To make this easy 3-ingredient pie crust you only need flour, butter, and water. Whether you make the pie dough by hand or use a food processor, you’ll end up with a perfectly flaky crust once baked. This traditional all butter shortcrust pastry is a great staple for many sweet and savory dishes including quiches and fruit pies.
Homemade pie crust, aka shortcrust pastry, can be a bit intimidating at first. But once you’ve made it yourself following this easy recipe, you won’t go back to using store-bought one. It not only tastes so much better, but you’ll also save money along the way too and avoid any additional ingredients including preservatives.
Old-fashioned shortcrust pastry is made with half the amount of fat as flour which allows you to easily double or triple the amount of pie crust you’re making, especially if you’re making a double crust pie. No shortening needed!
The dough stores well in the fridge and freezer, making it an excellent staple to add to your meal prep routine.
- Flour – All-purpose flour works well for this recipe. Make sure you sift it.
- Butter – Cold, salted, grass-fed butter makes delicious, flaky pastry. Alternatively, you can use other fats such as lard, shortening, or suet.
- Water – Ice cold water prevents the butter from melting. Use filtered water from the fridge with a couple of ice cubes or place some water in the freezer for a few minutes.
How to make the perfect pie crust
- Cold butter is the key to making a flaky pie crust. Pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes on a hot day.
- By grating the butter you’ll ensure it’s evenly distributed in the pie crust and holds its shape. You don’t want to work the butter into the flour.
- Gently toss the butter flakes in the flour by hand until they’re coated and you end up with a crumbly texture.
- Add as little ice water as possible, 1 tbsp at a time. Too much water increases the gluten in the dough making it tough and less flaky. You want the dough to come just together, avoid over-mixing it.
- The cooling period is essential for the crust’s flaky texture. Don’t skip it!
- Once you lined a pie dish with the dough, cool it again for 15 minutes in the fridge for it to retain its shape. Otherwise, it will shrink while baking.
Food Processor Method
To make the 3-ingredient pie crust in a food processor, simply add the flour and cubed butter to the bowl. Pulse it a couple of times until you have a crumbly mixture. Remove it from the food processor and place it on the kitchen bench.
Make a well and add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing it in with your hands between each addition until the pie dough just comes together. Avoid over-mixing it. Create a disc and wrap it in clingfilm. Pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. Follow the remaining instructions in the recipe below.
Sweet Pie Fillings
- Apple pie
- Blueberry pie
- Pumpkin pie
- Cherry pie
- Tarte tatin
- Strawberry pie
- Peach pie
- Pecan pie
Savory Pie Fillings
- Quiche lorraine
- Spinach and feta quiche
- Leek and ham quiche
- Mince pie
- Bacon and egg pie
- Steak and cheese pie
- Chicken, leek, and mushroom pie
3 Ingredient Pie Crust
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 Food processor optional
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cold salted butter
- 3 tbsp ice water
- Sift the flour into a medium size bowl and make a well in the middle with the back of your hand.1 cup all-purpose flour
- Grate the cold butter by hand and add it to the flour. Roughly combine the flour with grated butter by hand, retaining the butter flakes.1/2 cup cold salted butter
- Add 1 tbsp of ice water at a time until a rough dough just comes together. You may not need all 3 tbsp of water.3 tbsp ice water
- Shape it into a disc and wrap the dough tightly with clingfilm or a damp tea towel. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
- Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it and start rolling it into a 30cm diameter circle on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. If it's too hard to roll out, leave it on the counter for 5-10 minutes.
- Once the dough is 0.5cm thin, add it to your pie or quiche dish. Avoid stretching the dough when placing it into the dish. Remove any excess dough.
- Cool the dough in the pie dish for another 15 minutes to prevent it from shrinking while baking.
- Remove it from the fridge and pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles from forming when baking it.
- Bake it blind for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C/350F until golden brown. You can use dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights to blind-bake the crust. Add your chosen sweet or savory filling!