanks!

  • TexasBaker 25 Nov, 2008

    Does anyone know if i should use my chopping blade or the dough blade in my food processor? Thanks!

  • Anskyann 24 Nov, 2008

    The ultimate, foolproof piecrust. Thanks again Martha! You have turned me into a fantastic baker and avid gardener. You are truly a blessing!

  • kiliszewski 11 Nov, 2008

    My favorite crust recipe! So simple and scrumptious!

  • prowheel 10 Nov, 2008

    I have made this recipe since I first saw it made on your show about 9 years ago. There is NOTHING else like it--it's the best I have ever made OR eaten.
    Thank you, Martha

  • Everfabulous 18 Oct, 2008

    This reicpe is fantastic!! It is so easy to make and has such a buttery flavour.

    I make up a batch and freeze it, so I always have dough on hand. It's great when you have company.

    I wouldn't use any other recipe. Thanks Martha for making it easy and delicious!

  • PudgesSweets 16 Oct, 2008

    To divawanbe: When I don't want to pull out the cuisinart to make dough, I grate frozen (not chilled) butter into the flour mixture. You have to work quickly because the butter melts in your hand, but it does give smaller, relatively uniform pieces of fat in the mixture. Hope this works for you. Good luck and don't give up.

  • cami1962 13 Oct, 2008

    I am not a baker, but I am mighty proud of the Apple pie I just made. I had to do it twice. First time, I used my blender, then my mixer with whole wheat flour. Didn't work AT ALL! Second time I used organic all purpose flour with a friend's hand tool pastry blender. That's how our mothers grandmtothers did it. I made no alterations for high altitude. It was Great! And I appreciate that this recipe has no shortening and is so simple. Thank you!

  • divawanbe 12 Oct, 2008

    I attempted to follow the direction on the pie crust with one acception (I do not own a Cuisinart), had to make the crust with a knife. Can you please tell me how our mom could make a pie and they did not own a Cuisinart with a pulse feature.

    I made a cherry pie for the family they were all very polite and said it was great but I know the crust was not at all flaky. Please send any advise I will not quit must be a better pie maker.

    Thank you

  • divawanbe 12 Oct, 2008

    I attempted to follow the direction on the pie crust with one acception (I do not own a Cuisinart), had to make the crust with a knife. Can you please tell me how our mom could make a pie and they did not own a Cuisinart with a pulse feature.

    I made a cherry pie for the family they were all very polite and said it was great but I know the crust was not at all flaky. Please send any advise I will not quit must be a better pie maker.

    Thank you

  • shelleyj 4 Oct, 2008

    this and the deep dish crust recipes are the best!!!!! my crusts were awful before I started using this....

  • SierraMadre 28 Sep, 2008

    This is the best and easiest pie crust. I Love the buttery taste!

  • ariansdreams 23 Sep, 2008

    This recipe is now my holy grail pie crust recipe! Thanks Martha!

  • MWetzel 23 Aug, 2008

    When making a savory tart try adding some fresh herbs to the mix. The crust ends up looking pro.

  • Jenaccounting 15 Aug, 2008

    You might want to try rice flour or millet flour, so this would be gluten free.

  • BlessedFarm 14 Aug, 2008

    OH, I WANT to try this recipe, but sadly must eat gluten free. Any ideas about what flour I might want to try it with, and anything to add/take out, to make it work? I am a VERY novice baker, btw, too.

  • welove2cook 25 Jul, 2008

    What a gorgeous pastry. Delicous and so easy to work. Thank you, Martha.

  • Theloudsoprano 5 May, 2008

    What is the difference between this and regular pie dough? Also, how should one make this with out a food processor? Can I make it with just a fork or a dough cutter?

  • LuvMaerz 1 May, 2008

    Absolutely PERFECT! This is the first crust that I have made from scratch that isn't dry, crumbly, and crack-prone!! It is wonderful to work with, like a nice smooth clay. I should have tried it sooner.

  • kimwylie0523 12 Jan, 2008

    In response to Gayle and Sharon's dismay at crumbly, unworkable crusts: I like to try to make a 1-2" ball before I decide if it is ready to take all of it out of the food processor and chill. My other suggestion is to allow it to chill a little longer than 1 hour in your refrigerator. It gives the water a little more time to soak into the dough and bring everything together. It never hurts to allow the dough to chill an extra hour.

  • theatherly 10 Jan, 2008

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! This is tooooo easy. I love it. I will never buy another frozen CRUST PIE EVER AGAIN that is FOR SURE!

  • jowilchek 5 Jan, 2008

    Have never tasted a crust this good. I tried it Thanksgiving 2007 for the first time but from now on it's the only crust for me...Delicious, flakey, and everyone raved about it. And so simple to make. Thanks!

  • lschmalz 31 Dec, 2007

    The dough turned out perfectly!! Will definitely use again

  • kimwylie0523 3 Dec, 2007

    I made an apple pie with this recipe while my husband, some friends and family were over watching a football game. I made the dough during pre-game, peeled and sliced apples during the 1st quarter, then joined them until halftime. At halftime I rolled out the dough, added the apple filling, and popped it in the oven. When the game ended, I was pulling out a fresh, hot apple pie! Needless to say, It went over VERY well! I have a feeling it's going to become a tradition...

  • sophiasingsinmykitchen 24 Nov, 2007

    Whatever happened to lard in pie crust recipes? I make the 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup lard, pinch of salt and ice water pie crust and it is flaky and perfect everytime expecially for mincemeat and apple. I like the butter crust with other fruits but nothing beats lard in a crust. Is it just too unhealthy? It can't be worse than butter!

  • EmiliePrickles 23 Nov, 2007

    This is an excellent crust! It is more of a challenge to make it come together if you do not use a food processer, but it is definitively still doable. It often requires more water than the recipe calls for, and takes a bit of practice to get it right, but is well worth the effort! My mother has been devoted to a traditional recipe always used by the family, but finally admitted that this recipe was better during a Thanksgiving "crust-off." It is the only crust we will use for Christmas.

  • GayleR 22 Nov, 2007

    I have been baking for 44 years and this is the worst dough I have ever worked with. As the last respondent stated it was crumbly. I'm not a novice baker so I was completely surprised, disapointed and embarrassed when I had to try and salvage this dough today of all days. Normally salvaging a recipe (which is a rare event) is no big deal for me but this was a flop. Never again!

  • Sharon2007 22 Nov, 2007

    I tried the Pate Brisee and it was crumbly when I tried to roll it out. I did every thing the recipe called for except I didn't use all of the water I could have. I did the squeeze test and it seemed alright. What did I do wrong? Help!
    Thanks, Sharon2007

  • brooklynbaker 21 Nov, 2007

    This works every time!.Just make sure it is cold!!! To KimKim...My pie crust stuck to the bottom of the dish once and my mother-in-law told me it was because the dish was terribly scratched from use. Maybe you need a new one too.

  • indun 21 Nov, 2007

    This is the best pie dough! I am known as the master baker in
    my family, mostly because of this pie crust- Thanks, Martha!

  • Allen 19 Nov, 2007

    I have been using this recipe since I first discoverd it in Martha's Entertaining Menu Cookbook in 2003. This is a staple in my everyday pie making.

  • kimkim 13 Nov, 2007

    I made this and the bottom of my pie stuck to my glass pie dish. What did I do wrong? (It was still delicious though!)

  • ItsAGoodThingInSoCal 9 Nov, 2007

    This pate brisee recipe is super simple. I use it every time I bake a pie and it always comes out perfect.

  • mtgeri 3 Nov, 2007

    This is great! I added a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from my herb garden and gave it a little change of flavor too!

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