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Easy Pie Crust

Shortcut your way to wonderful pies all summer. Prepare the crust and topping ahead, and keep them in the freezer.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 2
Easy Pie Crust

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2003


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  1. To make the dough for the pie crust, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter into pieces. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles coarse meal.

  2. Add 4 tablespoons ice water; work with hands until dough comes together. If dough is still crumbly, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time (up to 4 more tablespoons). Do not overwork.

  3. Divide dough in half, and flatten halves into disks. Wrap disks separately in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour.

  4. To form the pie shell, roll the dough on a floured surface into a 14-inch round. Wrap around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate.

  5. Fit gently into bottom and side of plate. Use kitchen shears to trim dough to a 1-inch overhang; fold under, and seal to form a rim.

  6. Crimp rim with fingertips and knuckle. Repeat with remaining dough; wrap each with plastic, stack, and freeze.

Reviews (30)

  • housefamily8 31 Dec, 2014

    I made a couple of pumpkin pies for Christmas with this recipe. I've never had much luck making pie crusts, but this worked great. My daughter-in-law even commented that she usually doesn't eat the rim of the pie crust, but this one was great. I give this recipe 5 stars!

  • becky peschell 23 Oct, 2014

    Video calls for 1 T sugar but recipe is 1 teaspoon. Which is correct?

  • garcia_linda12 7 Nov, 2014

    Did you happen to try this yet? I was wondering which is the correct one as well.

  • Karen1970 10 Nov, 2013

    Great video. I understand more why the bits of butter make the crusts flaky. I'm a little confused about the freezing. The video seemed to say to freeze them as disks, while the directions say to freeze them in the pie plate. How do you freeze a two crust pie in the pie plate? Do you add the filling? Thanks.

  • behlke4 2 Feb, 2013

    I am converted!!!! I have been using a pie crust recipe handed down to me from my mother-in-law since I got married. It used lard, so that's all I knew and all I used. Until today when I didn't have any lard and was not feeling up to going to the store. Tried this recipe, and I'll admit I was a little hesitant with all that butter, seemed like a LOT. But oh my, OH MY, tasty, flaky, crispy on the outside and tender inside! Even the bottom crust was delish!! Thank you, Martha, LOVE IT!!

  • suealfandre 14 Nov, 2012

    This pie crust is awesome! Fantastic! Martha makes it in a food processor which is super easy.You just have to make sure you put the entire 1/2 cup ice water in the dough. Put it in slowly and pulse lightly as you go. I think it is better chilled for 1/2 hour instead of an hour. It gets too hard otherwise. I LOVE this recipe and always use it.

  • mgeotsalitis 10 Nov, 2012

    Your website isn't working. I couldn't save nor e-mail the recipe although I'm a subscriber and have an on-line account.

  • oily 8 Nov, 2012

    This recipe was a major disappointment & I'll not use it again. I followed the ingred./steps in the magazine version. 2 sticks of butter is WAY too much! The crust came out hard instead of flaky. Butter actually pooled onto the baking sheet under the pie. Yes, I followed the recipe precisely & yes I have successfully made great crust before. Just wanted to try Martha's version.

  • ozcarscissorkicker 21 Jul, 2012

    The hand in the picture looks like that of a cadaver! I wouldn't eat the pie that had been touch by those hands.

  • Joseph_Erdos 11 Nov, 2010

    The missing ingredients is now fixed.

  • crazy4baking 4 Nov, 2010

    How much ice water? I don't see it listed with the ingredients.

  • maggyfol 3 Nov, 2010

    When I use the frozen dough for a pre-bake crust pie, it shrinks eventhou when '
    I put the beans as weight. What am I doing wrong?

  • JMM 3 Nov, 2010

    You don't have to thaw the crust before filling it. I take the crusts directly from the freezer, fill them and bake. If you are adding a top crust you may want to thaw it a litle so you can crimp the two crusts togetner. However, I find that by the time you add the filling and are ready to put on the second crust the bottom crust is thawed sufficiently.

  • Countrygirl247 2 Nov, 2010

    I freeze the disks. I do not put them in a pie pan. to freeze. I have not enough room in my freezer. Then when i am ready to use them I do thaw them in room temp till it is thawed, then they are ready to roll out to go into your pie pate or pan

  • Countrygirl247 2 Nov, 2010

    Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over the flour-butter mixture, and blend. Repeat with an additional 2 tablespoons water. At this point, you may have to add more water: When a handful of dough squeezed together just holds its shape, you?

  • cphipps 2 Nov, 2010

    To Rockytopfan,
    Start with 3 tbsp of water, mix, if still crumbly add more water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough starts to stick together. You should be able to take a little in yours hands and squeeze it and have it just start to stick together.

  • sp4566 2 Nov, 2010

    The amount of ice water is not listed because it varies with how dry the flour is. The dryness of the flour is determined by what the weather is like when you are making the dough. Just use enough water so the dough comes together. Too much water will make the dough tough.

  • rockytop fan 2 Nov, 2010

    In the recipe I am looking at, it lists all the ingredients except how much water??? It says I can add up to 4 more, but 4 more than how many to start with

  • carosail 2 Nov, 2010

    Do you have to thaw the crusts before adding filling and baking later?

  • MadisonAve 2 Nov, 2010

    How much ice water to begin with. It is not listed in the recipe

  • tracywilliams 30 Aug, 2008

    She does have the butter amt. correct. 2 sticks of butter is equal to 1 cup. Atleast Land o Lakes butter is 1/2 cup-per stick.

  • sdelhaise 10 Jun, 2008

    I found this recipe on RecipeZaar and it called for 1 cup butter.

  • burrumbe 20 Mar, 2008

    Hi there, I was just re reading the recipe and noticed that they don't mention de amount of butter. About the Barefoot Contesa, I like her way of doing things, and about her PIE CRUSTwhat if I don't have a food processor' I have tried several recipes for pie crusts, they come out well, but still I haven't find one that I woud say. THIS IS THE ONE.

  • mamina51 20 Mar, 2008

    i agree with cynthiamills incorrect butter ingrdients

  • cynthiamills7 8 Feb, 2008

    Honeyhouston8 Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has the pie recipe you are looking for. She uses part butter and part shortening. It is made in a food processor and is completely foolproof and easy. I use it all the time. It really is flaky and delicious. I add sugar when I want a sweeter crust and it does not change the consistency at all.

  • cynthiamills7 8 Feb, 2008

    The butter in the ingredient list does not say how much butter to use for the crust.
    I am assuming it means 2 sticks, but they should correct this.

  • honeyhouston8 16 Nov, 2007

    I used to have a pie crust recipe which used shortening instead of butter. Does anyone out there have that recipe? It always came out great! HELP!!!!

  • amandahowell 15 Nov, 2007

    The water needs to be very cold, but not frozen. Put some water into the coldest part of your refrigerator for a while until very cold, then use it.

    I use cold water on my crusts all the time and it does a great job!

  • majo 15 Nov, 2007

    I want to know if you wait and thaw the frozen pie crust before baking a pie

  • maggi70 14 Nov, 2007

    For the pie do the water have to be frosen?

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